Pinup imagery continues to inspire

By Mary Shustack

Photography by Bob Rozycki

It might be on a mug, or perhaps even a coaster.

It could be the subject of a vintage-inspired calendar, the pattern of a sassy little coin purse or the focal point of a tattoo.

No matter the object – or person – they adorn, pinups and imagery from the genre’s glory days continue to fascinate and inspire.

There are clubs and bars that host themed evenings, vintage car shows and pinup photography and fashions and hairstyles that recreate the era.

It’s a trend that jewelry designers Emily Sajban and Ashley Harris of Torch Song Metals in Nyack both see and help keep alive.

As Sajban confirms, “It really is in vogue.”

And it’s also in the charming shop they opened in 2008. The women met while studying jewelry design at SUNY New Paltz. After individual work in the industry, they teamed up to open the business, where their workbenches are just beyond the display cases and new designs are most-always under way.

A segment of those designs have drawn inspiration from the classic pinup era and its iconic images. There are delicate swooping swallows and enameled roses, vibrant hearts, bold spades and diner-type roadside signs.

For those who choose to dress in a vintage manner, the accessories of Torch Song Metals – such as a pair of earrings with a design that echoes the flames of a hot rod – might help complete the look.

“Obviously, that’s not really authentic to that time period,” Sajban says, but rather inspired by the “greaser/hot rod culture.”

“I think that has been translated,” she adds.

Harris, for example, has been working on tattoo-inspired cameos of fused glass and copper. One in particular features a woman that evokes a retro feel, complete with large flower behind one ear.

It simply all fits into its surroundings, where a touch of the past is a big part of the present.

At Torch Song Metals, it’s not unusual to find Sajban herself sporting a bit of retro flair, ranging from a the jaunty tie on a neckline to T-strap shoes.

Sometimes, she shares with a smile, she even takes it up a notch: “When I’m getting dressed up.”

Torch Song Metals is at 167 Main St., Nyack. For more details, visit or call (845) 348-7081.


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