There is something unreal about Gabriella Hirst’s jewellery. An emerging Sydney artist, Hirst produces exceptionally delicate handmade jewellery and ‘crownettes’ inspired by marine life. They’re not cast or molded, but sculpted from polymer clay into spiky crystals in pale, carnivalesque pastels. They can’t be reproduced, only treasured. The age of mechanical reproduction has again given birth to a new appreciation of the one-off, hand-rendered object.
A decade ago, Korean metalsmith and jewellery maker Dukno Yoon decided to build some incredibly fun mechanical finger works that let digits power up into instant playgrounds. Wings – some feathered, some metallic – sit atop a metal structure that grips the finger like a ring, and flap when the finger moves. Fantastic stuff.
How amazing is it to wear an ear ring on your finger? Or a ear on your ear, for that matter? Etsy seller, percylau, has crafted an exquisitely zen collection of mini clay body parts (noses, mouths, penises, and yes, especially ears) as rings, collar pins, brooches and necklaces. Wonder if David Cronenberg’s excited?
Sydney based jewellery designer Claire Suzy Stannard creates unique jewellery pieces that pack a punch, creating a street edge glamour. What’s more, her jewellery can be worn by both guys and girls. Bonus!
The Love Project is both an eco-friendly jewelry line and a charitable collaboration between a pair of Washington DC-based designers. Jennifer Elizabeth Miller and Melissa Lew are the eponymous Jem • Lew: two socially conscious artists who designed The Love Project’s signature piece: a four-heart logo that’s hand-painted on bamboo and stainless steel. Percentages of sales from each of the baubles are donated to various non-profit organizations. It’s finally possible to buy jewelry and say it’s for a good cause. And it’s true.
Julie Thevenot makes jewelery I want to wear all Brooklyn summer. I especially love the Small Exile Necklace. Imagine how good it would look with just a white tanktop, a pair of washed out cut-offs, and a pair or jerusalem sandals? Like you would blend in and stand out at the same time. Thevenot also loves cactuses and lives with a cat she found under the Williamsburg bridge named Mouche. Cause she’s French, you know.
I stumbled across Linda Tahija and her beautiful jewellery at Sydney’s Manly Market last year. There is a beautiful balance of exotic elegance and boldness in her jewellery. My favourite is the rose gold plated Marrakech ring. You can buy manufactured cheap jewellery anywhere, anytime. So why not save up and purchase something that has longevity and style.
If I had to sum up Nina Savill’s work in a phrase, it would be ‘go big or go home’. These jewels don’t whisper, they shout. You can feel the hammer strike in every piece. It’s the stuff of a fiercely fashionable super hero. Savill works in fine silver and 14K gold, and each piece is individually hand-crafted in her studio in Los Angeles. Her Artifacts collection utilizes organic and reclaimed materials to create a one-of-a-kind work of wearable art.
With a chisel in her hand, Julia Harrison creates unique jewelry. The Seattle-based artist forms body parts from various woods. The eyes, ears, mouths, hands and arms are first carved and then get an added color treatment with gouache, lacquer, wax and epoxy.
My love affair with Crème Nouveau began with a Jammy Dodger brooch, given to me by my brother one birthday. I henceforth entered the flamboyantly kitsch world of Katherine Hawkins, jewellery and accessory designer extraordinaire. Her wonderfully weird range incorporates resin, textiles, beads and knick knacks to create wearable broccoli, bonbons and bourbons. Brooches shaped like biscuits: what’s not to like?
Boston-based metalsmith and jewelry designer, Lauren Passenti, combines unexpected materials to create pieces of wearable sculpture. Her jewelry is inspired by industrial decay and her forms challenge elegance when set against rough textures.