Pendant moonlight shadow 2008

This week I’d like to continue with botanical inspired jewelry, the ‘pendant moonlight shadow 2008’.
“Under the moon light there is very profound various grays world. It is silent. I am one who is attracted by the color tone of grey, which is found in the shadows.” These are the words of Japanese-born Mari Ishikawa as published on the Klimt02 website.
Mari Ishikawa is inspired by the botanical and vanishing color pale green, which shows in photographs of plants taken under the moonlight. She is also surprised and attracted by the shapes and perfection of flowers and weeds in a field.
In the ‘pendant moonlight shadow 2008’, the color of the pendant is unmistakably connected with its shape. The fine, moss-like, grey silver creates a 3-dimensional structure with incredible depth. This structure casts shadows on itself, creating multiple shades of grey, I suppose similar to the ones seen under the moonlight. Like the green plant it is based on, the pendant looks alive. Its form grows into an elongated ball, while coiling the necklace it hangs from. Will it take over the whole necklace?

This work is part of the exhibition ‘Mari Ishikawa: Moonlight shadow’ at Villa Bengel in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. But hurry, it runs until the 31st of March!


Steel grey brooch

Finally, the first post about an Australian piece, by the very talented Julie Blyfield! Botanical influences have always played a big role in her work, and in her most recent pieces that influence has become more relevant due to the changing climate. In Australia, and South Australia in particular, there has been a drought for the last couple of years, which is taking its toll on trees and other plants. Julie Blyfield took a trip into the desert and noticed the adaptations to drought and bush fires of the desert plants. Their forms and colors were an inspiration for her new collection and this Steel grey brooch. I can imagine how drought makes natural materials curve like the bend in this brooch. Also, bush fires would blacken everything on its path.

In addition to observing environmental changes, Julie Blyfield also studied the body ornaments made by Aboriginal people. They use natural materials with great care leading to exquisite designs which are striking in the repetition of pattern, shape and form. In her new designs she started experimenting with a variety of materials instead of using mainly metal. This resulted in the beautiful red string used in this brooch. The contrast with the steel grey and black makes the red more vibrant. On one hand that alarming red color seems like a warning sign. On the other hand the botanical feel of the brooch makes the string look like flower buds protruding on their branch, as if spring has arrived and things are looking up.

Julie Blyfiled made this amazing ‘Steel grey brooch’ in 2009 as part of the collection Natural Selection, currently exhibited (until April 4th) at Gallery Funaki in Melbourne, Australia.

Photograph by Grant Hancock.


Fidelity, The Golden Fleece ring

Because I really like this piece, an update on the previous Furry ring-post, since The Golden Fleece ring will be exhibited from tomorrow! It al started when Giovanni Corvaja went on a journey to make the mythological Golden Fleece, instead of searching for it. A journey which required kilometers of hand-made gold wire, took 12 years of precise labour and resulted in great jewelry along the way (as to be seen in the Furry ring). Not an easy task as you can imagine. The Golden Fleece is sought after because it is said to bring good luck to kings and guarantees that their kingdom will endure forever.
This Ring was made in 2008 and consists of 104,272 single wires (2.085 km of wire in total). The tiny wires must be almost microscopicaly thin to create such length and still fit around a finger! This means the gold fur is super soft to touch. The ring symbolizes fidelity, something a lot of rings do, but the combination with the Golden Fleece makes this ring the symbol of a lucky, everything enduring love. This ring combines the aesthetic with the tactile and the conceptual, which I love.

Giovanni Corvaja has made a whole Golden Fleece collection and the jewelry pieces have all been chosen to represent eternal symbols: first there is fecundity (the egg pendant), then prosperity (the round brooch),fidelity (the ring) is the third piece of this collection, commitment (the bracelet) the fourth and finally strength and perpetuity of power (the headpiece). All of these have many other meanings as well. Of course these amazing pieces will be exhibited tomorrow as well.

The exhibition is part of the International Trade Fair,in Munich, Germany, in the frame of a special exhibition “Modern Masters”, Hall 1A, 11-17.03.2009. (Exhibiting the new collection in Munich is very meaningful for the artist, who celebrates 20 years since his first exhibition in the same place, in 1989.)

An extensive explanation of the whole Golden Fleece collection is to be found on Gionvanni Corvaja's website.


Glow in the dark Hand Necklace

When design agency Mo Ka decided to turn some of their new white virtual world into reality by means of jewelry, they contacted my former classmates over at Atelier 11. This resulted in an incredible Glow in the dark collection! Every jewel has the Mo Ka logo, 2 purple pyramids, near the lock. That is also where the glow in the dark octahedron-shaped pendant comes from, a three-dimensional expression of that pyramid. The glowing part of the jewel is not made of plastic, but of a glow in the dark powder coated metal. This is why it has a nice weight when hanging on a silver chain. All the symbols used in the jewelry are inspired by the creativity displayed by Mo Ka. Like the hand in the Hand Necklace, since designing is still eventually realized by hands. Atelier 11 always makes fashionable and up-to-date jewelry and this is no exception. I particularly like the idea of having an extra hand on stand by, especially one that’s easy to find, even in the dark.

Until March 12th the jewelry is sold at a special pop-up store that Mo Ka has opened in Brussels, 124 Rue de Flandre. It is also available trough their webshop.