Silvia Furmanovich’s Marquetry

Silvia Furmanovich is a powerhouse of Brazilian jewelry. Her work is famously rich and sumptuous, incorporating organic material while exploring global culture and staying evocative of her native Brazil. Her collection, Marquetry, is a conscious celebration of the country’s most precious resource: the Amazon rainforest.

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The collection was inspired by Furmanovich’s encounters with artisans of the Amazon, where she was introduced to their innovative and environmentally conscious approaches to the decorative arts. Marquetry, the classical furniture inlay decoration technique, is brought to an entirely new level with this collection, which leverages all-nautral dyeing techniques and renewable woods to create individual jewelry pieces that are light, wearable, and detailed beyond belief.

These native woods are reclaimed from the forest floor, not cut from living specimens. The incredible colors and textures can be traced back to artisans’ deep knowledge of the environment, a knowledge that can be obtained only from generations of time spent living in what most of us would consider an “untamed” environment, observing the effect of natural phenomena on wood. For example, some colors in the collection naturally occur when wood is submerged in water for a prolonged period.

“Pairing the tones and textures of indigenous salvaged wood with rare and precious gems, gold and diamonds creates a beautiful effect,” she says. “I love the mixture of materials. I don’t have a prejudice against using common materials like seashells or pieces of wood with gold and diamonds. I want to make something that matches what I’m looking for; it doesn’t have to be ‘precious’. Mixing precious with common is beautiful.”

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More than Picasso’s muse

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Tate Modern is rightly celebrating the work of the incredible but often forgotten Dora Maar.

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Picasso immortalised her in his 1937 painting Weeping Woman, but Dora Maar was always more than her tears. So here at The Jewelry Icon we are delighted that the Tate Modern has a new exhibition showcasing the work of this talented and progressive artist. In the 1930s, her provocative photomontages became celebrated icons of surrealism, and that has been too easily forgotten.
To be with a person as remarkable as Picasso, you probably need to be a big character yourself and there’s no doubt that the gorgeous and strong Maar stood up to him. But after he left her for a younger mistress, heartbroken Maar went into tailspin and lived the rest of her life alone until her death in Paris in 1997. It’s fair to say, as many have, that the decision to dedicate her life and love to Picasso, marked the end of her artistic career. Was it the wrong step?

TATE MODERN: Dora Maar Exhibition

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BEST APHORISM FROM KARL

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KARL LAGERFELD QUOTES:

WOMEN:

“The woman is the most perfect doll that i have dressed with delight and admiration.”

“The only love that I really believe in is a mother’s love for her children.”

FASHION:

“Never use the word “cheap”. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans — it’s up to you.”

“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.”

“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”

“Fashion is a language that creates itself in clothes to interpret reality.”

“I am a fashion person, and fashion is not only about clothes — it’s about all kinds of change”

“I want everyone to wear what they want and mix it in their own way. That, to me, is what is modern.”

“A respectable appearance is sufficient to make people more interested in your soul”

WORK:

“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you “

“People who do a job that claims to be creative have to be alone to recharge their batteries. You can’t live 24 hours a day in the spotlight and remain creative. For people like me, solitude is a victory.”

“Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity.”

WORLD/ PEOPLE:

“We live in a dark and romantic and quite tragic world.”

“Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose!”

“Don’t look to the approval of others for your mental stability”

“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

“People who say that yesterday was better than today are ultimately devaluing their own existence.”

“When people talk about the good old days, I say to people, ‘It’s not the days that are old, it’s you that’s old.’ I hate the good old days. What is important is that today is good.”

“Music gives color to the air of the moment.”

ABOUT KARL:

“I’m very much down to earth, just not this earth.”

“Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am the happy victim of books.”

“I love classic beauty. It’s an idea of beauty with no standard.”

“I like to reinvent myself — it’s part of my job.”

“Normally, I don’t recommend me for wedding dresses – they all get a divorce.”

“I will not talk about that. I like to read biographies, history, philosophical things like this. But it’s for my private use, and not for making people say, Oh, how clever this stupid man is. I don’t make intellectual conversation. I’m very superficial. I’m just a fashion designer. Fashion designers look at fashion magazines, right?”

“Why should I stop working? If I do, I’ll die and it’ll all be finished. ‘m lucky to work in the most perfect of conditions. I can do what I want in all kinds of areas. The expenses are not expenses. I would be stupid to stop that. Work is making a living out of being bored.”

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Everyday Luxury: Vhernier

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What better way is there to show how much you love a jewelry house than to wear their pieces every day? I’ll admit, I’m ready to wear Vhernier every single day. Their pieces are simple, but bold and eye-catching statements of strength and elegance.

As much as jewelry is a way of channeling our creativity and aesthetic, it’s can also direct and symbolize our mood and feelings. Vernier’s strong, structural, architectural jewelry gives me a sense of determination and technology that vibes perfectly with the modern world we live in. They’re little architectural masterpieces.

Here we present a couple of Vhernier classics and a new piece that channel this sensibility. The Vhernier Abbraccio is on the left and Tourbillion on the right. They’re both designed to be worn on the right hand (per Vernier’s attention to design and detail), but the Abbraccio can be worn on the left as well.

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Writing That Sparkles

Maison Chaumet Presents ‘Brillantes Ecritures’ Exhibition,22nd February – 1st April 2019, Paris

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Chaumet shows that jewelry and literature are a natural pairing.

The maison’s fans will know that throughout its history Chaumet has been a source of inspiration to men and women of letters. From Balzac to Dumas, Wharton to Rostand, Collette, Olga Picasso and Alfred de Musset, the list is long and distinguished. Now Chaumet is telling the story of its fascinating links with writer clients and literary figures in Brillantes Ecritures, an exhibition that brings together romantic novels, society columns, historic jewels and archive documents.

From February 22 to April 1, at 165 Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris

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Reflections on St. Valentine’s Day 2019

Love is complex, and while St. Valentine’s Day simplifies it into gifts, chocolate and flowers. The Jewelry Icon brings another lens to the endeavor.

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We have to admit, the ranks of The Jewelry Icon are filled with skeptics. One might think that because we cover the most incredible jewelry, and so often the creation and history of such pieces is associated with love and passion and grand families, that we would be taken with the idea of St. Valentine’s Day. But that’s not quite the case. It’s not about love – we live for love, whether with lovers or children or family. It makes the world go round. But it’s the total commercialization of the holiday that we object to, the idea that someone needs to bring something expensive home for the holiday or they “don’t love me.” That’s just not true and it’s an unhealthy way to look at relationships. So, we have some ambivalence. But we do still love jewelry, so check out a few of our favorites for this year and remember that love isn’t like the movies and is about more than romantic love: it’s the glue that binds people together.

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ALHAMBRA TRAVELS …

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A NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE ABOUT THE EMOTION BEHIND PERSONAL ORNAMENTS TRIGGERED FEELINGS ABOUT MY JEWELRY ATTACHMENTS.

 

With the creeping years I get increasingly attached to my jewelry. Treasured rings, bracelets and necklaces  almost become  my companions. I remember special occasions when I wore them, what I was thinking and feeling at the time, the jewelry tells stories.

When it comes to my absolute favorite pieces, like my vintage Alhambra, I’m so attached I live in fear of losing them. This is jewelry that I want to pass on to my children. All of which means I find this article in the New York times fascinating: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/30/fashion/jewelry-personal-stories.htmlIn Jewelry, Their jewely has become part of these people, and I understand that.

Spirited and quirky, Van Cleef’s spirited Lucky Charm is another piece that might well find its way into my family’s jewelry box.

 

Eternal Beauty: Boucheron’s Nature Triomphante

Blending art and technology to evoke the perfect beauty of nature.

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So often when I was a little girl (and even not so little!) I would take little flowers and examine every petal and color, tying them around my finger or placing them in my hair. Of course, the flower would always fade, but Boucheron has made the dream of such floral jewelry perfection come true with their collection “Nature Triomphante” – capturing the beauty of flowers’ utmost realism.

The technique used to render these pieces leverages some of our most advanced technology – it’s a wonder, really, how much hard science these soft, beautiful pieces depend on. Each piece is modeled after a real flower, with the bloom cycle of each studied closely to determine them at their most luxurious and opulent. From there, each petal and pistil was scanned four times by an MRI scanner before being placed on an exact, 3D-printed titanium mold of each piece and covered with a velvety lacquer.

The result is both stunning and titanium-strong. Each piece has been extensively tested and the flowers are fully stable, captured at their high point of beauty and bloom. It’s the culmination of two years of work on the part of Claire Chosen [Creative Director of Boucheron] and her team & time spent developing flower stabilization techniques and executing the overall concept.

The collection of rings is absolutely timeless, both a show-stopper and subtle in its remarkable natural beauty!

Special thanks to artist Hakan for his incredible illustration we commissioned for this article – it captures the elegance of the collection perfectly. Hake Arblom @inkycubans

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Inspired By Lucrezia Buccellati

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DE GRISOGONO’S STELLA AURA

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A woman wearing de Grisogno will always light up a room

 

 

Dense and luminous, this jewelry has been designed for the strong and confident woman who doesn’t want to go unnoticed. Mr Gruosi loves and worships her, and for this he makes her sparkle with jewelry that speaks the language of the stars.

Forget girl power: de Grisogono’s Cosmic Creations collection is about woman power…

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COLOR ME BEAUTIFUL

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I am quite obsessed by color, but my passion is a moveable feast and at any point in my life there is always one hue that preoccupies me more than any other. I dress in it, collect images in it and it usually finds my way into my make-up bag, too.

Right now, I am going through a brick-red phase, and I think these cool, never-before published sketches from @lityart showcase the color beautifully. And they are also a fantastic canvas for de Grisgono’s stand-out gorgeous High Jewelry.

 

 

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Haute Joaillerie: Four Questions with Christian Hemmerle

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Hemmerle, the renowned 126-year-old German jewelry house, has been a perennial favorite of ours to cover simply because their work is among the best in the world. Always balanced, sumptuous, and employing a unique approach to textures and shapes with incredible attention to detail, the house of Hemmerle has earned its special place among European design houses. Besides, each piece I encounter evokes a deep sense of pleasure and wonder – what else could be asked of a piece of jewelry?

Their latest collection turns to the culture and tropes of East Asia. We spoke with Christian Hemmerle to learn more about what it all means.

JI: So we’ll start with fundamentals. These pieces are incredibly detailed; how much time needed for their production?

CH: We set no limits on the time it takes to make each piece. We make around 200 one-off handcrafted pieces of jewelry a year and each piece is made on site at our Munich atelier by our team of 20 master-craftsmen. It can take years to treasure hunt stones whose proportions fit together and once in production, a piece can take over 500 hours to complete. Usually, the same craftsman will work on a piece from beginning to end drawing expertise and advice from across the workshop.

For over 15 years now we use a very precise technique of setting stones in reverse pavé. The setting adds an unexpected depth as light is reflected from many different angles due to the increased exposed surface area. In these iron and diamond earrings we have reverse-set over 300 diamonds in a variety of sizes to achieve a seamless surface layered behind the cut-out iron structure. Similarly in the earrings featuring Japanese Gods, the reverse of each porcelain panel is reverse-set with over 400 diamonds to add an extra layer of craftsmanship and detail.

JI: Are there any particular creative techniques that has have been used to create these pieces? The house is known for their innovative technical processes…

Each piece is a new discovery for us and we never get bored of experimenting and innovating with design and process. We aim to continuously challenge our craft and push boundaries in what is feasible. In the earrings below the iron used for the lattice over the diamond-set surface has been engineered so it appears curved from the creation’s profile allowing for an elevated aesthetic and unique physical volume to our piece. Similarly, In the copper and jade earrings, the honeycomb structure which fuses the natural zircons and orange jade discs was a challenge technically to achieve but we tackled it through experimentation. We often innovate in our pieces that include technical elements created uniquely as prototypes, facilitating accordingly our creative vision.

JI: Tell us more about the stones used here: how they were sourced and why they were chosen.

CH: We are continually searching around the world for the most beautiful, intriguing stones and materials, both old and new, to add to our creative vocabulary
The pearls in the topaz earrings feature natural melo and conch pearls. Melo pearls are unfathomably rare; found in melo melo snails in the waters of the South China Sea, melo pearls remain unique as only one in every 10,000 snails produces a pearl and, most often, it is small. Conch pearls are similarly hard to come by and it took us many years to find four pearls whose proportions worked perfectly together like this.

JI: These earrings in particular‘Seven Gods of Fortune’ are incredible. What’s the story?

CH: These earrings boldly use porcelain portraits depicting the Japanese Seven Gods of Fortune. According to myth, the Gods arrive on New Year’s Day on a ship carrying treasures that symbolize honesty, fortune, dignity, amiability, longevity, happiness and wisdom. They were chosen from Hinduist, Buddhist, Taoist and Shintoist gods or saints, and settled into Japanese Folklore Gods, believed to have been grouped together around the 17th century. In our earrings, each of the six Gods used face inwards towards the viewer.
Beyond the beauty in the colour of the orange jade used, the material also holds cultural significance intricately woven into Chinese history. We have found much inspiration in the material and have previously used both ancient and antique jade in an array of colours from lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown to white, black, and grey, in each case selected for its unique color and texture.

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DIOR Grand Bal Miss Dior

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Dior’s latest Grand Bal Miss Dior watch collection brings together the gentle beauty of Dior’s flowers and the timeless luxury of the timepiece brand.


The Dior Grand Bal collection has recently unveiled two new pieces inspired by the magic and beauty of flowers.

These two new “Dior Grand Bal Miss Dior” timepieces are equipped with the unique “Dior Inversé 11 1/2” caliber, which features an oscillating weight placed on top of the dial. For these pieces, per the floral theme, they embellished with beautiful flower petals.

With this movement, the weight and the dial take on the allure of a blossoming flower – one in shades of pink recalling the joy of spring, and the second in blue tones echoing the nighttime reflection of moonlight on petals.

These light floral motifs are set off with sparkling diamonds on the bezel. These 3D effect petals give life to the timepiece and evoke the charms of Christian Dior’s famed garden. The matching strap lining and pink or blue sapphire crystal case-backs are final, personal details only known to the wearer.

These two pieces are a fine tribute to Monsieur Dior’s passion for flowers as well as the famous “Miss Dior” dress, one of the Maison’s first Haute Couture dresses. They are available in a limited edition of 88 pieces.

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DON’T MISS THE NEW MOON [DIOR VIII MONTAIGNE CLAIR DE LUNE]

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DIOR WATCHES: INTRODUCING THE DIOR VIII MONTAIGNE CLAIRE DE LUNE

 

 

Inspired by the different phases of the moon, these three additions to the Dior VIII Montaigne collection take time pieces to the celestial heavens. The lunar patterns are exquisitely drawn on the dial with gold threads and diamonds, and the result is extremely cool. My absolute favorite? The filigreed elegance of the crescent model.This is an amazing marriage of craftsmanship with technical innovation. What a fine tribute to Monsieur Dior’s passion for the starry firmament.

Set off with a black alligator strap with a yellow gold prong buckle set with round diamonds, the watches are available in a limited edition of 88 pieces.

 

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THE PERFECTION IN IMPERFECTION: [Lucifer Vir Honest]

LUNA SCAMUZZI”S JEWELRY CREATION IS OPEN, CREATIVE & COMPELLING. HER AESTHETIC IS DIFFERENT THEN OTHERS OF OUR TIME, AND HER BACKGROUND IS TOO.

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We had a chance to talk to Luna Scamuzzi of Lucifer Vir Honestus about what drives her jewelry creation. She’s an incredible woman. Formerly an architect, she brings a shape-and-structure driven eye to her work, but has dispensed totally with the strict rules of architecture and allowed herself to explore the boundaries of jewelry freely and without many of the aesthetic constraints of her contemporaries. She’s like an Alice in Wonderland. Luna – whose name itself grounds her to natural forces – is inspired completely by nature, looking to the stones she’s working with to lead her to their best possible presentation. She follows her instincts and the deep origins of her designs is reflected in her work.

 

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