Monday, July 14, 2014

Designer love: Selin Kent

If you love minimal jewelry, then you must get to know Miss Selin Kent. Thanks to the best boutique in Denver, Goldyn, I discovered this talented designer. I am so glad I did because not only is she talented, but also inspirational and we have a lot in common (see: music lover + concertgoer).
 I like stories that start the way Selin's does because it's so relatable - she has a job in market research right after college but has a negative reaction to sitting in front of a screen all day. Knowing that she needed to be more creative in her daily life she signed up for metalsmith classes. 
The inspiration: "My inspiration is varied. From a visual perspective, my inspiration ranges from the clean lines of architecture and certain schools of modern art such as Bauhaus, to Scandinavian design.
The pieces of my first collection are actually named after female jazz, blues and rock artists. I see my line as an homage to these amazing women. On a more visceral level, I’m continually inspired by the audience that I design for – women."

The process: "I actually make most of my models using 3d modeling software, or CAD (Computer Aided Design). I make a rough sketch of the piece first, and then start constructing the piece in CAD. The model is subsequently printed is 3d printed in wax and cast in metal. At that point I can tell if any adjustments need to be made to the model. I generally construct the model first, and then figure out the stone placement."


Favorite design: "It’s a difficult choice, but it’s probably a combination of two rings stacked together. I create many of my designs with the idea that they might be stacked and combined with one another. Two rings, called Koko and Koko Mini, even interlock like puzzle pieces. They work well alone as well, but it goes without saying that people will often opt to buy them together. I think they encapsulate my jewelry quite well – minimal but thoughtful."
Favorite artist / designer:  "I draw from the pure forms and shapes adopted by the Bauhaus school, so I admire a lot of the artists that come from this school. These include Mondrian, Kandinsky and Moholy-Nagy."  


When Selin is not designing, she is an avid concert goer - and she's lucky enough to live in NYC, so there are plenty of concerts, jazz bars and DJ sets.

"At the moment, I can’t get enough of Tensnake’s newest album, Glow. It’s so fun, and can be listened to actively as well as in the background (which is great for work). He takes retro sounds and makes them current, which is a sound I’m really enjoying these days."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Georgian Heart Rings

In France during the mid-18th century the popular ring to signify an alliance (marriage) was a twin heart style. I do believe Georgian is my favorite period when it comes to eras of antique jewelry and although I am not typically into heart-shared jewelry - I love these rings.


 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
The twin heart rings stop me in my tracks, but I also love this style that became popular around the same time. Single hearts crowned, aflame or tied with a lovers knot or key. The hands holding the heart and the detailing above the heart symbolize the sacred nature of romantic love.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Get to know: Sanni Falkenburg

I am so excited to feature Sanni Falkenburg. We sat at lunch next to each other one day at Couture and I was attracted to the ring she was wearing. It was a cosmic connection! Since Las Vegas we have been keeping in touch by email. Sanni is such a gem! A ray of positive energy. And she creates some amazing jewels.

Sanni started making jewelry when she got to a point in her life where she wasn't happy with her career - she wanted to do something creative. So, she went to school for jewelry design - a year after she graduated, she started her own business.

The inspiration: Inspiration for Sanni comes from the rocks and crystals she works with - she's also inspired by the starry skies and Aurora Borealis which she often witnessed back home in Finland. 

Her rings are truly art - like portable sculptures. Currently her favorite designs are her Stardusters - three finger rings carved out of black agate

The process: Sanni's process has a lot to do with the raw material itself. She has some ideas that she wants to create and sketches them, but nothing is too definite until she finds the stones. After she sources the stones she cuts them open to see what's inside - sometimes there's an amazing feature and other times there are impurities that need to be cut - both affect the process as well as the final design.

"It's like having a dialogue with the stone. With my lapidary work I want to bring out the best of each stone, no matter how modest or vivid the coloring and formations of the stone are. I aim to make pieces that people want to pick up and touch - something eye-catching, playful and tactile. Considering that the stones had been formed hundreds of millions of years ago, it feels incredible to work with such a fantastic material."

When Sanni isn't creating jewelry she goes for long walks with her miniature poodle, Ronna. "She's the apple of my eye - she comes with me to my workshop, she's my design assistant!"

Favorite music? Anything happy and upbeat.
"Aurora Borealis"-studs, made of Stalactite Amethyst and electroformed fine silver with 18ct yellow gold vermeil.

"Aurora Borealis"-necklace, with Uruguayan Amethyst and electroformed fine silver with 18ct yellow gold vermeil.

Rock Crystal ring with electroformed fine silver.
Rock Crystal ring with natural sparkling druzy crystals and electroformed fine silver.

See more of Sanni's designs on her website or Facebook page!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

On my mind: Vintage Chanel

Not sure why, perhaps it was coming across a beautiful tray table or just the classic style of the brand, but vintage Chanel designs have been stuck in my head.

 Table from Ruby + George, currently available at Goldyn.
Although Chanel isn't really my style or anything I'd save up to own, I appreciate iconic brands. The clean, classic lines and the high quality stand out to me about Chanel. It's been thriving for decades and the designs have evolved, but remained so consistent. Gold, black + pearls. What is not to love?
Coco Chanel fascinated me and I want to know more about her. She reminds me a tiny bit of my grandmother who never owned any, but was a seamstress and made her own Chanel inspired suits. My grandmother came over from Italy when she was young and decided she wanted to be a fashion designer. Although her tale is modest in comparison to Coco's, it remains an inspiration.

Long strands of pearls! I will forever be a fan of this classic look. 

Classic gold chain bracelets. I love these as well as modern versions. ESPECIALLY this one designed by Suzannah Wainhouse.

And in my search, I stumbled across some Fourth of July inspiration. Hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend - thank you for scrolling through my random brain-dump of a post!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Get to know: Annie Fensterstock

I first met the lovely Annie Fensterstock in an elevator in NYC - I was enamored by the stunning locket she was wearing, later to find out that she was the designer. 
Again, at Couture I ran into her - she is a truly wonderful person and I really love her designs. I'm especially a fan of her necklaces (I'd wear them all layered together) and her earring designs. 

Annie started making jewelry in college - she made beaded necklaces that she sold over the summer and at Grateful Dead shows. She had all of the jewelry pinned to t-shirts and her brothers would walk around trying to sell the jewels - they split the profits. In college she signed up for a jewelry class to learn how to make leather clasps for her necklaces but ended up falling in love with metal which lead her to major in Metalwork and Jewelry Design.

The process: Annie sketches everything first. She's always drawing. As a kid in school her notebook was always covered with intricate designs - she never looked up in class because she was too busy drawing. Her doodles eventually become jewelry designs - once she comes up with something she will redraw it hundreds of times until she's satisfied. Then she tweaks the designs to fit the stones, not the other way around.

The inspiration: Annie's inspiration comes from everything around her - art, fashion, music, nature, family & friends. She also loves the idea of blurring the boundaries of time and place by mixing influences from Medieval to Modern - Byzantine and Gothic with Deco and Nouveau.
The secrets, stories, anticipation - and the hours of labor constructing hinges - make lockets Annie's favorite type of jewelry. A locket to her feels like an heirloom, something precious. I completely agree with this sentiment.

More than just jewels:

Weekends for Annie are all about family - they run around from dance and drama to soccer and skating. They stick together as much as possible and carve our time with cousins. Family is very important to her.
On a similar note, Annie's favorite artist is her cousin Lauren Fensterstock. Lauren creates amazing installations out of paper flowers, charcoal and mirrors. She builds site specific, monochromatic landscapes of dense, lush gardens which are amazing. I explored her work and especially love these paper flowers inside a glass container, kind of like a terrarium.

Annie is currently listening to: Yo La Tengo, The National, Interpol with her kids pop music as well as show tunes. She doesn't often have a dull, or quiet moment!

See more of Annie's designs on her website!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Designer Love: Jacqueline Cullen

Jacqueline Cullen is a designer I discovered at Couture. Her booth was in the Rock Vault (a curated group of designers by Stephen Webster), but I actually ended up there because I sat next to her assistant at lunch and we began chatting. I am so glad she invited me over to see the designs, because they are unique and so stunning. Black and gold is a favorite combination of mine and Jacqueline does it in a very cool way.
She specializes in Whitby jet which is a prehistoric black fossil most often associated with Victorian jewelry. It became a trend when Queen Victoria went into mourning for Prince Albert - now, the material is rare.

Jacqueline is inspired by nature - a common theme in her work is the breaking up of a bold, fluid form. Lightning slashing through a dark sky, a big wave crashing on a calm ocean, a volcano erupting, the jagged edge of a cliff formed by erosion - all of these things inspire the designs.  

This jewelry speaks to me because it is simple, yet so intricate. At first glance you may not see all of they detail - the black diamonds, the granulated gold, the hidden in plain view white diamonds set in gold.  

I had the privilege of trying on one of Jacqueline's rings - it felt so good on my finger. A piece of hers is now on my wish list and I hope to meet her one day (she wasn't at the booth any of the times I stopped by). It would be so great to see more of her process, but for now I will just admire from afar.

Visit Jacqueline Cullen's website to see more designs!