Monday, April 9, 2012

LIZ MANNETTE

14-Karat Gold Genesis Bass Drum
Gold Bracelet
Trinidad-Tobago’s energetic celebration known as Carnival is an annual festival replete with parades, costumed party goers and plenty of music that carries on into daybreak.  Trindad-Tobago is also home to Liz Mannette. 

The origin of steel pan drums began in Trinidad-Tobago at some point during World War II. 

Although some historians cite that Winston “Spree” Simon, who died in 1976, created the first pan drum while attempting to remove a dent in his oil drum garbage can; others cite that Elliot Mannete, Liz Mannette’s uncle, is “the father of the modern steel drum,” as his experimentation with “convex shapes” on the “concave sunken surface” of an oil drum produced higher quality sounds.

Though Mannette is an accomplished woman having attended Harvard Law School, Brooklyn College, and New York University School of Law, she is a “pan woman” at heart.  The former senator and international energy attorney searched around for steel pan jewelry items but to no avail.

“Pan is a fundamental part of who I am.  I wanted authentic replicas of pan insturments, not rough approximations.  Most of the jwelry I saw was made of copper or very thin gold or silver.  I wanted jewelry that reflected my identity and heritage and the message that 'Pan was invented in my country.'”
Sterling Silver and 14-Karat Gold
Movement Rack Ring with Cubic Zirconia

In 2005, Mannette set out to make designs that paid homage to a thriving, worldwide steel band community.  Her sterling silver and 14-karat gold replications of bass drums, hoops and movement racks are classic and streamlined in proportion accented with garnets or pavé set cubic zirconia.  These forms are cultivated into silver and gold rings, tie pins, silver necklaces and silver earrings.

Though the collections’ overall presentation is straightforward, and with little fanfare, I really like that she has brought something very original onto a jewelry scene that can often be a sea of sameness.  Mannette’s vision is fresh, full of cultural pride and historical significance.

Sterling Silver Classic Hoop
Bib Necklace
“My goal is to provide quality, fashionable accessories to enable pan people of the world to display their passion and identity with style.

Having an accessory is one way to set yourself apart from the crowd, and in a silent way, display your uniqueness.”

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