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Behind The Scenes

Macha's All-American Road Trip

When a decade spent in an office left Bernice Kelly beyond burnt-out, she took to the open road to clear her head. And when the Irish designer returned to Brooklyn six weeks later, she was so inspired that a jewelry line, Macha, felt like a natural next step. Here, a taste of what spoke to her on her tour of the bottom-half of the U.S. of A. —mattie kahn Route 66: “This is one of the oldest motels that still exists on Route 66. It’s in…I want to say, Texas or New Mexico. The road itself was quite famous in the fifties and sixties and very associated with beatniks—there isn’t very much left of it, but that was one of the original motels. I tracked it down and spent the night there.” San Antonio: “I’m a big fan of Western movies, and it seems they still make movies at this location. There were lots of old-style ranches and bars around here, and actors reenact the battle of the Alamo. That was really fun to see.” Santa Fe: “This photo is from the pueblos in Sante Fe. The day I was there the locals had this feast day, so everyone was dressed in traditional dress. There’s a huge artisan community there as well. It was so different than the beatnik thing or the Western-style ranches that I’d already seen. The diversity of the country just amazed me.” New Orleans: “The voodoo culture there was brought over by slaves years ago, and people still perform those rituals. You can pray for love or healing—that kind of thing. I suppose the culture really interested me, because, you know, it’s a little dark, but so beautiful.”  Las Vegas: “This photo was taken at a hotel in Las Vegas, which was a place that I visited and truly never expected to like. I prefer more authentic things, I suppose, but I was just amazed by the scale. Everywhere you turn there’s something different to entertain you. It’s just a huge contrast to where I come from.” Bernice is back with the prettiest hunk of silver we’ve ever seen!
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Bernice Kelly Shows Off Her Jewelry-Making Materials

“I like to go to the core of things,” says Bernice Kelly of her straightforward design ethos. “That level of deconstruction has always interested me.” This is evident in the unfussy pieces Kelly creates for Macha, where her locally sourced metals and gems really pop. Want to know more? Bernice is happy to break it all down. —mattie kahn Black Diamonds: “I was drawn to black diamonds because they sort of turn the idea of ‘the beautiful diamond’ on its head. They’re less sparkly. They’re a bit darker. They’re the inverse of what people expect. And I suppose it just comes back to my fascination with texture and origin. Black diamonds are closer in color to how the diamond looks in its natural form.” Silver and Brass: “I love the way the look together. The brass tarnishes a bit against the silver and gives it this really nice sort of aged, industrial feel.” Engraving: “We do all our engraving by hand, which is great because it means we can pretty much print anything—so the pieces are really personalized. Engravings remind me a lot of old British tradition, which is probably why I started doing them in the first place. I like adding that touch of history. There’s something really sweet about being able to give someone that.”  Bernice made a beautiful necklace for her latest edition and it could be yours now!
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