Monday, January 31, 2011
Frankly, classic jewelry styles can sometimes be rather uninspired in terms of design quality; so I enjoy seeing when designers like Dora Tam (China) and Diana Porter (England) play with this aesthetic by implementing visually interesting surface details such as engraving or experimenting with abstract forms.
O’Sullivan incorporates brilliant emerald green, sea blue and turquoise enamel to offset her gently spirited sterling silver jewelry.
The beautiful scenery of her home in West Cork, Ireland serves as her muse; the dance of the sunlight against the ocean, and lush rolling hills inform her color selections and patterns.
Her award-winning enamel jewelry highlights soft, child-like drawings of faces, angels, boats, and fish as the focal point of pendant necklaces.
Hearts, dragonflies, and flowers of enamel and sterling silver align with circle links to form girly charm bracelets; gorgeous gemstone beads are linked to suspend silver pendants; and her cufflinks for men—in square, half bead, and rounded shapes—feature enamel pops of color that is a nice alternative to the standard fare.
“I am largely self-taught and for the last 10 years I have been steadily building a reputation as designer and maker of silver and enamel jewelry,” she says. “I form the silver by hand and apply the enamel layer by layer.”
There is an easy informality about her jewelry designs; classic yes but playful, fresh and modern.
Photo 1 (top right): Green Square Pendant Necklace with Green Beads
Photo 2 (center): Sterling Silver and Enamel Flower Earrings
Photo 3 (bottom left): Sterling Silver and Enamel Cross Pendant Necklace
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Producing jewelry, whether strung beads or sculpting gold, is a laborious process that requires hours of preparation. However, some designers like Karen Konzuk (Canada) and Roland Baldauf (Austria) enjoy the extra challenge of working with a notoriously uncompromising material, stainless steel.
Of Laguna Pueblo and Chirachaua Apache ancestry, like his contemporaries Pruitt’s edgy, unconventional designer jewelry of stainless steel is the result of marrying two unrelated skills: silversmithing and machining.
The award-winning designer started his company, Custom Steel, in 1991 after apprenticeships with jewelers Greg Lewis and Charlie Bird; and master machinist Geroge Sabolski. Though he initially created body jewelry for piercings fashioned from surgical steel, Pruitt was eager to merge his machinist knowledge with traditional jewelry making.
“Working with Greg and Charlie gave me a firm foundation in jewelry fabrication,” says Pruitt. “I landed a position in a prototype machine shop and apprenticed with Geroge. We built these one-off components for various mechanical devices and that was a really eye-opening experience for me.
Stainless steel is a very unforgiving material and does not do what you want half of the time, and my work is about creating aesthetically pleasing objects of adornment with non-traditional materials and techniques that pushes the envelope on what is considered 'Native American'.”
Though Pruitt creates jewelry pieces such as bridal wedding bands and earrings, his collection of stainless steel bracelets and rings are largely geared towards men as he has seen “very little to nothing for men that is really cool.” I am partial to his Spikey Cuff Bracelet; it reminds me of Batman.
While many of his cuff bracelets (his favorite item to make) highlight his skill at inlaying patterns of 14- and 24-karat gold, fine silver, and copper as a contrast to the ultra-sleek stainless steel, he also creates mechanistic, intimidating pieces like his foreboding Gear Head Cuff Bracelet that features three rows of spiky, metal outlines.
Other bracelets sport interesting surface ridges like zigzags and tire treads or accents of black stingray leather. Pruitt’s modern jewelry is a blend of grit and sophistication, clean form and bold patterns that ultimately possesses a clear-cut yet tough beauty.
“My designs reflect an influence of a modern and traditional lifestyle. However, my goal is to step out of traditional fabrication techniques and materials while remaining true to my sense of style and pulling artistic elements from native and non-native cultures. Finally, I want to have fun with it.”
Photo 1 (top right): Stainless Steel Stingray Leather Earrings Photo 2 (center): Stainless Steel Ring with Lapis
Photo 3 (bottom left): Stainless Steel Spikey Bracelet
Friday, January 28, 2011
Considering that savvy jewelry buyers are choosing custom jewelry designs as a way to build unique personal collections, it is not surprising to learn that contemporary jewelry continues to find an audience for those who thirst for something out of the ordinary.
Though some contemporary designer jewelry I have seen, like several items from Evelien Sipkes’ (the Netherlands) collection, could easily accessorize a formal gown this vivid jewelry style is less about accentuating the 'pretty' and more about challenging the status quo.
Forty-four year old Tolvanen, who currently lives in the Netherlands, has completely forsaken the understated aesthetic of her Scandinavian heritage embracing the fierce individualism of her Dutch colleagues producing oddly beautiful designs that possess a lighthearted irreverence.
The graduate of Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Sandberg Institute enlists an array of materials, both traditional and non-traditional, to create necklaces, cuff bracelets, and brooch pins.
Various combinations of paint, wood, foam rubber, oysters, smoky quartz, gold, silver, amethyst and steel lend their intriguing properties to Tolvanen’s provocative and complex jewelry.
“Nature is an unpredictable power of life that is a great source of inspiration,” she says. “I visualize the relationship between man and nature in my work. I am particularly fascinated by human interference in nature and how nature 'fights back' as it keeps growing and evolving.”
I do admire the fearless sensibility of this jewelry style. Tolvanen takes seemingly improbable ideas gathers equally improbable materials that do not easily render jewelry to bring her ideas to life.
It is lucid imagination gone wild resulting in pieces like her striking yet peculiar wood and pink tourmaline Anthriscus 2 Brooch; the smoky rust hues of her amber jewelry; and her Nailpolish Rings wherein the actual bottom portion of nail polish bottles are used as a distinctive ring setting. Now there is a novel idea.
This is what I have come to appreciate about contemporary pieces; the constant element of surprise and broad reimaginings.
Photo 1 (top right): Agate, Wood, Paint and Silver Rolexia Necklace
Photo 2 (center): Cones Turquoise Earrings with Silver, Reconstituted Turquoise and Paint
Photo 3 (bottom left): Pierres Bracelet with Silver, Textile and Agate
Thursday, January 27, 2011
We will next visit the scenic Lake District of Argentina consisting of twenty lakes; the largest being Nahuel Huapi. This time of year is great for fishing, kayaking, and hiking.
Though Mexico is home to featured husband-wife design team Debora Gurman and Marco Romero, Gurman is originally from Argentina.
Based on my research, fulgurite and obsidian are two forms of naturally occurring dichroic glass; fulgurite is created when lightning strikes sand, and obsidian is fused rock and sand produced from volcanic eruptions.
Although, dichroic glass was used in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Germany to create bowls, jars and jewelry it is unclear the exact period artisans began to manually process dichroic art glass.
Gurman and Romero were both drawn to this challenging art form of depositing metallic oxides on glass. In fact, it was their mutual passion for art that brought them together. “Debora has a degree in art, and I studied veterinary medicine,” says Romero.
“Debora and I met while doing research on glass and we both had the same restlessness about it so we joined forces eventually dominating the technique of dichroic art glass.”
I love the look of colored glass or stained glass. When I was a kid I loved looking at the glass marbles that one of my brothers collected. I marveled at the colors from clear to opaque to marbles with thin swirls of colored glass inside. Gurman and Romero’s designer jewelry striking yet subtle forms of colors evoked those days from my youth.
The varying shades of colors in mosaic or block patterns are like beautiful abstract pieces of art offset by sterling silver outlines that are cultivated into a heart pendant necklace, circle necklaces and cross necklaces. It is a deceptively complex marriage of classic proportions and explosive color.
“Dichroic glass is somewhat of a misnomer since the dielectric coating that produces all the interesting colors is not glass but very thin layers of metal oxides on the surface of glass that reflects light,” says Romero.
“They are unique pieces of jewelry that are the result of considerable glass technique research. It is a play of light and color that reflects my and Debora’s love of the art and of each other.”
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver and Art Glass Rose Garden Pendant Necklace
Photo 2 (center): Sterling Silver and Art Glass Living Planet Cocktail Ring
Photo 3 (bottom left): Sterling Silver and Art Glass Cherry Crush Pendant Necklace
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Krini’s designer jewelry is another great example of differentiated simplicity. Her unique, fresh design approach is an expansion on the traditional concept of classic jewelry design.
Streamlined, minimalist outlines are at the core of her beautifully feminine aesthetic yet each piece pops with distinctive form, color and surface texture.
A sculptor and painter, Krini found jewelry making a natural extension of her art background. “I feel very much at home making jewelry,” she says. “I see jewelry as works of art, not just decoration.
My jewelry is an expression of my sensitivity and my understanding of a woman’s psyche. The lines of my jewelry are in harmony with the female body.”
Working with an array of materials including 22-karat gold chips, Picasso jasper, onyx, sterling silver and Crystallized Swarovski Elements Krini cultivates original renderings of cuff bracelets, crystal earrings, and charm bracelets.
There is another silver ring wherein the stone setting resembles a glistening pinwheel and these thin strands of black wire with tiny crystal beads extend from the setting.
There is also a great pair of 18-karat gold vermeil, partial hoop earrings that have subtle surface marks and in a side view photo the earrings feature a curvature that is not visible when looking at a photograph with a straight on view.
Krini is truly a breath of fresh air foregoing a conventional approach to jewelry trends by mixing materials and reimagining floral motifs that really engaged my attention.
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold Plated Sterling Silver and Platinum Cuff Bracelet
Photo 2 (center): Oxidized Sterling Silver Ring with Swarovski Crystals
Photo 3 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Earrings with Swarovski Crystals and Freshwater Pearls
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
People often say that 'jewelry is emotional', and I believe this is true as emotions are often stirred by what one sees.
Andersson and Lasson were brought together in 2003 when they both attended Stockholm’s Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design and were busy developing a collection of furniture (with jewelry accents of course) for their graduation project. It was their jewelry that garnered a flurry of attention producing collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld, Absolut Spirits, and Colette in Paris.
Within their seemingly button-downed aesthetic is an element of spontaneity like the stacked numbers motif of their Numbers Collection; the off-center points of connection of their Drift Collection; and the macabre, hoodoo suggestions of their Chicken Feet Collection that is actually inspired by “a beautiful girl I saw on a Shanghai subway munching on deep fried chicken feet,” says Andersson.
Based on what I have viewed on their website, with the exception of Tahitian black pearls, no gemstones are implemented in their cuff bracelets, lariat necklaces and gold rings. The duo instead plays with the texture and shape of the metals from which origami-like layers or chiseled facets emerge.
“In the late 90s, I was a goldsmith’s apprentice and I have used everything I learned from that time,” says Andersson. “Martin and I like primitive pieces with bone and wood.
We are influenced by Egyptian and Scandinavian aesthetics, contemporary electronic music, and old books. We try to mix these elements into jewelry pieces that are clean, graphic and feminine with a masculine edge. We hope our designs make women feel strong and confident.”
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold Plated Brass Facet Cuff Bracelet
Photo 2 (center): 18-Karat Gold Plated Sterling Silver Black Pearl Chicken Feet Brooch
Photo 3 (bottom left): 18-Karat Gold Plated Sterling Silver Drop Earrings
Monday, January 24, 2011
Like Thailand, Mexico, and Indonesia, Peru is another location renowned for exceptional silversmith artisans; however, many Peruvian silversmiths have the added distinction of working with higher quality .950 silver.
Álvarez’ visually stunning and technically intricate, ethereal work of silver pendants, and cuff bracelets reflects her deftness at metalwork as well as her love, and passion for jewelry making.
Since 1996, she has actively pursued training “to better my skills” ultimately cultivating creations inspired by flora, lace and labyrinths.
The complexity of the looping wire work that caresses sleek, silver beads, pearls or garnets; exquisite arabesque details; delicate spirals that become floral patterns or the transient pattern of a link necklace are striking. Her designer jewelry is a sheer expression of lucid creativity that is elegant and modern.
“The art of jewelry was born in me while I was a child. I have always thought that working in jewelry crafting is not work at all—it is fun. I found my greatest passion in jewelry.”
With her own workshop, for the last twenty years, Álvarez takes time to teach others the craft she loves through missionary work. “I offer workshops for people in the community who want to learn something that will help them get ahead. I have assisted people with selling their products; this made them feel really good,” she says.
“After so many years of creating designs, I still feel that each piece fills me with satisfaction and the joy of knowing that someone else likes what I do.”
Photo 1 (top right): .950 Silver Spiral Melody Bracelet
Photo 2 (bottom left): .950 Silver Rose of the Wind Necklace
Saturday, January 8, 2011
While the phrase 'California casual' is often used to describe the region’s easy going fashion style, since starting this blog I have learned that designer jewelry from this region is surprisingly eclectic.
There is the bold, adventurous spirit of Melinda Maria Jewelry; the funky, vintage reimaginings of Liz Law; and the alternately vibrant and edgy collections of Tarina Tarantino.
Design team Frances Gadbois and Jude Steele add their subtle yet dramatic aesthetic onto California’s variegated style palette.
The pair bring both classicism and powerful iconography of Old World Europe to their stunning fine jewelry of 18-karat yellow and white gold, black onyx, topaz briolette, turquoise, and clear white diamonds.
Texas-born Steele and England native Gadbois met in 2002 during a charity dinner and both knew their destinies were intertwined when they learned of one another’s passion for baubles.
Armed with only $9,000 and their steadfast motto to “just go for it,” the duo started their company determined to succeed in the competitive jewelry market.
Gadbois’ background in vintage jewelry and interior design lends itself to the jewelry’s timeless outlines and she painstakingly oversees “design and manufacturing” choosing only conflict free diamonds for use in exquisite cuff bracelets, diamond earrings, or a diamond pendant necklace.
Steele’s management and marketing expertise helped the JudeFrances label to acquire the multi-talented and winsome Kristin Chenoweth as the brand’s spokeswoman. “Kristin had already become a fan our jewelry. She bought our Guinevere Cross Necklace one day she was out shopping,” says Steele.
“Frances and I decided we wanted someone to be the 'face' of the company and we were trying to find the right woman to represent JudeFrances. We immediately agreed that Kristin was perfect because she is beautiful, approachable, and like our jewelry she is every day chic.”
The noble Fleur de Lis emblem, the Alhambra, and the protective Maltese Cross are recurring motifs within their jewelry collections. While the renderings are commanding and regal they remain feminine and elegant.
“Our jewelry has a vintage feel with a modern flair,” says Gadbois. “Our designs are inspired by architecture and travel helping to create a style that is classic and romantic.
The jewelry is timeless and meant to be worn every day whether with a pair of jeans or a fabulous designer gown.”
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Yellow Gold Marquis Ring with White Topaz and Pavé Diamond Ring
Photo 2 (center): 18-Karat White Gold and Diamond Cross Cuff Bracelet
Photo 3 (bottom left): 18-Karat White and Yellow Gold Circle Clover Diamond Pendant
Friday, January 7, 2011
Floral iconography has been central to many jewelry designs for centuries and Mason is also given to this timeless motif.
However, her design approach is geared towards not only the beauty of flora but how the existences of many originate through grafting and fusion.
These concepts are integral themes to her collections as these hybrid creations in some way reflect the human experience.
The Australia-based jewelry artist coaxes her contemporary jewelry designs to life with the use of sterling silver, nylon, rubber, and powder coating; however, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a primary component.
“Floral motifs are a rich source for reinterpretation and investigation,” says the graduate of New Zealand’s Otago Polytechnic School of Art. “I use plants as metaphors to represent ideas of belonging, notions of place and the life cycle.”
The subtle, gentle outlines of her jewelry pieces are not what I have come to expect from contemporary jewelry. The visual impact is soft, pretty yet belies a delicate complexity where simple plastic becomes the focal point of sterling silver rings, and pendant necklaces.
One of her ring designs, inspired by the long, thin outstretched leaves of the Xanthorrhoea plant, highlights green PVC where the gemstone setting would be. She incorporates PVC into other ring designs where the stone setting features the material in a tight spiral and small accents of thread cause the “whorl” pattern to resemble a tiny, single tier cake.
Her interpretations are a truly thoughtful reimagining of a time-honored motif that also remains true to the rebellious spirit of contemporary design. “I have an affinity for plastic and use it for its inherent playful colorfulness, lucidity, and formal versatility.
For me, plastic is an accurate documentation of our age, perhaps a replacement for the precious gems of more traditional eras. I choose to combine precious and non-precious materials to test the limit of novel aesthetic concepts.
Ultimately, I aim to make my work wearable, visually strong and that provokes in the wearer and viewer a need for response.”
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Whorl Ring with PVC and Polyester Thread
Photo 2 (center): Pink Radiant Broochwith Hand Dyed PVC, Sterlin gSilver, Nylon, Rubber and Copper Wire
Photo 3 (bottom left): Red Rose Earrings
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Where creative outlets are concerned, like feature films and music, at times it seems originality is sorely missing.
It seems that once someone comes up with a successful, creative formula then everyone wants to copy it. It is frustrating to see creativity stifled in this way where very few creative risks are taken.
I have viewed 13 years’ worth of van der Leest’s work through her online gallery and while the theme of nature, particularly animals, is recurring throughout her contemporary jewelry collections she manages to always imbue something fresh, imaginative and fun into each of them.
An alumna of the Netherlands’ Technical School for Gold and Silversmithing in Schoonhoven, and Gerrit Rietveld Academie, the Norway-based jewelry artist harbored a restless type of creativity that sought out unique expression.
Salvador Dali’s eerie artistic vision inspired van der Leest’s sensibilities, and her lucid imagination nearly caused her to drop her studies at Schoonhoven’s goldsmithing school as “colorless" metals did not appeal to her.
“After I graduated from the technical school, I didn’t want to become a traditional metalsmith. I thought about becoming a mechanic or carpenter,” she says.
“When I apprenticed with Sylvia Blickman, who is a traditional metalsmith, I applied for Gerrit Rietveld and Sylvia suggested that I give the jewelry department a try. So I did it and discovered that I really liked to work in three-dimensions and to play with materials.”
The emerging talent also called upon her skills at crocheting and knitting, which she learned during her youth, as her distinctive aesthetic began to formulate. While she attended Gerrit Rietveld a suggestion given to her by a guest teacher would become the foundation from which van der Leest would build her one-of-a-kind designer jewelry.
“The guest teacher was Marcel Wanders and he was an industrial designer. He told me that if I have an idea to just do it, and not think about it too much,” says van der Leest. From that moment she began to slowly blend her metal and textile experience with the additional, quirky element of plastic toy animals. The combination would become the jewelry artist’s signature.
The local zoo of her childhood home in Emmen paired with the humanization of animals in children’s stories serves as the central influence behind adorable animal jewelry consisting of varying elements of gold, sterling silver, crystal beads, epoxy resin, glass, and yarn.
Each animal toy becomes an unforgettable character adorned in crochet capes, miniature cowboy and top hats with monikers like Maki Kaki, Brian the Lion, Sven Svanson and Billy Bang. It is an amazing visual language full of charm and easy humor.
Her blithe contemporary jewelry is currently exhibited at The West Norway Museum of Decorative Arts in Bergen, Norway. The exhibition called Jewellery Circus is the first collection of contemporary jewelry presented alongside the museum’s silver jewelry collection.
“I often start working on the textile part of a piece as I sift through ideas about the plastic animal toys I have in my studio. I imagine how to make them into a new piece. Sometimes I completely change the original idea. I like to work with toy animals because the inspiration is endless.” ____________
Photo 1 (top right): Bracelet on Fire
Photo 2 (center): Textile, Plastic, Gold and Glass Sven Svanson the First Necklace
Photo 3 (bottom left): Plastic, Textile and Gold Prima Ballerina Hippo Lolita Ring with Cubic Zirconia
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Like her colleagues Ruth Baird (New Zealand), Sugawara Haruko (Japan), and fellow Brazilian Claudia Lobão, Freitas enlists the painstaking art from of crochet to cultivate exquisite pieces of jewelry fashioned from copper, fine silver and 14-karat gold filled wires.
The California-based Freitas is the progeny of jewelry importers and after devoting her energy and time to a career in child welfare services she chose to make her mark within the industry that ultimately shaped her early life.
Her company, Miriam Jewels, emerged onto the California fashion scene holding within it a study of classic form born from technical complexity.
“We are a unique jewelry studio specializing in hand made crochet jewelry,” says Freitas. “We combine the ancient arts of crocheting, wire wrapping, knotting and knitting with metal wire. Our aesthetic blends the vivaciousness of Brazil with a laid-back California style.”
I enjoy the visual of seeming simplicity offset by the intricacy of the delicate weave patterns. The fashion jewelry collection is a striking combination of clean outlines paired with haute sensibilities that is highlighted in circle necklaces and heart jewelry accented with a lovely array of glass beads, Swarovski Crystallized Elements, seed beads, as well as carnelian, blue topaz, strawberry quartz, and tiger’s eye.
The ethereally feminine interlocking loops of metal wire are reminiscent of chain maille. Freitas’ designer jewelry is unquestionably another fine example that timeless and classic does not have to be bound entirely to convention.
“The highlight of our crochet jewelry collections is the Peruvian Crochet technique for which I traveled to Lima to learn from the experts in the art. This is a flawless crochet technique that creates perfectly symmetrical stitches,” says Freitas. “Our jewelry is bold and lavish yet elegant so that it truly reflects the highly sophisticated taste and sensitivity of every woman.”
With the welfare of children still very near to her heart, Freitas donates a percentage of her company’s profits to the non-profit organization Children in Need Foundation.
Photo 1 (top right): 14-Karat Gold-Filled Crochet Snake Necklace with Amethyst Beads
Photo 2 (center): 14-Karat Gold Filled Crochet Topaz Ring
Photo 3 (bottom left): 14-Karat Gold Filled Crochet Princess Cuff Bracelet with Seed Beads
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I find it so intriguing that the sight of jewelry—inanimate and devoid of emotion—can induce a spontaneous, emotional reaction within an observer.
After a laborious creation process in which a designer puts his or her distinctive, individual style on their collections the ultimate joy for them is witnessing a prospective wearer’s response to their jewelry pieces.
While Crow’s designer jewelry of sterling silver, copper, and 22-karat gold leaf may not be glamorous or glitzy the jewelry’s beautifully sleek outlines capture heartwarming and poignant vignettes much like a photograph.
The images forever frozen in precious metal are alternately elemental in their wonderful storybook-like renderings yet incredibly evocative in its nature-themed symbolism. The collections are a very rich, original visual language that to me is like a broader, modern take on 18th century cameo jewelry.
The graduate of Camberwell College of Arts and the University of Brighton is a keen observer of life; human, fauna and flora each play a role in her vivid interpretations.
The emotionality of rolling waves, the fearlessness of wolves, or the resourcefulness of crows are carved into striking, three dimensional details providing a lovely mix of metal tones, shapes and textures in brooches, cuff links, earrings, and pendant necklaces.
Crows’ Eternity Breathes Collection is particularly dramatic in its presentations. The Golden Firebird Brooch from this collection depicts what appears to be a woman standing on a hill her arms longingly outstretched as a majestic bird flies away from her.
“My work has always had a strong illustrative leaning,” says Crow. “Stories or poems are captured in sterling silver and transformed into miniature scenes telling out across the surface of a brooch or hanging as a pendant.
Trees in copper and silver are identified by shape, leaf, and bark. Woodland creatures like foxes stalk pheasants and the occasional person wanders through. Questions about where we—people—fit in the world; what journeys we are on; who we are connected to is among the themes in my jewelry.
I work with sheet metal of sterling silver and copper with small amounts of gold for detailing. The metal is pierced out, and I apply textures and patterns with a rolling mill and templates. These components are then layered and soldered.
My jewelry resonates with memories of watching different aspects of the world around me, and I try to express concepts and ideas around connectedness, and relationships. My hope is that people recognize part of their own story hidden within my jewelry.”
Photo 1 (top right): 22-Karat Gold Leaf and Sterling Silver Golden Firebird Brooch
Photo 2 (center): 22-Karat Gold Leaf and Sterling Silver Reaching for the Rushing Wind Pendant Necklace
Photo 3 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Woman in Stripy Trousers Brooch
In my opinion, a woman will strongly react to a piece of jewelry whether she sees a co-worker wearing it, a woman in a dance club, or even a close friend. A woman will no doubt ask whomever where she purchased the trinkets.
While I agree celebrities greatly heighten the exposure of designer jewelry to a wider audience, in my mind that will never lessen the impact of the design itself no matter who is wearing it.
After all, a celebrity or celebrity stylist is affected by the jewelry when he or she sees it so it always goes back to a great design made by a talented jewelry designer/jewelry maker.
With the Golden Globes telecast approaching in a few weeks, and the Academy Awards broadcast next month for this Splendor Sidebar I thought I would touch on the explosive popularity of celebrity inspired jewelry.
With a combined total of 151 years, the Golden Globes and Academy Awards telecasts have captivated viewers from around the world who are eager to see their favorite stars glide along the red carpet in their glamorous designer clothing and designer jewelry.
However, the public’s fascination with the stylish jewelry trends worn by Angelina Jolie, Vanessa Hudgens, Jennifer Aniston, Leighton Meester, or Rihanna does not end at the red carpet. Many adore the alternately elegant, playful, or edgy jewelry styles celebrities wear in photo shoots, feature films, television shows, or when attending a premiere.
For those who love celebrity style, and may not have a celebrity’s income, be sure to browse through the list of a few designers at Etsy.com who offer great, affordable celebrity inspired jewelry.
Based in Ventura County, California TAKCreations has lovely offerings of antique gold, and sterling silver trinkets inspired by jewelry worn by Kate Hudson, Halle Berry, and Sarah Jessica Parker to name a few. The store also offers very pretty classic jewelry pieces, as well as floral hair combs, and greeting cards.
Atlanta-based House of Dedijer offers a beautiful Sterling Silver Heart Locket inspired by a design worn by singer Taylor Swift. The rest of the store’s collection features timeless yet unique items such as a Tic Tac Toe Necklace, earrings made with gorgeous lampwork beads, and a stunning Crescent Necklace made with brass and turquoise.
Australia-based Joanna of JCGemsJewelry does a fabulous take on the emerald earrings Angelina Jolie wore at the 2009 Academy Awards. Joanna’s version is made with emerald green onyx dangling from gold vermeil ear wire. Gorgeous! The rest of her collections are equally stunning.
The designer for Artibility is a former U.S. Marine based in Algonquin, Illinois. She designed a beautiful gold-plated Circle Necklace inspired by one worn by Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie at the 2008 Grammy Awards. The store also offers great hand stamped jewelry, and items inspired by the Twilight Saga. Be sure to check out the official website.
Canada-based husband and wife team, who work full-time as lawyers, design jewelry for their shop buysomelove. They have a gorgeous Sterling Silver Key Pendant inspired by a design worn by actor Leighton Meester. They have a great selection of charms, hand stamped jewelry, carved rose cabochons, and color-themed pieces.
The designer for lisadjewelry, located in Pacific Palisades, California, offers an 18-karat gold vermeil version of an Anchor Pendant Necklace inspired by one adorning Paris Hilton. The store also offers very delicate and feminine renderings such as her Clear Crystal Quartz and Gold Marquis Necklace as well as an array of lovely briolette pendant necklaces and earrings.
The designer for Gosia Meyer Jewelry, Gosia Meyer, is originally from Poland and currently lives in Ludlow, Vermont. Meyer offers a gorgeous 14-karat gold-filled Gold Cherries Necklace inspired by a design worn by Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel. Unique, delicate and ethereal metalwork combined with accents of translucent gemstones is Meyer’s signature style. Be sure to check out her official website.
Actor Courteney Cox’ jewelry style served as inspiration to Canadian Dawn Walton’s Etsy shop, studiobluejewellery. Walton offers a great take on a multi-strand necklace design worn by Cox. Walton’s version is cultivated from long, sterling silver chains accented with glass and silver beads. Walton’s aesthetic is highlighted by breezy geometric shapes, lucid colored glass beads, and her distinctive designer watches. Be sure to view Walton’s official website.
Nancy Jackson, the designer behind Luluka Jewelry & Accessories, is based in Pacific Palisades, California and she offers a 14-karat gold-filled interpretation of a Tiny Sideways Cross Necklace worn by such celebrities as Vanessa Hudgens, and Jessica Biel. If you love great, every day jewelry pieces, be sure to view the rest of her classic, elegant collections.
Last but definitely not least is Maryland-based Sparkle True Jewelry Design. The store’s designer, who has an MBA in Information Systems Management, loves modern, simple jewelry and offers a 24-karat gold vermeil Hamsa Hand Pendant inspired by Lauren Conrad’s favorite necklace. Be sure to view the rest of her collection of delicate, graceful renderings including a dead-on 14-karat gold vermeil version of the gold leaf necklace worn by Jennifer Aniston in the film The Breakup.
Photos (from top right to bottom left): TAKCreations’ Copper, Gold and Silver Four Leaf Clover Charm Necklaces inspired by Heidi Klum; JCGemsJewelry’s 18-Karat Gold Vermeil and Emerald Green Onyx Earrings inspired by Angelina Jolie; Artibility’s Fergie-inspired Gold-Plated Circle Necklace; lisadjewelry’s 18-Karat Gold Vermeil Anchor Pendant Necklace inspired by Paris Hilton; Sparkle True Jewelry Design’s 14-Karat Gold Filled Sideways Cross Necklace inspired by Vanessa Hudgens; and buysomelove's Sterling Silver Key Pendant inspired by design worn by Leighton Meester
Monday, January 3, 2011
The visual impact of jewelry is often like pulling back window curtains and letting the sun’s rays spill in.
The stunning, high-end designer jewelry of d’Avossa literally accosts the senses with vivid hues, organic forms, and surface textures by way of undulating 18-karat gold, pave’ sets, and chunky or faceted rubies, quartz, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds.
Interestingly d’Avossa’s magnificent array of bijouterie was born from personal heartache; her marriage had ended. However, she chose to channel her love of jewelry as a way to transform her pain into “an expression of pure joy and creativity.”
“I draw inspiration from the bright colors of the Mediterranean. I build my jewelry on my passion for rare gems,” says d’Avossa.
“Gemstones look magical because of their infinite tones, and colors; and different cuts enhance their beauty. My creative process can sometimes sprout from a gem that becomes the heart of a jewelry piece.”
The designer’s Stars Powder and Sea Colors collections highlight pearl bracelets, gold necklaces, and gold rings that are a bit baroque and subversive yet feminine in its proportions. Every piece from the online gallery is a complete standout.
The necklaces feature multi-strands of gemstone beads with accents of gold beads or pearls. There is a fabulous necklace of multiple, slender gold chains that is like a bulk of shorn, golden tresses.
The single, luminous gemstones that compose her gemstone pendants are large and fluid in color often offset with outlines of pavé sets reminiscent of the Etruscan style jewelry of ancient days. There are also great dangling gemstone earrings that are like little bulbs of gold and gemstones.
The rings are so chock full of rich surface minutiae they seem like living organisms. It is a dramatic, extravagant style that some may find a little garish but I think it is just gorgeous.
The jewelry’s vivid complexity seems to reflect a zest for life as though every detail of every moment must be captured and preserved. “I work with my daughter Cristiana who shares my passion and enthusiasm,” says d’Avossa. “We both are on a quest for an ideal beauty. Our jewelry is designed for a woman who looks for something unique.
A piece has its own history and has been created to reflect a woman’s style, personality and mood. This creation will come to life and blend in with the woman who wears it.”
Photo 1 (top right): Gemstone Earrings from Sea Colors Collection
Photo 2 (center): Pearl and Gold Cuff Bracelet from Sea Colors Collection
Photo 3 (bottom left): Gemstone Ring from Sea Colors Collection