Many Words Come to Mind

Clever, tactile, real, polished and raw.  These are all words that come to mind when viewing Vicki Pellegrini’s work in her Etsy store Alegra Jewelry.  Her work displays a great sense of shape and scale.  Every design has the kind of visual punch that only comes from good design — each piece is surprising but remains wearable.

By Hand

In this blog, I have used the descriptor “hand drawn” a few times.  By that, I mean that the jewelry designer has created a three-dimensional object — an unyielding form — that also manages to have the charm and spontaneity of a drawing.  It can mean that the designer has tactfully left something looking less finished or added details in a way that seems so fluid and casual.  For me, it is among the highest design compliments.  While, of course, I didn’t make up the words hand drawn, I sort of feel as if I made up its use in this context — I suppose it was time to define it.

Laura from Octopus Studio has a line available on Etsy which displays the best of what it means for jewelry to have a hand drawn quality.

I Like This Stuff

Hello All:  Yesterday, I posted by 50th post!  Just saying. Thanks for reading, sharing and re-posting!

So, on to today’s post.

Normally, I try to find a theme for my posts — bracelets, enamel, lost wax casting etc.  Maybe, I am just tired but I’ve found this wonderful designer who I’d like to write about but I can’t find a unifying theme.  So, rather than try to create a tortured context, I will just share some of the beautiful pieces of anatomi in her Etsy store.

Maybe it is the awesome selection of stones.  Maybe not.  I just like this stuff.

More than Metal

The first jewelry that I was able to make was made of string.  I would spend endless hours trying to keep the string braided while I also managed  to tie it around my wrist.  It usually didn’t work.  It would unravel as I fumbled to tie it with one hand.  To this day, I have a weird allegiance to the world of fiber jewelry.  Fortunately, it is a world filled with much better jewelry than I ever managed to make during Saturday morning cartoons.

There is some beautiful stuff out there these days.  But, as with everything, there are a few who break the mold and make something unbelievable.  Maria João Ribeiro has managed to do this and then some with her inventive, playful line.  Her lovely work is available in her Etsy store, Kjoo.

I’m a Lyric Person

I’ll be honest – I’ve sort of been putting off writing this post.  Why?  There is just too much to say and, somehow, it seems like the pinnacle of my blogging experience and it is just too early for that.  On the other hand, the mental pressure is building up and I can’t hold in my love for Jeanine Payer‘s work much longer.  So, here it goes.

When it comes to music, I am basically a lyric person.  Ultimately, it is the words that move me and stick with me.  Perhaps that is why the work that has made Jeanine Payer famous speaks to me so — it combines words with beautiful, delicate jewelry.  Jeanine obviously has a great love of words which enables her to find the music in quotes that are worthy of being worn.  Beyond that, though, she is a design genius.  She brings subtly and taste to each piece — pure poetry.

I met Jeanine Payer once at the grand opening of Alexis Bittar‘s store in San Francisco.  She was so kind to take a few minutes to talk with me and, truly, I was in awe.  I recall that she mentioned that she wanted to work bigger and begin to stretch the aesthetic of her line a bit.  (I felt so honored to have a discussion with her about her amazing line of jewelry.)   Indeed, her fall 2011 line began to introduce some new elements.

A Man and His Jewelry

Ok, so I’m going to out myself.  I think it’s healthy if I just go ahead and say it.  Here it goes: I am obsessed with Russell Brand.   I am not proud of it.  I am not proud that, at 36 years old, I am obsessed with a celebrity like a teenager.  But, I tell you this, if I had a locker, it would have his picture on it.  Recent events, have put him in the news all the more and, while I am sad for him and his marriage, it has served to feed my obsession.

(To my dear husband, I love you and I am sorry about all this.)

I could go and go and about what I like about Russell Brand (for one thing he’s incredibly bright) but I won’t.  I will get to the point.  Russell Brand is a man who wears jewelry.

Here’s Russell Brand in a People magazine photo. A man and his jewelry.

I’ve attempted to do a little research into the designers that he wears but the information is spotty and dated.  So, rather than take the risk of misinformation, I will allow Russell Brand’s jewelry-laden style to be the inspiration for a post to showcase some awesome jewelry for men that can be found on Etsy.

Call and Response

I’ve only been doing this blogging thing for a little over a month.  Even though it is early days, sometimes I sit down with no idea of what to write.  On those days, the first step for me is to cruise around Etsy to see what captures my attention.  Sometimes that can take a while.  There is plenty great work out there but finding something that really sparks a topic for me is where the time comes in.  Other times, thankfully, it is just too easy — today was one of those days.

I ran across the amazing work of Temi Kucinski right away.  Her lovely line, sold in the Etsy store, Temi,  displays a consistent vision with great metal work and a really unique collection of stones.

Temi’s work brings to mind my favorite phase of working on a drawing or a painting.  I don’t know if anyone else can relate to this but, whenever I am working on a piece of art, there is a point when I know I’ve got it.  A point at which I know I own the piece — it and I are communing perfectly.  It is usually the point that I have the mechanics of the piece down and I am simply listening and responding to what the piece wants in order to be fully actualized.  It is where it becomes stylized, decorated, detailed — when it becomes itself.  Temi’s work has that vibe for me.  I feel as if I can see that there was a point at which she listened the piece and allowed it have all the elements it requested.

Wearable Sculpture by Katie Johansson

Katie Johansson, as the creative force behind Dollybird Jewelry, is flat out fearless in her designs.  They are sculptural and bold.

This necklace in particular puts me in mind of modern art mobiles with its open metal structure and artistically placed stones.

Particle Necklace

Lapis Temple Ring

Katie’s creative use of materials in her line is admirable.  She selects unusual stones on a large scale for a huge visual impact and, occasionally, ventures away from stones and uses other objects as the center piece of the design.

Vintage Horsehair Earrings

Many of Katie’s designs are available in her Etsy store, Dollybirddesign.

Jewelry Becomes You

As part of my jewelry obsession, I am enthralled by the idea of jewelry that becomes a part of you — jewelry that you never take off.  The most obvious example of jewelry that rises to that level is the jewelry used in piercings.  I’ve worn a nose ring off and on over the years and, as much as I enjoyed having that piercing, I was typically disappointed in the selection of jewelry available.

Well, with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo knocking critics out of their seats, you can see some pretty cool piercings on posters all over town.  So, today, just out of curiosity, I set out to see what was new in the world of nose rings.  To be honest, not much.  Thankfully, April Baynes, in her Etsy store Aprilsblissed, saves us with a great line of stunning nose rings.

These are just great, unique pieces.  They are edgy but also tasteful and very flattering.  The geometric piece has really got me wondering …Can still get a ring through my piercing.  Hmmmm.

New Moves

Good jewelry design is often about movement.  The way earrings turn and flip.  The way a necklace swings.  That is not usually the case where rings are concerned, though.  While ring designs can be dynamic in many respects, movement isn’t natural to the ring form.  There are some clever designs, however, that can add movement to a ring.  This is one way that also manages to maintain its delicacy:

This absolutely sweet and beautifully executed piece was created by the very talented Arosha Luigi Taglia.  It is currently available for sale in his Etsy store, Arosha.