While on a walk this past Saturday, I came upon a small boutique/gallery called Modern Relics on Cabrillo Street near 8th Avenue.
Owner and designer Alix Blüh opened Modern Relics over a year ago. When I walked in, she popped her head over the loft balcony to say hello, while holding back her enthusiastic small dog, Jack, who was ready to investigate their latest visitor.
Blüh spent several months getting the store and upstairs workroom ready for opening. And it shows throughout the look and feel of the gallery which features old fashioned, intricate displays that mesh intriguing objects with lovely, handcrafted jewelry.
Blüh makes all the pieces herself with help from her assistant, Soojo “Suga” Rocereto, who also has her own pieces on display. Blüh’s jewelry is delicate with a touch of vintage, though she does not repurpose any old jewelry; everything is original.
Blüh’s influences from the natural world are evident through the gallery as well, which features walls covered in recycled fence timbers, small birds’ nests tucked into displays, and decorative objects of deer and birds.
“I have always been so moved by the stories found in nature, in time worn objects, in mourning jewelry and religious reliquaries…I want to create heirloom pieces that are not about fad and fashion but art and timelessness” Blüh said in a profile on a New York blog earlier this summer.
The profile mentions that Blüh was formally trained as a painter at the University of Massachusetts and at Oxford, where she developed her passion for collecting and dealing in antiques in London flea markets.
I recommend stopping by Modern Relics to find a gift, a unique piece for your own collection, or just to lose yourself for a little while in a space filled with objects that evoke an earlier time.
Modern Relics is located at 771 Cabrillo near 8th Avenue, and is open Thursday through Saturday from 12noon to 7pm.
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