I’m no expert but, as they say, I know what I like.
Look, I don’t really have any bona fides when it comes to art or fashion or jewelry. I dropped out of my art major one semester in to pursue other academic interests. I’ve never been very good in art classes and I don’t play well with other artists generally. Although I am a fairly compliant person and I have no issues with authority, if you put me in an art class, I turn into an eye-rolling, huffy, obstructionist pain-in-the-ass. I don’t know why. It’s not that I think I’m that good — I just don’t want to do it their way. Ever. So, long ago, I found that making my strange art by myself was the best way to go — or at least the best way to not get asked to leave a classroom. That leaves me, however, with absolutely no authority to comment on anything aesthetic, really.
But, here, I do make such comments anyway because I think I have something to say when it comes to jewelry. Why? Sheer exposure. I have spent so much time looking at jewelry that I think it can safely be called research. When I see something that is new and different to me, I know that it is new and different, period. In the world of jewelry, I think I know special when I see it.
I have said all that to say this: There are some people whose work I respect so much that I don’t really feel worthy to comment or even compliment. But, if I am to continue with this little blog of mine, I must, in order to be true to the mission, which is to highlight excellent jewelry design.
So, here it goes. I give you the absolutely genius of April Higashi:
There’s not much that I can say. It’s breathtaking. All of it. There is such a clear vision that she brings to her line. I feel that her designs say that she knows what jewelry should be — it can’t just be a pretty item that sits by itself, it has to be a pretty item on you. It is design with such subtlety and restraint. I want to live in a world designed by April Higashi.
On a personal note, my husband and I visited April’s Shibumi Gallery in Berkeley, CA for an opening one Sunday afternoon several months ago. Either she or someone on her staff brings an infallible eye to curating the gallery. Everything that is displayed is both complementary and reflects a consistent sense of style. We were greeted so warmly by the gallery manager, Fiona, and April casually chatted with us (as if not aware of her greatness!). April’s husband, the incredibly talented sculptor Eric Powell, was there as well. Given my obvious interest and perhaps because I had commented that I had just begun jewelry-making classes, we were offered a peek at April’s studio. It was wonderful.