jewelry

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Art Design

Sprawling Metal Forms Elegant, Sculptural Jewelry by Designer Laura Estrada

July 7, 2020

Anna Marks

Photograph by Christian Soria, model is Jordan Clay, styling by David Stelly, hair by Davontae’ Washington, makeup by Dion Xu. All images © Laura Estrada Jewelry, shared with permission

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.”

A selection of earrings are available in the Laura Estrada Jewelry shop, and to see future collections from the Latinx-owned brand, head to Instagram.

 

Photograph by Christian Cody, model is Salem Mitchell, makeup by Yasmin Istanbouli

Photograph by Elena Kulikova, model is Emily O’Dette, makeup by Chelsea Sinks

Photo by Christian Soria, model is Jordan Clay, styling by David Stelly, hair by Davontae’ Washington, makeup by Dion Xu

Photograph by Sophia Shrank, model is Denise Culbreth, hair and makeup by Anissá Emily

Photograph by Ally Green, model is John Cochran

Photograph by Benjamin Rouse, model is Mary Merritt

Photograph and creative direction by Joelle Grace, model is Julian Green, makeup by Mary Green, styling by Cheryn Moore and Gabriella Arenas

 

 



Design

Elegant Jewelry Collection Designed by Mara Paris Profiles Subtle Faces

February 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mara Paris, shared with permission

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.

 

 



Design

Enamel Pins Turn International Architectural Destinations Into Pocket-Sized Accessories

September 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Pagoda House, Tel Aviv

The husband and wife duo behind Drop-a-Pin have turned their love of architecture into an enamel pin business, transforming some of the world’s most recognizable buildings into miniature, 2-D renditions. The Drop-a-Pin duo explains that, thanks to their professional training as architects, most of the buildings they’ve turned into pins are ones they were familiar with. The pair spent the last five years traveling around the world to document buildings they love.

From Nakagin Capsule Tower in Toykyo to the Geisel Library in San Diego, each pin conveys the facade, silhouette, and color palette of the buildings that inspired them, while keeping a clean, minimalist look. “We developed a simple method we learned at the university in a course called Basic Design,” the team explains to Colossal. “The first and only law is to maintain the minimum number of lines necessary so that the building can still be identified. Once the lines in the design could no longer be erased, we reached the destination.”

Drop-a-Pin is currently raising funds on Indiegogo, where you can place a pre-order for the pin design of your choosing. See more of their designs on Instagram.

Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

Pantheon, Italy

Villa Savoye, France

Clockwise from top left: Guaranty Building, Buffalo NY; VitraHaus, Germany; Notre Dame, Paris; house on Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv

Geisel Library, California

Eames House, California

Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo

 

 



Art

Tiny Metal Plants, Animals, and Buildings are Liberated From Coins by Artist Micah Adams

August 31, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Toronto-based artist Micah Adams uses a jeweler’s saw to cut out the embossed animals, figures, and objects from coins of different sizes and denominations. The metal cut-outs are used to create tiny readymades and fun collages. From a growing pile of copper leaves taken from Canadian pennies, to intricate birds and flowers borrowed from foreign currency, each of Micah Adams works are hand cut using the same basic tool. Working at a smaller scale is something that the artist came to in art college while making sculptures and spending his free time in the jewelry and metal smithing department. The practice of cutting coins evolved out of using other materials.

“I was making small assemblages from things I’d collected over the years, tiny things like toys, bottle caps, beach finds and even teeth,” Adams tells Colossal. “Then I cast them in metal. They were like tiny bronzes or miniature monuments. That lead me to look for tiny things that were already metal that I could use. So I looked at coins and their designs for things I could cut-out.”

Micah Adams is currently working on another solo exhibition of his coin collages and other works which will open at MKG127 in Toronto in February 2020. He also has an Etsy shop where he sells earrings, tie tacks, and other keepsakes. For future updates and to see more of his art, follow Adams on Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

Sculptural Metal Jewelry by Ewa Nowak Helps Wearers Avoid Being Tracked by Facial Recognition Technology

August 26, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Several methodologies have been tested to try and thwart growing facial recognition technologies, however perhaps none are as elegant as Polish designer Ewa Nowak’s metal jewelry. Her project, Incognito, was born out of her own uneasiness about the global state of privacy, and was tested using Facebook’s DeepFace algorithm to ensure its success.

The implement is worn like glasses, with arms reaching around the wearer’s ears. Two round pieces of metal cover each cheek, and an elongated piece extends upward between the eyes, creating a trifecta of polished objects that help deflect software used IRL in security systems and public cameras, and online through social media.

Incognito recently won the Mazda Design Award at the Łódź Design Festival. You can see more of her projects, including a reflective mask also used as a way to keep one’s anonymity, on her website and Instagram. (via Plain Magazine)

 

 



Art

Crystal Hearts and Translucent Tongues Shaped Into Sculptural Works by Debra Baxter

August 12, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

“Cross My Heart” (2019), Glass, Crystal Geode, 4.5″ x 5″ x 3″

Santa Fe-based sculptor and jewelry designer Debra Baxter combines glass, bronze, crystal, wood, and found objects to create ghostly sculptures of human forms. In one piece titled “Cross My Heart” (2019), a purple heart sits on top of a rough cluster of geodes, while in ‘First Taste” (2017), a glass tongue protrudes from a slab of quartz crystal.

For many of her recent works Baxter, shares with Roq Larue Gallery that she drew inspiration from the phenomenon of the “Ghost Heart.” In this medical procedure, a heart is cleansed of all of its blood cells and then injected with hundreds of millions of new blood steam cells which cause the heart to begin beating again. Baxter is interested in how this concept explores the complexity of existence, walking the line between life and death.  You can see more of her sculpted hearts and wearable artworks on her website and Instagram.

“Crystal Brass Knuckles (Aura Blow)” (2017), Aqua Aura Crystal and White Rhodium Plated Bronze, 7″ x 5″ x 2″

“Ghost Hand” (2019), Glass, Smoky Quarts, 13″ x 11″ x 12″

“First Taste” (2017), Glass and Quartz Crystal, 6″ x 8″ x 4″

“Silver Heart” (2019), Silver, Quartz, 3″ x 3.5″ x 5.75″

“I’m Your Venus” (2017), Cast Glass, Bronze, 5″ x 5.5″ x 2.5″

“Wind Knocked In” (2017), Amethyst, Bronze, Mopany Wood, 9.5″ x 15″ x 6.5″

“Heart of Gold” (2019), Bronze, Thunder Bay amethyst, 3″ x 3.5″ x 5.75″