December 29, 2010

Bedazzled by Bulgari

Currently showing at Paris' Grand Palais, 125 years Of Italian Magnificence charts the evolution of Italian high jewellery brand, Bulgari. What they do / did with colour is masterful. Feast your eyes...

Pixel Juicy

Starting with cubes and working her way through cell structures, mathematical patterns and Lego, London-based, RCA-trained Jo Hayes Ward designs her gorgeous geometric jewels on a computer. Proof if any was needed that it really is hip to be square.

December 20, 2010

Mean Machines

Come on now, who doesn't need a diamond-encrusted robot in their life. These mini automata are by Queelin.

Give(enchy) Generously

Never mind baubles for the tree. What about baubles for me...?

Crowning Glory

I came across product designer Rentaro Nishimura's work at the 100% Design event in London recently.

In addition to producing homewares, Rentaro designed this Crown ring inspired by Alice In Wonderland's Queen Of Hearts.

With re-cyclability in mind, it comes as a flat-pack acrylic sheet, requires no glue or other materials to assemble and the off-cuts can act as a stand for the ring and a little gift card.

December 9, 2010

Dalila Barkache

It's official. I'm in love.

Dalila Barkache – or, more accurately, her jewelley – is my new No.1 crush.

I was lucky enough to meet Dalila last night and in between dancing to 80s floorfillers and demolishing a tableful of delicious Moroccan food she let me get my hands on the beautiful pieces shown below.

Not only do they work on a visual level, they have that all important - oft overlooked – tactile appeal: satisfyingly weighty, in some cases mobile (2nnd & 3rd images from the bottom), and multi-textured. They push certain emotional buttons too. Who won't enjoy a secret smile knowing that their apparently simple gold band is lined with hidden diamonds? Other materials include gold, oxidised silver and rock crystal which Dalila has cut according to her own rigorous specifications.

Bit of background: Dalila has Moroccan roots and grew up in the Parisian suburbs. Having travelled extensively through Asia and the Middle East she fell in love with Beirut and in December 2006 she inaugurated the first Commes des Garçons guerilla store in the Lebanese capital.

Boys In Jewels Part 5 - Göran Kling

Gotta love Göran Kling’s work. Big, bold and bizarre.

Here's some pieces from Göran's Jewellery Represent Collection.

And here's Dizzee Rascal’s sporting some Kling bling in the video for the aptly named Bonkers.

Photos: Anders Linden

December 8, 2010


If I were to describe my perfect job it’d go something like this: travel the world, meet interesting people, have adventures, be creative, make a living doing it all.
Having just come across Diederik Verbakel (one half of design duo *DIED*) it looks like he’s beaten me to the punch.

Globetrotting designers Diederik and partner, Marieke Holthuis, make a point of researching artisan traditions around the world then feed their findings into a recently launched jewellery and fashion line. Here’s what Netherlands-based Diederik had to say about his enviable lifestyle:

How do you find the artisans you work with, and what interesting techniques did you encounter?
We asked around in different shops where we could find craftspeople, which lead to a fun search that took us to different little factories. We found out how to cast and make different elements, and what kind of processes you can use on the jewellery pieces. Partly oxidizing the jewellery was something that was fun to elaborate on. Also gold plating, which you can do in various ways. We would think about a technique and what to do with it to make it new...

Are certain styles associated with specific countries?
We discovered along the way that Brazil is famous for it's semi-precious stones, Indonesia for its hand-crafted jewellery, India for the mix of metals. There is still a lot to discover and to play around with. They all have their speciality...and all is interesting.

Are your collections created in situ, or when you return to the Netherlands?
We do make some sketches beforehand but mainly we work on the spot. That way the artisans understand better what kind of things we like and we have a closer relationship. This leads sometimes to hilarious situations where the men we work with are wearing our necklaces as test/show indeed...

How many jewellery collections have you created as *DIED*?
So far we have one complete collection, Black As Night, which stores can now order. We made another two collections of unique pieces (in Brazil and Argentina), which we called ‘travel-collections’. These are still available to two stores: One in Amsterdam and one in Osaka, Japan.

Your blog is full of photos bursting with exuberant colours from your travels yet your work has a very pared down palette. Why is that?

We decided on a very strong and coherent theme for our first collection. And the dark night of all of these countries was something that we saw particularly strong as a concept. That does not mean we might explore colour theme next season....

What inspired the Black As Night collection?

It’s based on the idea of black in all its forms. Oxidized black silver, black crystal glass and black dip-dyed clothing and scarves. The collection consists of 26 pieces of jewellery and 7 dresses and 7 scarves.

Which materials do you favour?

Sterling silver and partly gold plated and semi-precious gemstones...

Where’s next on your travels?

Japan! We will present the Black As Night collection in Tokyo during the fair in February.

Men and jewellery. Discuss…
I love to wear jewellery and I'm a man, but it's always just necklaces. My fingers are too fine so I look like a woman with wearing rings.
But, within 3 years we will also be launching a male line since all our male friends are buying our pieces already.

Black As Night

Argentum Di Argentina

Charms Do Brazil

Photos: Joy Datta

December 7, 2010

Knots Landing

One’s masculine and industrial, the other’s feminine and inspired by friendship bracelets. And yet, and yet… wouldn’t these make cute his ‘n’ hers Christmas pressies?

The necklace – made from handwoven cotton and oxidized brass plated chain – is by American blogger, graphic designer and jeweller, Kate Miss.

The U-cuff rope bracelet from Miansai (brainchild of the not ugly Michael Saiger) is made from nylon cord with a brass fastening for extra grrrr factor.

Tag, You're It!

Christmas shopping’s a struggle of the best of times, but when (as happened to me at the weekend) a careless shop assistant forgets to remove a security tag from your purchases, and when said tag both evades manual detection and sets off alarms wherever you go, whatever festive cheer you started off with soon evaporates.

Know what would have put a smile on my face? If I’d got home to find this had accidentally slipped into my bag.

Made from 18k gold-plated sterling silver and white diamonds SECURITY!™ is a tongue-in-cheek take on the classic shoplifter deterrent. Designed by artist Justin Gignac and made by jeweller Max Steiner the pin costs $700, or $550 if you go diamond-free. Or totally free if it happens to fall into your pocket…

December 3, 2010

Fake It Til You Make It

Manchester-based jeweller Jade Mellor is the lady behind these faceted rings. Each piece is made from hand cast resin and the specked effect on the white pieces is achieved by the inclusion of granite particles.