Horn and tusk pendants really exploded this past season, appearing in many collections of all price ranges. Ring fans can finally jump on the trend with Shaune Leane's signature "band & tusk" rings. Sizes 4-15 available; £132 for silver, £204 for 9ct gold and £342 for 18ct gold. This 2004 winner of the UK Jewellery Awards has a wide array of interesting pieces. Navigate the site by going into the nine collections and selecting the "ring" category within each (another favourite is the "spur" collection).
Take a close look: that's no ordinary white plastic ring. That's a white plastic fork! Mended Veil, who's made bracelets out of pop can tabs and cigarette butts, continues to amuse with this awesome transformation of a ho-hum utensil. US$60 at Aloha Rag; also available in green.
Ontario's Scott Wilk, the man behind Wilk Designs, does some great things with circles! Which... kind of sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but really, go check out his work. The ring pictured here goes for $70 (Canadian dollars), but there are many other styles for just $35. Don't forget to browse his other jewellery as well, including the ones in his archive.
Well, it's happened: I've found the ultimate plastic ring. The ultimate jewellery series, really. I might as well stop blogging now.
Just think... who is the ultimate accessory-lover? That one person who, love her or hate her, is the iconic collector of all things tiny, colourful and plastic? The one who's always dolled up, to the point where she herself is plastic? Who? That's right...
Margaux Lange is the creator of the brilliant plastic body series, in which Barbie (and Ken) parts are disassembled and reassembled into awesome art that just happens to also be jewellery. The rings (pictured here) are made from wreaths of Barbie's tiny, perfect little shoes, but the necklaces, earrings, bracelets and brooches feature everything else anatomical: a patchwork of eyes, a framed mouth, a chain of derrières. Everything is truly a must-see. [Note: ok, the site is currently inaccessible due to bandwidth issues, but add it to your bookmarks and revisit sometime soon!]
Weirdest of all are the bracelets of Barbie hands (each of which, by the way, sports a fabulous miniature Carrotbox-style ring!). There's something oddly full-circle (no pun intended) about wearing a ring of wrists around your own wrist... especially if one of the attached hands has a ring that matches yours. Unfortunately, it'll cost you your own arm and leg to acquire that piece (approximately US$1,200).
Links of London offers this detailed grosgrain ring, textured to look like a ribbon belt (sterling silver, £95). It's almost sacrilegeous of me to say, but I think I prefer the design as a cuff (£350)!
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting the super-friendly Mandy of Sugar and Candy Designs when I inadvertently happened across her tent at the Funky Farmer's Market in Yaletown (Vancouver). Her bags look great online but are even better in person definitely check them out!
Reminiscent of those cube earrings from my last post is this fabulous creation by another Japanese jeweller, Yoko Shimizu. The sharp angles of those quadrilaterals give it a cool, architectural feel; 18k gold, 630 €. Equally great is her "coffee ring," made to look like a flower blooming from the ground coffee grounds, that is! (Hence the name.) It may be just the piece you need to wake you up in the morning. Silver, coffee and resin; 390 €.
Jiro Kamata, a 27-year old Japanese designer currently based in Germany, is someone I'll definitely be keeping an eye on. His pieces are fun but manage to look elegant rather than merely kitchy. This "Tesa" ring, for instance (available in many colours) is a beauty... made of tape and lipstick! I also dig the "cube" earrings notice how many wires he uses to make one earring :)
I was first drawn to M. Schon because of their unique collection of outsider jewellery, but they also carry a good variety of modernist sterling and bakelite. This ring, listed in their bakelite section, is a cool mix of lucite and cut-out aluminum; size 7½, US$95.
Speaking of objets du desir, go to ObjetsduDesir.com and you'll find a wonderful collection of elegant but edgy jewellery by a quartet hailing from Argentina/Sweden, Japan and Switzerland. These fun camo rings (US$125 each, available in eight colours) aren't really representative of their fabulous style, so be sure to visit and check them out. If you live in New York City, you can visit their NOLITA boutique at 241 Mulberry St. Some rings available in sizes 4½-12!
When I first stumbled upon the French Touche website (based in, as you might expect, Paris, France), I was giddy with excitement at all the wonderful little objets du désir. Weeks later, I still am! Select "bagues" from the category drop down list and you'll find their selection of adorable rings. Pictured here is the ceramic dangle "Yukosan" ("Miss Yuko") ring by Anna Elleouet, 18.00 €. And yes, they do ship internationally!
Among the fun rings in Susan Waldes' gallery is this sterling silver pair of snap rings as in snap buttons! Much cooler than those heart-shaped pendants that break in half for sharing, these rings would be fun to divvy up with your girlfriend, your best friend, your daughter... anyone who deserves to be your other half. In fact, judging by the size difference in the photo, I'd say these were meant to be his and hers engagement rings!
If you're a regular reader, you've probably noticed that I love jewellery with organic shapes like the bypass ring, one of three styles in the "conifer ring" series by metalsmith Sarah Graham. Check out the great juxtaposition of blackened steel and gold (white or yellow, your choice). She describes her work as "both bold and daring without sacrificing the elegance and sophistication that assure an ageless quality." Couldn't have said it better myself.
Awesomely-named Brazilian jeweller Mara Finger does some great metalsmithing, especially when it comes to what else rings. This "suspension ring" is one of her simpler styles, but the subtle details make it a knockout. I especially love how the quartz is smooth, not faceted like it usually is. Another deceptively simple piece is the "water ring," with its interesting stone-setting.
Are you looking forward to seeing Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka in the latest Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or do you refuse to let anybody take the place of Gene Wilder? Or maybe you don't care either way, as long as you get your hands on the Golden Ticket 14k plated over sterling silver, to be exact. At US$140, this limited edition ring goes for a bit more than the price of a chocolate bar.
At last, a solution to that drinking-age-old problem: where do you put your lipstick when you've checked your bag and you don't have any pockets?
The designers at Satya Jewelry call this the "woven silver ring." But to me, it screams one thing TETRIS! Now excuse me while I try to get the theme song out of my head. (Sterling silver, US$68.)
The Subtle Safety ring (RedStart Design, US$75) is another great example of functional jewellery. When collapsed onto itself, the ring is a good, stylish basic. But unfold and expand it over three fingers, and you have a veritable weapon on your hands literally. Hopefully you'd never have to use it, but it can help you feel safer when walking home at night.
If your mood is more defensive than offensive, this armour ring (US$27.99) is just the thing. Wear one on each finger next time you're chopping veggies! A less ornate version is also available here for US$22.99.
By now, most everyone has seen some variation on keyboard jewellery; a lot of indie designers like to string keys to make necklaces (most common), bracelets or earrings. German designer Uta Lischke has the same idea, but includes rings in her collection as well. Better yet, she uses not only those ubiquitous putty-hued computer keyboards, but pretty keys from old typewriters! When choosing between robin's egg blue and Microsoft beige, well, there's really no choosing necessary, is there? Of course, it doesn't hurt that tastaturschmuck sounds way cooler than "keyboard jewellery," either.
Most of the rings at ICE XS aren't my style, but this bold red piece definitely is! Rhodium brass ring with solitaire siam stone, £9.99.
I added four new rings to my collection page today, if you're interested. Actually, I've bought several new rings but can't seem to muster the effort to post more than a few at a time! I think the heat is making me lethargic (Vancouver isn't just about the rain!). I welcome the heat, though, because it means swelling fingers, which in turn means I can wear those rings that are usually too big for me :)
Here's the perfect ring to go with all the flowy skirts and eyelet tops that are flooding the store racks these days. An all-white ensemble and leather belt would complement it perfectly! Black leather and hand-hammered sterling square stirrup ring by Renee Garvey; US$120 at Sundance.
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