The Ophelia journey began in 1995 with a simple overseas holiday, and a seemingly inconsequential meeting between our Founder and some new friends from Venice, Italy. This friendship resulted in an invitation to visit Venice in the future.
While visiting with these friends in the most romantic of Italian cities, our Founder was introduced to a Venetian artisan that made the most amazing paperweights from Murano glass.
He was so impressed by the technique, skill and dedication used to painstakingly make an object that we would normally give little regard to, that he bought some of the paperweights back to Australia with the greatest of care. The paperweights adorned his desk for a number of years and always brought back memories of the artisan he met in Venice. It was obvious this fascination was formulating into an idea.
It was in 1998 during a four-wheel driving holiday in outback Australia that this idea really began to take hold, with our Founder meeting a jewellery designer from Venice. Believing that this meeting was more than a coincidence, he realised this new venture was destined to be. Ophelia was born.
All of our jewellery and objects are designed and produced in Venice – the home of Murano – and we collaborate with our designers in Italy regularly to develop each new range. Each piece is lovingly and individually handcrafted using old world craftsmanship handed down through the generations by people who share our passion for artisan products. Ophelia pieces are made from Murano glass beads, handmade fabrics and gold leaf. The artisans of Murano are fiercely proud of their heritage, and our respect for those techniques is evident in each piece we choose.
Daimaru was the first department store to stock the brand in 1999, and it went on to be stocked across Australian and New Zealand, including David Jones, Smith & Caughey’s, Ballantynes and fashion designers such as Trelise Cooper and Teena Varigos. Our Founder has also presented Ophelia on television shopping networks in Australia and Italy. Throughout this time Ophelia has developed a loyal following, and our pieces sell nationally and internationally to individual collectors.
Ophelia. Born of a tale of adventure...and a humble paperweight.