November09Jewelry in Art



In a small city on the scenic American East Coast – spiced up by fun murals, hipster coffee shops, the vibrant River Arts District where former factory buildings became home to artists’ studios and the Downtown Art District, populated with galleries and museums – a legend was born.

Asheville, nicknamed the “Paris of the South”, is a charming oasis of chill bohemian vibe and artistic coziness. Back in the 1980s, residents fought hard to keep its atmosphere as an artisan city, with unique style and architecture, small local stores and restaurants, in opposition to building a large shopping mall which would have required demolishing an authentic area of 11-blocks.

This eclectic city also happens to be the hometown of David Webb – a prominent American jeweler and founder of an eponymous luxury jewelry house – where he started his education in jewelry-making and grew fond of lavish, blooming gardens.

New fine jewelry collection named after Asheville: eight exceptional floral pieces (pendant necklace, drop earrings, cuff bracelets, choker, and an open-band ring), designed in two distinctive palettes – fresh, pink opals with rubies, emerald beads, turquoise and diamonds, and serene, blue chalcedony with sapphires, turquoise and diamonds. The distinctive 18-karat gold chains and white enamel, present in both colorways, make it easy to combine the jewels and weld them together.

It is tempting to search Asheville’s gardens and Blue Ridge Mountains for the wildflowers which have inspired David Webb’s designers. There, you can find rhododendrons, flame azaleas, mountain laurels, and Turk’s cap lilies. Curiously, the house says that the new collection’s floral motif has no direct analog in nature but, rather, is an archetypical, stylized flower, easily recognized across continents, epochs and cultures.

The jewelry house’s co-owner and creative director Mark Emanuel acknowledges that now is the right time to come back to “flower power”, with its intrinsic ideas of invigorating beauty, peace and optimism.

A gulp of fresh air, spring in the midst of winter’s approach, the delicate, light pink and pale blue flowers are supported by unique, weighty and supple chains – a combination of strength, dreaminess and femininity, marked with characteristic design elements: bold colors, lively enamel and carved hardstones.

So, here it is: the new Ashville collection by David Webb, a quintessence of light, charm and hope.

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