Lined with gilt edges and secured with a gold clasp, a bracelet by the Amsterdam-based duo of Lyske Gais and Lia Duinker packs a vast art historical collection within the span of a wrist. The pair created a wearable catalog back in 2015 that binds 1,400 pages into a thick book. Its contents contain black-and-white hand illustrations from 303 of Rembrandt’s etchings and drawings, subject matter inspired by its availability in Rijksmuseum’s digital archive. “We liked that it would be something you could wear, have your own collection with you,” they tell Colossal.
Titled “Rembrandt’s Hands and a Lion’s Paw,” the book bracelet uses brocheersteek, a method of traditional cross-stitching, and each page is titled and numbered. An additional index helps navigate the hundreds of illustrations held within the leather covers.
Cooper Hewitt acquired the original work, which also won the Rijksmuseum’s 2015 Rijksstudio Award, and Gais and Duinker followed the design with a necklace in a similar style that features Rembrandt’s dogs. There are a few of the original 10 limited-edition bracelets available on the pair’s site. (via Women’s Art)
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From liquid resin and thin strips of wire, Tokyo-based designer Sakae (previously) crafts delicate hairpieces known as kanzashi. The ornamental forms are often worn for special occasions and are realistic in shape and texture, with lustrous petals and wings in translucent shades that catch surrounding light. You can see more of Sakae’s hydrangeas, irises, and daffodils on Flickr and her site, and she auctions her pieces for buyers in Japan. Follow news about international releases on Facebook.
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When you enroll in the Jewelry Design & Marketing program at Pratt SCPS, you’ll learn the fundamentals of jewelry design, deepen your knowledge of the industry’s history, and uncover current trends. No matter your experience level, registration begins July 12 for Pratt SCPS’s fall courses and certificates, which include:
- Computer-Aided Design and 3-D Modeling for Jewelers
- Jewelry Design + Development
- Jewelry Design History and Current Trends
- Make Wearable Art: Beginner Jewelry Fabrication
- Make Wearable Art: Advanced Jewelry Fabrication
Most importantly, you’ll acquire the practical skills necessary to enhance your business, all guided by experts in the field.
Senior jewelry designer and instructor Carolyn A’Hearn has created and produced jewelry from start to finish for several brands, including J. Crew, Catbird, Liloveve, The Brave Collection, as well as several private clients and for their own line. They are currently Lead Designer and Production Manager for The Gild Jewelry Collective.
Karen Bachmann teaches at both Pratt Institute and the Fashion Institute of Design, where she specializes in fine and bridge jewelry, wearable art, and decorative art. She’s led lectures, workshops, and talks at the American Folk Art Museum, Mutter Museum, Victorian Society of America, Morbid Anatomy Museum, Atlas Obscura, and Katonah Museum of Art, amongst others, and is a practicing studio jeweler and a former master jeweler at Tiffany & Co.
Akiyo Matsuoka is a faculty member at The Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, and Pratt Institute. Matsuoka’s fine jewelry designs have appeared in Vogue, Town and Country, Bride, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, W, Vanity Fair, and others. Her collections have been featured in luxury department stores and specialty retailers across the world, including Neiman Marcus, Takashimaya NY, Nordstrom, Wako Japan, and Lane Crawford Hong Kong.
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From her studio in Amsterdam, Gésine Hackenberg (previously) punches perfectly round discs from Delftware and antique ceramic dishes. The ornate, pearl-like forms are then strung together into necklaces or secured into metal bands for rings and earrings. Juxtaposing the old and new, the completed wearables are positioned alongside the original dinnerware to draw connections between the domestic objects and personal adornments that are ubiquitous in everyday life.
The ongoing collection—which Hackenberg says was inspired by her grandmother’s pearl necklaces and massive cabinet of porcelain dishes—evidences what the designer sees as “a certain kinship” between what’s worn on the body and the pieces that decorate and sustain a living space. She says:
What one keeps and owns, often contains an emotional meaning next to its practical function or worth. Possessions, especially personal treasures, define and represent their owner. Jewelry is in particular an outward sign of values that are deeply rooted in the wearer, of what people cherish, in what they believe, and what they desire.
Because the ceramic material is incredibly fragile, Hackenberg works manually with custom tools. She’s developed a precise understanding of the drilling speeds and pressure necessary to remove each disc without creating too many chips or cracks. If the material is damaged throughout the temperamental extraction process, the entire piece is unusable.
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Los Angeles-based designer Laura Estrada handcrafts sustainable jewelry pieces that are conceptually driven, sculptural adornments for the body and face. She uses ancient metalsmithing techniques to create timeless, wearable heirlooms that merge fashion with art. “From a very young age, I have been building little objects with my hands, ” Estrada explains. “This obsession manifested itself when I took a metalsmithing class in college.”
Metal is the designer’s chosen medium, and she describes it as a fierce, unforgiving, stubborn, resilient, and enduring material. “It reminded me of myself,” she explains. After receiving her BFA, Estrada undertook an apprenticeship with a master jeweler, an experience that refined her skills before she launched Laura Estrada Jewelry in 2018.
The designer finds her inspiration from diverse influences—whether observing nature while out on a hike or the images she comes across in art history books. “My ideas also thrive in a collaborative environment, and my conceptual work often starts with conversations or projects with other creatives, that then evolve into a deeper, more experimental direction for the work,” Estrada explains.
When creating her body-spanning pieces, the designer’s artistic process is sometimes chaotic, and she initially starts working and modeling with metal. “I have found even if I sketch it out before, everything changes when it becomes three dimensional,” she explains. “The metal takes on shapes and forms that I piece together repeatedly until it feels right, then I solder it all together. I work very intuitively and do my best to trust the flow of my creative process.”
Estrada’s jewelry evokes a sense of resilience, empowerment, and confidence. The physical and conceptual construction of her pieces merges the innovation and integrity of ancient design practices with future technologies, and she finds unique methods to harmonize the two. As she explains, “With a focus on the intersection between art, technology, and identity, my recent exploration of masks and face pieces as ritual adornment aim to empower the wearer in their chosen form of identity and individuality.”
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An admirer of Pablo Picasso’s and Henri Matisse’s single-line drawings, Ayça Ozbank Taskan of Mara Paris has developed an elegant jewelry collection influenced by the two artists. The Paris-based designer portrays the personas dominating her work through simple profiles with few facial details. Although the noses and mouths differ throughout the series, each figurative piece features a prominent eye. The delicate collection includes earrings, rings, and necklaces, in addition to a more uncommon piece: Designed to sit at the front of the ear, the Dina Ear Cuff is billed as “a gentle ode to art that is always found in unexpected places.” You can purchase the minimalist adornments in Mara Paris’s shop. Head to Instagram to follow the brand’s latest designs and to keep up with Ozbank Taskan.
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Editor's Picks: Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.