Blog > January 2007
I love it when jewellery holds little secrets (you gotta get your thrills where you can, you know). For instance, the stackable seedpod rings on the right (silver and 18k gold, £92 - £110) contain silver or gold seeds that move around inside the heads a sensory treat that's not revealed until you pick one up and wear it. At left are some petal rings (£120 - £160), which are silver rings "planted" with gold flowers. This collection of delicate botanical jewellery is by England's Laura Baxter.
Akiko Ban hails from Aichi prefecture (Japan's automotive and aerospace hub), lived abroad in Lebanon, Kuwait and Egypt, and studied at the Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School in Florence, Italy. You can see hints of these mixed experiences in her work, which she describes as "childhood's memories and future's dream."
Spend some time going through Mikala Mortensen's portfolio and it should come as no surprise that she's an architect who also worked as a concept designer for LEGO (like the toy company, she's Danish). It's all clean lines with a playful touch and tiny bursts of colour to keep things interesting.
Rubber band rings that aren't actually rubber and a spoon ring that isn't silver, both by Amsterdam's Gesine Hackenberg. If you love spoons, her portfolio is a must-see (if you're more of a spork person, I'm afraid you're out of luck).
Kazuko Nishibayashi is a Japanese designer who now makes her home in Düsseldorf, Germany. Her jewellery, however, retains its roots; she plies thin sheets of metal into light and airy forms, creating pieces that resemble Japanese paper arts. Two thumbs up for modern interpretations of ancient crafts!
Hibernate is the Finnish trio of artists Helena Lehtinen, Eija Mustonen and Tarja Tuupanen. Their body of work consists mostly of experimental brooches (well worth a look), but here's one body that's meant to be worn as a ring.
If there's no rest for the wicked, Enric Majoral must be evil incarnate. The Spanish jeweller is so prolific that I can't imagine he ever sleeps. Browse the many and varied collections in his online shop; one of my favourites is the Cascalls line, not pictured here. Above, clockwise from top left: gold ring with diamond, Princesa collection, €1163.70; silver and mohair, Batik collection, €94.82; oxidized silver and gold, Boletes collection, €168.10; oxidized silver and acrylic paint, personal collection, €263; four-colour gold ring, Manaus collection, €672.41; gold and lace, Posidònia collection, €600.81.
London's Polly Wales is another fine graduate of the Royal College of Art. She works with a wide range of materials, from resin to plaster to bread (she collaborated with fellow RCA student Lina Peterson on the bread ring that I mentioned last August). Here, she combines crystal with fine silver that's 99.9% pure as opposed to sterling's 92.5%, and it's why the metal looks almost white, providing a striking contrast to the black and red volcanic eruption of Swarovski prettiness. Be sure to check out the cool pieces in her "battenberg" series as well.
I love the rough-cut, translucent stones used by London-based Daphne Krinos. The designer (whose grandfather was the Greek poet and Nobel laureate Giorgos Seferis) believes that "a finished piece should show the processes used to make it" and chooses not to over-decorate or disguise the natural appearance of her materials. Yeah, it's pretty easy to wear the "au naturel" look when you're a gorgeous piece of jewellery who probably never gets bed-head.
Ok, ok those sleek kite-shapes on the left are rings for ears, not fingers. But the stacked branches on the right are, and they're all by Jacqui Kerr of Refine Jewellery Design, based here in Vancouver. Her rings aren't ideal representatives of the simple, modern styles in her collections ("leaves" is my favourite), so I had to cheat just a little.
Today's ring, by German designer Elke Munkert, led me to the US Bureau of Land Management website (bear with me), where the highly informative bottle morphology page taught me that the end of a bottleneck is called the "finish" and that this particular ring (the cobalt blue piece on the left) is a continuous external thread finish ring. And a lovely continuous external thread finish ring it is. Thanks, US Bureau of Land Management!
Whichever one of these two ladies you prefer to worship, you can do so in style. On the left: Mary of Guadalupe; on the right: Miss H. Kitty. Both images set under glass in sterling silver, US$95, by New Orlean's Olivia Gallander.
Shannon Carney is a Wisconsin native who maintains studios in both her home state and in Italy. While she crafts gorgeous fine jewellery in gold, it's her colourful, luminous resin pieces that are to die for. Wait a minute... Wisconsin and Italy? I think I just discovered the secret to great jewellery design: it's cheese.
And now for a bona fide Dutch artist: Amsterdam's Andrea Wagner. These pigmented bone china porcelain rings are but a tiny glimpse into her huge portfolio of experimental pieces (which extend beyond jewellery). Much of her work is weirdly anatomical; all of it is utterly fascinating.
With a name like DeKoeyer and pieces like these, I expected this to be the work of yet another Dutch artist. As it turns out, Jennifer DeKoeyer seems to be the product of an American upbringing, educated in Oregon and based in Los Angeles. Her rings are weird and organic, like bacterial cultures sprouting on sterling stems. In a good way.
Iceland is already high on my list of places I'd love to visit, but aurum just kicked it up a few notches. Located in Reykjavik, it's the showcase for jewellery designer Guðbjörg Kr. Ingvarsdóttir. Her designs have all the hallmarks of that Nordic style I love so much. And if you were wondering, that letter ð in her name (or capital Ð) is the "eth" originally used in Irish writing and now found only in Old English and Icelandic, it's pronounced like the "th" in "them." Yesterday, math. Today, linguistics. Tune in tomorrow for a lesson in microbiology! Just kidding. Or am I?
I absolutely love the colours in these wool crochet rings! Accented by pearl and quartz beads and attached to adjustable vermeil bands, they're down to US$35 each (originally US$75) at New York's kim&maki. By my calculator's calculations, that's 53% off.
I'm back from my longer-than-expected break. Let's see what goodies we can dig up in 2007! (2 and 7 are my favourite numbers, especially in combination, so... the number fairy should be arriving on her unicorn any day now.)
Kicking things off: I'm rarely inspired by cabochons but these beauties from German jeweller Goldschmiede Friemel could not be ignored. (At top left are some palladium and aquamarine non-cabochons for good measure.) Whether that something extra comes from the detailed settings or the lovely photography, I don't know. What I do know is that I have a New Year's resolution: cut back on hilariously pretentious statements like, "I'm rarely inspired by cabochons."
Happy New Year, ring-lovers! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Posts will likely resume on Monday thanks for waiting!