THE CHALLENGES OF TRUE ART: TIME TRAVEL BROOCH BY WALLACE CHAN

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A MULTI-GEM BUTTERFLY BROOCH, IN KEEPING WITH THE BEST TRADITIONS OF CONTEMPORARY ART DECO

For a period of time, people knew me as the ‘Butterfly Man’.

 

From an interview with Forbes

Emerald Swallowtail, Apollo, Sylphina, Forest Giant Owl, Eighty-Eight, Peacock Pansy, Blue Morpho, Ceylon Rose, Ulysses, Monarch. What are they?

Butterflies.

A totemic animal in many cultures, butterflies are a metaphor for powerful transformation and rebirth, capable of changing both their state and way of life. They embody the lightness and transcendence of being, symbolic of love and immortality.

In the magnificent Time Travel Brooch by Wallace Chan, the combination of vertical and horizontal lines, alongside colorful gemstone dots, hint at the fragility of existence; wisdom and consciousness; focussing on the goals ahead; the capability to change perspectives and look at the events and challenges of life from different angles.

I think sleeping is a waste of time. But I have to sleep to survive, so that is one thing I have to spend time on. But it won’t affect me so much if I don’t shave and by not shaving, I will have saved at least three years in my life. I did the maths. And that is why I have kept this beard for over 20 years now.

 

From an interview in Winged Beauty: The Butterfly Jewellery Art of Wallace Chan

Wallace Chan implements all aspects of the beauty and symbolism of the butterfly in his jewelry masterpieces.

“When I was a young boy, butterflies were flying colors. As I grew older, I found them to be the embodiment of a great philosopher’s great philosophy – life is but a dream, only that we need to decide whether we want it to be the dream of a man, or the dream of a butterfly. I could not decide, so I became The Butterfly Man,” he shared his memories in an interview to Forbes.

Since his earliest explorations into the world of jewelry as a gemstone carver at the age of 16, first creating in malachite and lapis, then moving on to expensive, much more complex rubies, emeralds and diamonds, eventually becoming an internationally-recognized jewelry artist, researcher and innovator, Wallace Chan has invested hundreds of thousands of hours into the exploration and development of new, ground-breaking jewelry-making techniques and materials.

A modern-day alchemist and curious trailblazer in the realm of jewelry, Chan spent eight years researching and experimenting with titanium, its lightness, durability and color potential, which he now uses not only in his jewelry masterpieces but also in large-scale sculptures.

He spent seven years studying the hidden powers of porcelain, which led to the discovery of Wallace Chan Porcelain, a revolutionary, vibrant, smooth and radiant material, with an avant-garde spirit, five times harder than steel.

No wonder he does not have time to shave!

I had to invent my own tools, so I went to a factory to learn for six months as an apprentice, learning about the mechanics. Finally I thought I could transform a dental drill into the carving knife, but the dental drill was spinning 36,000 times per minute so once it touches the stone’s surface the stone cracks. So I had to put the stone beneath water to carve.

 

From and interview to National Jeweler

Among Wallace Chan’s unique, ground-breaking inventions are the Wallace Cut, inspired by his interest in reflections, a technique based on gem-faceting and 360-degree intaglio, generating a fourfold reflection on transparent gemstones. For that purpose, he even invented his own tools: modified dental drills. As if that was not challenging enough, this painstaking carving had to be performed underwater, so that heat and tension from drilling would not cause the gems to crack.

The other remarkable inventions by Wallace Chan include his revolutionary gemstone setting techniques, with which – unlike traditional jewelry – gems are set without metal claws. In the diamond claw setting method and inner mortise and tenon setting method, the gemstones are masterfully set within each other, preserving their natural allure, translucency, brilliance and color.

Each of my pieces has to be one of a kind but once I have mastered the idea, I want to move on. Seeking new challenge is the challenge. I love challenging myself.

 

From an interview in Winged Beauty: The Butterfly Jewellery Art of Wallace Chan

Wallace Chan’s artworks have been exhibited at many museums, galleries and art fairs around the world: the European Fine Art Fair, Biennale des Antiquaires; American Museum of Natural History (New York), Lévy Gorvy (Hong Kong), Naturama Museum (Svendborg), Canary Wharf (London), DIVA Museum (Antwerp), Fondaco Marcello (Venice), Asia House (London), Christie’s Gallery (Hong Kong), the Gemological Institute of America Museum (Carlsbad), the Capital Museum (Beijing), Kaohsiung Museum of History (Taiwan), and Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (Idar-Oberstein).

They are also part of the permanent collections of the British Museum, the Beijing Capital Museum, and the Ningbo Museum.

But Chan remains a relentless seeker and keeps looking for new inspirations, asking new questions and diving into impressive innovations.

THE EMBRACE OF STONES BY BOGHOSSIAN

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KISSING STONES, BROUGHT TOGETHER THROUGH EXCLUSIVE TECHNIQUE, MEET IN RAVISHING, GLACIAL EARRINGS
 

Generation after generation, the Boghossians – a family of Lebanese jewelers and philanthropists, currently operating flagship stores in London, Geneva, and Hong Kong – have been researching, developing and refining their signature stone-setting techniques.

The patented Kissing Stones technique treats gemstones with special respect for their beauty and imaginative approaches towards their luminescent facets – magnificent windows to dazzling light.

In the featured earrings, from the Boghossian’s Four Elements Collection, diamonds, tanzanites and aquamarines are supporting and holding each other in gentle embrace, breathing and living a life of their own, without the shackles of convention, nor restricted by metal settings. The ice-blue stones, topped by white diamonds, are shaped into architectural rectangles, made mellower and sweeter by rounded corners.

The marvellous gems exude the energy of two glaciers: one, submerged in nordic waters; the other, rising from the surface of a clear mountain stream, with a delicate diamond path crossing its luminescent surface.

The water elements, which inspired Boghossians for this creation, lost and found treasures from the depth of ice-cold water, crystals of salt against the bright and deep blue surface, come together in a piece which emphasizes your shining eyes and complements your exceptional jewelry collection.

A SPARKLING EYE-CATCHER: PEARL RAIN EARRINGS BY TATIANA VERSTRAETEN

A YOUNG AND POWERFUL ENTRY INTO THE FINE JEWELRY WORLD

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The time is ripe for magic to happen.

Before long, tiny, mischievous snowflakes will be falling on your warm face, dripping under the collar of your coat.

Look closer, as they slowly turn into magnificent, clear drops of spring rain, and transform into the fresh droplets of powerful summer showers, shimmering in the sun, playing with rainbows, cooling your sun-kissed skin.

The Pearl Rain fringe earrings in white, rhodium-plated gold, embellished with diamonds and pearls, designed by Tatiana Verstraeten – founder of the eponymous brand, which also happens to be the youngest jewelry brand on the legendary Place Vendôme – are exactly that: a mélange of all things delicate and feminine, deliciously fresh and irresistibly attractive.

Rhodium plating is known to increase the luster and light reflection of silver-hued metals; besides, it improves durability and makes them more scratch-resistant, making it a perfect match for this spectacular piece of jewelry. Long, delicate, almost invisible chains, supporting the tiny pearl drops, gently sway with your every move, caress your neck and radiate light like strings of rain caught in the sunlight.

Young, charming and talented, Tatiana uses, to her great advantage, the previous hands-on experience at Chanel, where she designed hats and costume jewelry – to make volume and movement the strong points behind her creations.

Intriguing and delightful, they catch the eye without overpowering the person wearing them.

These earrings are longing to be worn.

TASAKI: KEEPING TO TRADITION BY BREAKING THE RULES

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JEWELRY, FASHION, DESIGN, SCULPTURE. WHAT CONNECTS THEM? I’VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR THE ANSWER – AND FOUND IT IN TASAKI.

A brand which invites fashion designers to create jewelry. A brand which treats high jewelry like very expensive bijoux. Who are they?

Tasaki – the Japan-founded high jeweler – is an amalgamation of tradition, quality, flight of imagination and creative audacity.

Established in 1954, Tasaki went through several decades of classic, expert and yet undistinguished jewelry-making – to become a daring, refined and exquisite high jewelry house, loved and valued by the bold and stylish.

The only jeweler in Japan to have their own pearl farms, both locally and in Myanmar, Tasaki makes the best of what this ownership has to offer: exceptional and pristine, sustainably and ethically produced pearls of the very highest quality.

The brand is also a sight-holder with De Beers, ensuring them access to the highest-grade diamonds, which are then cut into the desired shapes in their own Kobe workshops.

On top of that, the innovative genius of Tasaki’s creative and scientific minds has developed and patented SAKURAGOLD™ – a metal with the texture of 18k gold and a deeper pink hue, embodying Japanese aesthetics and making it closer to the natural color of human skin.

What started as traditional pearl jewelry has been modernized and refined through many collaborations, such as the one with Melanie Georgacopoulos. Trained as a sculptor, Melanie sliced, drilled and faceted the pearls, just as she would have done in a sculpture, jumping the hurdle between classic yet unremarkable pieces to elegant, avant-garde and audacious masterpieces.

The company’s CEO Toshikazu Tajima joined in 2009, embarking on a mission to take Tasaki from a brand producing designs which “could have been anybody” to a traditional yet progressive, exclusive Japanese high jewelry house, willing to take risks to produce exceptional and ambitious jewellery with a taste for Japanese patience, spirit, heritage and integrity.

It was Toshikazu Tajima who got the idea of inviting fashion designers to work on Tasaki’s jewelry designs to help the brand push through the status quo of mundane classics and, instead, make its creations more appealing to a modern audience.

Using original stone cuts to create a cascade of diamonds and semiprecious stones, and always playing around pearls, Tasaki has created these special earrings. Cool blue arctic frost and fresh morning dew on the moss of deep woods: modern and close to timeless nature, inspired by its beauty and magnified by imagination, as well as the sculptural take and skill of the brand’s designers and jewelers.

TRADITIONS, CRAFTSMANSHIP AND SOME MAGIC: SILK ROAD COLLECTION BY SILVIA FURMANOVICH

WEAR A CARPET IN YOUR EAR. SOUNDS CRAZY? BUT LOOKS INCREDIBLE!

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Yes, you heard it right.

Tiny, exquisite, tactile carpets, rugs and textile pieces of immense beauty, adorned with diamonds, opals, sapphires, beryls, turquoise, tsavorites, peridots, citrines and pearls, transformed into the shapes resembling the windows of the magnificent Central Asian mosques and other ritual buildings, miniature paintings or tapestry, with painstakingly delicate details.

This is the new Silk Road collection by an award-winning jeweler and hardcore enthusiast of travel, meeting people and immersing herself in tradition Silvia Furmanovich.

A magician of the jewelry art and an avid traveller, this time she directed her gaze—and trips—to the historical cities of Uzbekistan, which were once a part of the famous Silk Road: a centuries-old network of Eurasian trade routes, spanning over 4000 miles between China and the Roman Empire, playing a crucial role in the cultural, economic, political, religious, ideological and conceptual communication between the Eastermn and the Western worlds.

“Four men tossed a silk carpet into the air, and as it floated to the ground I envisioned a pair of earrings,” Silvia shared her impression of the unprecedented crafts she witnessed in the country.

Fitting more than one and a half thousand fine needle stitches and tiny knots within a drastically reduced surface—to make a single pair of earrings!—required the immense craftsmanship of the local artisans and the maximum power of persuasion from Silvia. A several metre-wide fabrique had to fit within just a few centimetres. Not just fit—but be perfectly and delicately dyed to flawlessly cover every spot and dot within the miniature surface.

To achieve this unusual perfection, Silvia met and talked to dozens of Uzbek silk weavers, fabric makers and vintage textile dealers and watched them work, exchanging ideas and getting inspiration from the colors and patterns, learning the ancient crafts and secret techniques, which at some point might vanish into oblivion—but will now be eternally and timelessly present in Silvia’s jewelry artworks.

After that, Silvia worked with the artisans in her hometown São Paulo: to embed those miniatures into unique pieces of jewelry. Apart from the traditional, delicate embroidery, the earrings, bracelets, clutch purses of the Silver Road collection include marquetry, bamboo weaving and tiny paintings, enclosed within the frames of gold and adorned with colorful gems.

The featured earrings have been inspired by the decorative, indigenous, hand-embroidered suzani technique, traditionally implemented with a cotton or a silk base, which is then embroidered on top.

Those tiny pieces of art are a reflection of the huge depths of tradition, mastery and creativity: all tied—or, in this case, knotted—together.

BONES, SWIRLS AND CHARISMATIC SPIRITUALITY: DOGUMA’S SYMBOLIC COLLECTION

THE TALISMANIC NATURE OF BONES, PROTECTING AND GIVING US STRENGTH, CUDDLED IN A TIGHT, GENTLE CURL OF DIAMONDS AND BLACK GOLD

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From ancient people’s earliest attempts to turn bones into beauty⁠, to the contemporary art of turning precious metals and stones into dazzling bones.

Denis Nesterov, founder of Doguma Jewelry and an ex-director of Cartier boutiques, is a graduate in philosophy, a GIA gemologist and, as he describes himself, a stoic, with a passion for Buddhism and Japanese culture. He followed this path, from the depths of the mystical meaning of bones as the fundamental framework of every living creature able to stand on their feet⁠ to the ethereal beauty of dainty and bizarre jewels.

Denis works with Japanese and Hong Kong jewelers to create Doguma (the Japanese pronunciation for “dogma”): jewels with external beauty and internal meaning, made in no more than 88 copies⁠ – for golden pieces, and 888 copies⁠ – for silver pieces.

The number of jewels was not selected by chance: eight is a lucky number in many cultures. Turned on its side, it looks like infinity, and is linked both with balance and harmony.

This is how the earrings from the staple Doguma collection ‘Bones’ were created. Harmonious and daring, implemented in black gold, white and milk diamonds, these talismanic and emotional pieces are rolled up like tumultuous whirlwinds, pulling us into the designer’s imagination and bringing us to a new reality.s

The paradox of these mischievous little tornadoes and their bone-hard stability: make sure to wear them with pizzazz, but don’t lose the ground under your feet!

WATER IS LIFE, WATER IS LOVE: INFUSED JEWELS AND HERBAL TEA BY HEMMERLE

WHAT DO GEMS, HERBS AND GRANNIES WITH PINK HAIR HAVE IN COMMON? FIND OUT IN THE NEW COLLECTION BY HEMMERLE AND COLLABORATING ARTISTS

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The house of Hemmerle has recently presented a new high jewelry collection ‘Infused Jewels’, accompanied by a charming contemporary fairy tale by Greta Bellamacina, illustrated by Rosanna Tasker, and a fragrant herbal tea by Kräutergarten München, stored in jars hand-crafted by Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg.

Many exceptional talents came together to conceptualize and create this marvellous experimental collection, resulting in both an enchanting tea blend and a magical blend of jewels. Lavender, ginger flowers, orange and linden blossom, lemon balm, verbena, sunflower, rosemary, cornflower, cinnamon and strawberries: aromatic plants that, when infused in a cup of hot water, bring sensory joy, can also heal and start a conversation, They have been integrated into anodized aluminium, diamonds, bronze, bisque porcelain, natural pearls, demantoid garnets, tanzanite and real cinnamon sticks.

In the ‘Infused Jewels’ book, a girl living in a world where everything is planned to the tiniest detail, together with her eccentric (aesthetically!), pink-haired grandma, starts to plant herbs to restore the beauty that has been lost, and to make her sweet granny a cup of ginger tea.

How many cups of tea can you have? Some days I cannot seem to stop. It has become my ritual, bringing me closer to nature, making me happy and calm.

When I was a child, I thought that people who don’t dream are dead souls. So, slow down, look around, take a sip and dream. Let beauty and invigorating, fragrant tea become your ritual too…

 

DEFYING THE LAWS OF GRAVITY: RINGS, BROOCHES, BANGLES AND EARRINGS BY FENG J

A UNIQUE TRADEMARK TECHNIQUE HELPS THE JEWELRY DESIGNER CREATE PIECES LIKE NO OTHER.

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Lightness, transparency and gentle colors, with gems held together as if by magic, visually not supported by any structure: jewelry designer Feng J uses her own, unique, innovative “Floating set” technique to make the gems appear to be floating in air, reflecting, refracting and allowing light to pass through them – to enhance the effects of phenomenal transparency, weightlessness and luminosity, as well as defying the laws of gravity.

The idea behind this signature technique is to reduce the weight of a piece by minimizing the amount of gold holding the stones together, while simultaneously retaining the large scale of the creation.

In these delicate, harmonious pieces, the stones are hand-picked and custom-cut by hand into 1–1.2 mm double rose-cuts and allocated the one and only correct place in the design, which may take months.

The Calla Lily Ring in emeralds, rose-cut diamonds and double rose-cut yellow sapphires and tsavorites will sumptuously embrace your wrist with its elegantly curved, electroplated green-colored gold bangle arm.

The Dreamland Butterfly Brooch in chrysoberyl, yellow quartz, tsavorites, marquise white diamonds, diamond beads and electroplated gold is a creature from a wonderland where production and implementation, as well as the invisible metal structure holding the entire piece together seems like a dream.

The Green Willow Leaf Earrings in green tourmaline, double rose-cut tsavorites, chrysoberyls, tanzanites, aquamarines, white diamond and electroplated gold quietly sway in the warm, late-spring air and soak up rays of light, emphasizing their refreshing colors.

The Yellow Ginkgo Leaf brooch – in double rose-cut yellow sapphires, orange sapphires, rose-cut round diamonds, pear-shaped diamonds and gold – brings joy and energy on its vibrant, sunny leaves.

In the Green Lily of the Valley Bangle in double rose-cut tsavorites, chrysoberyls, tanzanites, aquamarines, diamond beads, white diamond and electroplated gold, Feng J’s signature “Floating set” technique brings fantastic naturalism into the artwork, made even more delicate with its open, organic structure, all achieved through superb craftsmanship.

MAGIC QUARTZ, SUBTLE DIAMONDS AND MISCHIEVOUS WHITE GOLD IN EARRINGS BY SIETE GALLERY

WHO WOULD BE THE PERFECT WEARER FOR THESE EARPIECES? I SAY: ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

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Twisting, fragile baby mushrooms. The roots of an exotic, fragrant flower. Reflections of the morning sun in the sky. The half-dreamy world we enter straight after exiting the Land of Sleep.

What was the inspiration for this piece. These earrings by the Spanish jewelry brand Siete Gallery are amongst those rare creations where it just doesn’t matter. Soft and delicate, decisive and straightforward candy-like drops from a fairy-tale. They are simply beautiful.

Siete Gallery, better known as SIE7E, is a family-owned jewelry business, born as a gesture of love and respect by a designer and gemologist Guillermo Martorell to his wife Mamen Puchada, for whom the number 7 bears special significance.

“Jewelry is one of the accessories with the most emotional bond”, says Guillermo. The eclectic and bohemian SIE7E pieces are born out of a dialogue between experiential design and artisan tradition, and made by hand, down to the last detail, in their own atelier.

Avant-garde and temperamental, with a touch of forever classics, they are meant to awaken emotion and find their one and only owner, who will tame them, love them and become one with their dreamy nature.

Whether you’re an oddball Alice in Wonderland or a clear-headed rocket scientist, welcome to the world of SIE7E – the world of magic, dreams and wonder.

FROM THE CATWALK TO THE EAR: ARCHI DIOR EARRINGS

A STRING OF DIAMONDS SOARING IN THE AIR. THE GENTLE SWAYING OF LUXURY FABRIC. IN DIOR’S REFINED COLLECTION, IT’S ALL ABOUT SILHOUETTES AND MOVEMENT.

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Paying tribute to Christian Dior – the legendary couturier with an architect’s eye, known for the geometric silhouettes and clean lines of his creations – Victoire de Castellane, creative director of Dior Joaillerie, has concocted Archi Dior, a collection inspired by the brand’s iconic suits and dresses.

In her revolutionary approach, Victoire plays with the jewelry as if it were a piece of luxurious fabric, a fancy lace, a silky string, recreating their motion, tactile feel, visual charm and architectural silhouettes in white gold and diamonds.

The climber earrings, which are meant to be worn separately in one ear, were inspired by ribbons of Dior’s ‘Diorama’ dress, presented to the fashionista world in 1951.

Looking like little dancing dresses, these coquettish earrings were inspired by the ‘Bar’ suit, presented at the 1947 haute couture show: an off-white silk jacket, padded at the hips and accentuating the wasp waist, and a pleated black wool skirt – for a style that’s curvy and ultra-feminine.

The elegant movement is made to look free and easy by the creative genius of Victoire de Castellane and the skill of Dior’s jewellers.

Swaying, twirling and waltzing, these light and gracious earrings are a perfect fit for ears that can hear beauty.

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