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Posts Tagged ‘Flowers’

Coveting Continuity

Alberian & Aulde

I am a creature of habit: I’ve been getting my hair cut by the same person for 17 years, and from various photos, I notice the actual style hasn’t changed for the same amount of time. I keep my doctors till they retire, some boyfriends, long past our expiration date, and have loved all shades of purple since I was six. I have long time friendships, perhaps older than some of my new friend’s ages and I don’t give up on family easily.  But I wouldn’t describe this as being set in my ways or myself as someone who can not move forward– I prefer to think of it more of an appreciation of continuity, rather than an aversion to change.

So when I see that certain symbols in jewelry are continuous in their lifespan, sometimes going out and coming back into style and other times taking on different meanings, it makes me happy, especially if they represent longevity and enduring friendship or love. I am not talking about the smiley face or any other symbols that have to do with the seventies, a particular time period in which my mother was rebelling and borrowed my jewelry and….bell bottom jeans…and looked better in them than me.

I get excited when jewelry has sentiment and significance attached to it–a story to be told –and I usually prefer if it’s not spelled out in words but shows up more discretely in a motif or a silhouette. And, I appreciate it even more when the piece is anything but basic, representing history yet evoking the original sensibility of the designer creating it.

The circle, for example has been an endless source of inspiration for jewelry designers, showing up in more variations than I can count, reflecting permanence and a symbol that cannot be broken

One of my personal favorites, which I’ve kept in my jewelry wardrobe but continues to sell and should not be missed is Alberian & Aulde’s delicate 3-D Gaia pendant with vitreous glass enameling and tiny diamonds and sapphires. Each time I wear it, I discover another detail about it, some element that I didn’t notice the first time, that surprises and delights me, much like the way I’d like relationships to go and grow.

When I am feeling a bit more nostalgic, I reach for John Apel’s pendant that reminds me of an antique eternity band like the one  my dad gave my mom, and that I have worn for years. It’s a geometric pattern of marquis and round shaped rose cut diamonds in platinum and is understated and discrete in its beauty.

In the last year, I started being attracted to Celtic-inspired infinity motifs again. The first time one was ever purchased for me was by an Irish lad from Dublin, who I was seeing in my late ’20s and who explained that “it stood for our eternal love,” which all would have been grand, if he wasn’t engaged to someone else. For years I shelved the pendant– and that motif–not only because of my personal experience (although that weighed heavily) but because many of the interpretations weren’t very interesting to the fine jewelry lover, when re-created in oxidized Mexican silver.

But, last September, I saw Damiani’s Victorian version, an entwined knot of pavé diamonds, made with the Italian traditional of craftsmanship–and fell for this newer translation, sort of in the way I moved on from soulful lilts to the curled vowels of a Milanese man.

True to my heart, my feminine tastes and my affinity for all things enduring, I found Penny Preville’s diamond Infinity pendant makes a great self purchase item (for me), a meaningful gift for friends, and a thoughtful bridal party present.

Change is always good if it moves you forward, but it’s always nice to find comfort in the things around you that continue to endure.

All original content is ©Beth Bernstein 2010. No words may be reproduced without permission from the copyright holder.

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Penny Preville

Au Natural

Arman: Vibes: Shaill

I’m a nature girl at heart.  I love exploring gardens, forests and woods, although I do prefer the ‘objects’ I find to be made of precious metals, able to be worn, and completely inanimate. Recently I had a friend  (in a relatively new relationship), who told me, that for a romantic weekend, the new love interest asked her to go camping.  The last time I’d gone, I got bitten by some sort of exotic bug. It snuck up on me in the middle of the night and left welts that lasted for an entire month all over my legs.

“Wonderful idea,” I said. Perhaps the sex in the sleeping bags under the night stars that I mentioned to her was compelling enough to calm her fears that ranged from smelling like “OFF” to cute outfits for hiking to the more pressing topic of how many moisturizers and makeup you can weigh your backpack down with.

I remember going to sleep-away camp and felt nostalgic this past weekend when many of my friends were dropping their kids off ‘at the bus.’ This warm feeling waned when I recalled that they were  being led to bunks with mice, one outlet for every blow dryer in the entire place, and swimming in the lake with all kinds of creatures that would keep any sane kid treading water as close to the top as possible.

The beginning of first letter home from camp  to my mom when I was 11, read:” Camp sucks.  (Sorry I mean stinks).  I can’t believe you did this to me.  Remember the bug juice at day camp, which you explained was really just like Kool Aid, well here, it has real live flies in it.  Okay, they aren’t really alive. They are just kind of floating on their backs. I half expect them to be sipping out of mini straws.”

I was the one who woke up with 30 mosquito bites and had a mouse scurrying up my leg when going on overnight outings with boys and pretending to enjoy the whole thing.  It was during one of these times that I found out I was highly allergic to bees or yellow jackets. I never bothered to find out the exact species of the creature as I was going into anaphylactic shock. It was embarrassing enough when my throat started closing up and my lips grew to the size of a blow fish. So while I find bees an interesting motif, I feel like I need to bring my EpiPen, even when looking at 18K gold versions.

I do have an affinity for the open weave of the web as a motif for jewelry like in Borgioni’s ring. Yet, I  freak out, when, for instance, I see a spider on my NYC apartment ceiling. I usually call in my doorman to remove it before it somehow lands on my head or worse, on the couch and then crawls around only to appear on my shirt.

So, with the exception of spiders and webs, I am not really big on the creepy crawly motifs. I do like ladybugs and the memories that come from making a wish and blowing them to their next destination. I am more drawn to dragonflies, particularly Elyssa Bass’ stone set styles (same goes for butterflies such as Leila Tai’s Art Nouveau-inspired plique-a-jour versions or Mallary Mark’s Japanese inspired beauties) and when they are mixed in with stones, wood  as in the designs of Wendy Yue or in the three-dimensional garden motifs of Shaill.  Speaking of three-dimensional, I will take an occasional bug in the magic fairytale jewels of Vibes. Her collection is like a traipse through an enchanted forest with 18K white and yellow gold flowers blossoming, vines winding and creatures landing on her baroque pearls, raw and rose cut diamonds and newest rock crystal. A fan of H. Stern, the limited “Alice In Wonderland” collection developed in partnership with Disney and inspired by the spectacular creatures of Tim Burton’s Wonderland is magical (particularly the rose ring– and you don’t have to fall through a rabbit hole to find it).

I am completely enamored by various snake motifs and I own serpent rings from the 19th century and most recently, a contemporary version in high karat gold with colored gems on its head and black diamond in its mouth from Arman that I allow to climb up my finger as well the and the winding snake bracelet from Kathy Rose for Roseark that slithers around my wrist. But, you couldn’t catch me in 10 feet of the real thing.

Sometimes, a girl has just got to go out and smell the flowers or at least wear them. Laurie Kaiser, who has a green thumb, which she has turned to gold has created some of the most feminine yet bold pieces featuring the earthly delights of pendants with vines wrapping around trellis’ and hoops twisted like branches with blooms of different floral varieties.  Luckily in her garden, I won’t need to carry my EpiPen.

Elyssa Bass: Borgioni: Laurie Kaiser