With focus set on handcrafted quality, beauty and symbolism, Arva Sweden offers modern silver and gold vermeil jewelry. Ethical and aesthetic considerations are combined with a story, brimming with intrinsic symbolic values.
What’s in a name?
The word ‘arva’ is an old form of the Swedish word ‘arv’ – meaning heritage – most commonly used in the expression ‘arvasilver’; an heirloom of silver. Inherited items, especially those made of precious metals, were considered to possess magical powers, or even hold a piece of the ancestor’s spirit. The inspiration for the design also is derived from our heritage. The ambition is that the high, handcrafted quality and the design of Arva items, in combination with the bearer’s story, such as the particular occasion on which it was given, make them worthy of passing them on to future generations.
Our sources of inspiration
The main sources of inspiration for the designs are Swedish folk art, folk beliefs and traditions.
Folkart – Patterns make life more beautiful
The urge to decorate our surroundings and make everyday objects beautiful by carving and painting, usually with geometric patterns or motifs from nature, is something we share with most cultures. Many of the most beautiful items were the ones given as love tokens or wedding gifts. The whole process of wooing often comprised handmade, useful gifts, like intricately carved flax distaffs (a detachable part of the spinning-wheel), clap-boards for washing or cheese moulds. Many of the patterns are inspired by objects made in the 19th century, but some objects date back to the 15th century.
The first collection, Love carvings, is inspired by patterns found on wooden love tokens.
The great thing about symbols and patterns is that they are open to universal interpretation, no matter what culture they originate from. A thing of beauty truly has the ability to open hearts. Magic happens in the personal understanding, in deciding what it means to you.”
Pia S Ankner, founder
How it all started – stories, patterns and roots
Handcraft and ornamental patterns, as well as symbolism and storytelling, have always fascinated me. As a child I was especially intrigued by my grandmother’s craft work; bobbin lace and crocheted tablecloths among other items. I also loved reading and enjoyed the wonderful places that folk tales took me to.
The idea to create modern, high quality jewelry inspired by Swedish folk art and traditions came to me in 2002. As a new mother, heritage, both personal and shared, became more important and I started researching and making sketches. However, it was not until late 2013 that I took the step to realize the vision, working together with skilled craftsmen. In the meantime I held courses in beading and design and took a course in silver smithing as well as pursuing a career in the IT and technology.
It is my wish to share a piece of our rich heritage, and perhaps inspire others to find out more about theirs. Knowing your history and heritage is an important part of knowing yourself. It gives you an anchor and can reinforce your sense of belonging.
The great thing about symbols and patterns is that they are open to universal interpretation, no matter what culture they originate from. A thing of beauty truly has the ability to open hearts och can remind you of a person, a time or perhaps a promise. Magic happens in the personal understanding, in adding your own symbolic value to it. What does the piece of jewelry or pattern mean to you?
With many more stories to share,
Pia S Ankner
Founder and creative director