A mini zoo of whimsical and unique creatures is capturing the hearts of jewellery lovers.

Tucked down a quiet street near the historic Heronswood homestead east of Melbourne is a secret studio where antique cutlery is transformed into wearable art. It’s a place where the prongs of a fork become the legs of an octopus, an old metal tea tray the mane of a jungle lion and the rounded tops of tarnished teaspoons the tail of a fat sparrow.

The Alice of this wonderland is Megan Greenwood, a young silversmith whose love of the natural world comes from growing up with a menagerie of animals. “My family lived on a farm, so I was surrounded by  pets and wildlife,” Megan explains. “My parents always encouraged my creative side and these two loves came naturally together. Creatures of the Greenwood started in 2008 after a friend and I had been busy making spoon necklaces and rings for ourselves. I was admiring a beautiful big soup spoon, which I thought looked like a bird, and started thinking of all the other little creatures I could make from it.”

While Megan mostly looks to our furry friends for design ideas, inspiration also comes from an unusual source. “I’m very influenced by my dreams and trying to recreate them; I literally dream up some of my designs,” she says. “Sometimes they’re a little scary but mostly they are fun and adventurous, wild and kooky. That’s where my little creatures often come from. They’re dreams in a solid object, something I can share with people.”

The success of this self-taught silversmith has seen her collection featured at several shopfront stockists in  just over a year, in addition to online sales. To expand her range and knowledge, Megan has recently enrolled in an advanced diploma of engineering in jewellery at the nearby Box Hill Institute.

This story was originally published in Australian Country issue 15.5. Subscribe to our magazine here.

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Words Emma Sutcliffe
Photography André Elhay
Styling Fiona Newman