Born from a wish to uphold, renew and share our heritage
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
The fascination for and love of handcrafts and ornamental patterns, as well as symbolism and storytelling, has been a lifelong passion of mine. My earliest memories include being dazzled and mystified by the intricate beauty of designs I saw in the craft work made by my grandmother; bobbin lace and crocheted tablecloths among other items. I also loved reading, listening to and writing stories, which I still do, as I enjoyed the wonderful places the stories took me to in my imagination. Arva Sweden is my way of combining all these components.
In 2002 I came upon the idea of making modern jewelry inspired by Swedish folk art and folk beliefs and I started researching and making sketches. However, it was not until late 2013 that I took the step to realize these visions, working together with skilled craftsmen. In the meantime I took a course in silver smithing and held courses in beading and design as well as pursuing a career in the world of IT and technology.
It is my wish to uphold and share a piece of our rich heritage, and perhaps inspire others to find out more about theirs. Knowing your history is an important part of knowing yourself.
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. For those who have a connection to Sweden, an anchor in the past can reinforce your sense of belonging. The same can be true for anyone, by adding your own symbolic value to it. I am a firm believer that all we need lie within us, but most of us need to be reminded of this from time to time, and what better way to do that than wearing the jewelry as a reminder and at the same time enhancing your personal beauty.
With many more stories to share and collections to come,
Pia S Ankner
Founder and creative director