ILGIZ FAZULZYANOV: YEARS OF SUBLIME EVOLUTION

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SOME ARTISTS FEEL COMFORTABLE AS THEY ARE. TRUE ARTISTS KEEP MOVING FORWARD. 

The birds are flying in winter too.

Ilgiz Fazulzyanov

Geometric birds resting on sculptural clouds: a creation untypical of Ilgiz Fazulzyanov. But then again, what is typical for this extraordinary artist?

It is a gift and a blessing to be involved for many years in something that you are passionate about. As a buyer and marketer for luxury fashion brands, and now the founder and editor-in-chief of The Jewelry Icon, I have seen the evolutionary paths of many creatives. Some of them are still as good – even perfect – as they were 20 years ago.

True artists, however, push forward, observing, examining, exploring and evolving. Like curious, unstoppable children exploring the woods, they check every corner, every day stepping just a tiny bit further, to see what else the mysterious depths might have to offer.

That is certainly true of Ilgiz Fazulzyanov who has been actively developing his love and interest in Art Deco. Looking for new means to express himself, he studies its strict geometric shapes for the clear, clean and energetic aesthetics that they offer.

Unfortunately, or not, I am probably in advance of my time.

Ilgiz Fazulzyanov

In many interviews, Ilgiz Fazulzyanov has emphasized that he sees himself, first and foremost, as an artist rather than as a jeweler. For him, there is no such thing as ‘favorite metal’ or ‘favorite gem’. Instead, he gets an idea and then goes on to select the most appropriate material, whether precious, semiprecious, or thoroughly unexpected, to implement it.

He sketches ideas wherever he goes: on the plane, by the sea, in the orchard, inspired by clouds and rain, plants and birds, even by the most unexpected insects.

I break all the rules and requirements of jewelry production.

Ilgiz Fazulzyanov

The art and craft of jewelry is a unique area of creativity and mastery, which has no limitations for perfection. It is an agglomeration of many innovations, discoveries, know-how, styles and sciences – metallurgy, chemistry, physics, maths, design, architecture – from past epochs and from modern times.

Ilgiz’s love for jewelry stems from his childhood. In his creative search, he has done interior and exterior designs, worked with stained glass, batik (wax-resist dyeing), and many other techniques and industries.

I can pass on [to my students] only the mastery of the jeweler, but I cannot pass on the soul and the special intuition of the artist.

Ilgiz Fazulzyanov

He then went on to develop and refine his unique jewelry-making techniques through studying exhibits in museums and archives, talking to art historians, researching the methods and materials used by jewelers around the world.

Most of his techniques have no analogies. However, in one interview, Ilgiz mentioned that he does not see any point in patenting them (at least, not yet). In his opinion, the gut feeling, intuition, magic and mastery of the true artist and creator cannot be stolen.

The secret is actually simple: a dream and a desire. And not giving up.

Ilgiz Fazulzyanov

Each creation of Ilgiz Fazulzyanov is an insight into a certain moment of his life: the natural and societal phenomena he observes, the people he meets, the conversations he has, the feelings he goes through.

It takes, on average, half a year to create one piece of jewelry, from the moment the idea is born to the last finishing touch. In that, Ilgiz has not changed a bit: the amount of time, work and heart he puts in every creation is immense.

 

Portrait by Jacqueline Ostermann.

COFFEE, MOONS AND CHOCOLATE IN BROWN MOONSTONE EARRINGS BY HEMMERLE

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FOR EVERYONE WHO LIKES THEIR JEWELRY LIKE THEY LIKE THEIR COFFEE: SILKY, SMOOTH AND FLAWLESS

In this cosmic design, two coffee bean-shaped moonstones, totalling over 150 carats, with a perfect, warm lacquer shade, dangle below elegantly hand-sculpted bronze and white gold Moon craters.

Part of the feldspar group of minerals, this mysterious, shimmering stone, which possesses the unique quality of being simultaneously iridescent and milky, is not easy to play around with. But in the right hands, the elements of the Earth reveal their potential for extreme beauty and become the stars – and the moons – for even the most refined of jewelry boxes.

Hemmerle, with their sophisticated and balanced approach, offered an opportunity to these intriguing, but largely forgotten stones to prove themselves.

As noted above, moonstones stem from the feldspar group and are composed of thin, alternating layers of two feldspar minerals: orthoclase and albite. As light passes between these layers, it is scattered into multiple angles and endless directions, and that is how its adularescence occurs.

With this alluring mechanism, light hitting the layers of adularia is reflected and diffracted within the stone. This curious phenomenon of visual motion – the soft light seems to move and roll across the gem’s surface – gives the moonstone its irresistible and enigmatic appeal.

No wonder Ancient Romans believed that moonstones were formed by solidified beams of moonlight, while in Asia, blue moonstones were seen as gifts from the Moon, brought to land every twenty-one years by the powerful ocean tides.

The cabochons used in these Hemmerle earrings are probably the best cuts for moonstones, revealing the stones’ full potential to glow. Furthermore, since moonstones are relatively “soft” (standing at 6 on the Mohs hardness scale), earrings make a perfect showcase, because they could easily scratch or crack in rings or bracelets.

And you would not want that to happen to any of these smooth, lustrous, chocolaty stunners!

MICROMOSAIC JEWELRY IS BACK WITH A BANG: MELLOW ELEGANCE BY ANDRE MARCHA

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IN THE SCULPTURAL MIND OF THE ARTIST, TURQUOISE BLOCKS AND CITRINE DROPS COUPLED WITH ANTIQUE FLOWERS BECOME DELICIOUS EARRINGS

These delightful earrings in soft, natural colors, created by Andre Marcha, are subtly dominated by the XVIII-century floral micromosaic: a miniature world within a world.

Without a doubt, this jewelry has been designed by a man. Is this a controversial thing to say about a piece of art? You tell me! But I get a strong, masculine impression, paired with feminine impulse.

Micromosaic jewelry became popular in the 17th to 19th centuries. When the offspring of affluent European families travelled the continent, absorbing the arts, landscapes and cultural scene from its many contrasting countries, resourceful Italian glass craftsmen were quick to rise to this opportunity and use their exceptional skills to offer stunning micromosaic miniatures for the wealthy travelers.

In the Andre Marcha brand, founded in 1969 in Lebanon, this jewelry tradition goes hand in hand with innovation and profound craftsmanship.

Andre Marcha’s power is in finding balance in controversy: stones with different textures and colors combined with exquisite micromosaic technique. Andre’s experience in diamond setting and wax sculpting helps him see beyond the sketches and imagine how the pieces would look in the real world. He uses his sculptural judgement to mould shapes, select the colors and bring them effortlessly together in his creations, inspired by nature, evoking the deepest emotions, amazement and curiosity.

Andre Marcha’s pieces speak a distinctive artistic language and come from the world of dreamers to the world of original style and unconventional taste.

SHE IS TIFFANY: A TRIBUTE TO ELSA PERETTI

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A REVOLUTIONARY AND INNOVATOR OF JEWELRY DESIGN, WHOSE CREATIONS ARE AS MODERN TODAY AS THEY WERE DECADES AGO

Her designs for Tiffany & Co. are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Museums of Fine Arts in Boston and Houston, and the British Museum in London.

Her Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation has been providing support to local communities in projects relating to environmental and biodiversity conservation, social inclusion and welfare, poverty relief, education, human rights, medical care and research, arts and culture since the year 2000, with over EUR 50 million donated to more than 900 projects worldwide.

Her laconic, deceptively simple, balanced and cool designs remain as up-to-date and voguish today as they were at the moment of their creation in the 1970s and 1980s.

She is Elsa Peretti: a fashion model, philanthropist and one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, who changed the face of jewelry with her legendary creations for Tiffany & Co. Over nearly half a century of their collaboration, she created more than 30 iconic designs for the American luxury jeweller, accounting for around 10 percent of Tiffany’s annual sales.

Elsa Peretti revolutionized jewelry by choosing organic, clean lines over pompous shapes heavy with big, dramatic stones and excessive extravagance. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, she said: “You need to be able to go out on the street with your jewelry. Women can’t go around wearing $1 million.” With this in mind, she elevated silver, forgotten and abandoned by fine jewelry, to a luxury material, making luxury jewelry more affordable and appropriate for daily adornment.

Her most famous creation, suitable both for a sweet, shy teenager and for a free-spirited, sensual adult woman, is the elegant, minimalist Open Heart Pendant, currently available at Tiffany & Co. in a variety of metals, in black jade, sky-blue turquoise or gentle pink rhodonite, gem-encrusted or plain, masterfully reshaped into rings, bracelets, even belt buckles.

The fabulous Bone Cuff by Elsa Peretti opened a whole new era in the world of jewelry. Deceptively simple, this ground-breaking piece stole the hearts of many celebrities of the 70s, and continues to do so today. Liza Minnelli, Catherine Deneuve, Naomi Watts, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sophia Loren and Angelina Jolie have all incorporated this trend-setting piece in their image at some point in their careers.

These minimalist, metallic cuffs, often worn on both hands and repeating the contours of the wearer’s wrist, were reimagined by Elsa Peretti after seeing monks’ bones during a childhood visit to an old church.

Alongside the Diamonds by the Yard Pendant Necklace, the kinetic, fabric-like Mesh Earrings, the clean and organic Bean and Bottle pendants, these jewelry designs confidently entered the annals of style and fashion and will remain the benchmark of elegance and pure, feminine beauty for centuries to come.

It is never easy to get a simple design right. Elsa was a master of rendering complicated beauty in simple, perfect and glorious form.

***

Elsa Peretti died in her sleep on March 18, 2021.

She once remarked: “People are forgotten so fast. I want to survive.”   And survive she will: in the history of jewelry design, Tiffany & Co, and in every piece inspired by her progressive, insightful ideas.

ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, TRADITION AND THE AVANT-GARDE: THIS IS GRIMA LONDON

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A TALE OF REMARKABLE JEWELS THROUGH THE STORY OF THEIR EXTRAORDINARY CREATOR

Wherever he found himself, he was constantly designing, sketching on hotel notepaper, drinks coasters and the back of menus.

Nicholas Foulkes, The Telegram 

Several people would qualify for the title of father of modern fashion. But then there is just one person who can unequivocally be called the father of modern jewelry.

His name is Andrew Grima.

Grima’s style cannot be mistaken for anyone else’s.

This ring, designed by him, comes in the shape of yellow gold “matchsticks”, or prolonged bricks, set with baguette-cut diamonds, surrounding an exquisite, bi-coloured tourmaline. The fundamental nature of bricks is contrasted disobediently with sumptuous chaos, creating an incredible synergy of movement.

The ring comes from one of Andrew Grima’s bold and innovative 1970s collections which changed the face of post-war British – and all contemporary – jewelry into pieces that are bound to become the focus of attention and require of the wearer both a high level of self-confidence and attitude.

The aesthetics of that decade were a hodgepodge of styles in fashion, music and art. From Marvin Gaye, who helped shape the sound of Motown (a style of rhythm and blues), earning the nickname “Prince of Soul”, – to the inimitable David Bowie. From wide, pointy collars and stylistically questionable double denim – to Vivienne Westwood who, at that time, was the icon of Punk, and Yves Saint Laurent who, during the ’70s, was developing his own unique voice.

Andrew Grima’s personality and creative journey are too multifaceted to fit within the frame of a single story. But we invite you to join us in discovering the chapters of his life through some curious facts about this colorful artist and designer.

An engineer turned designer

Andrew Grima was not a jewelry designer by training. Born in Rome in 1921 into a Maltese-Italian family that later moved to London, he spent his childhood days happily drawing and sketching. The rest of his family was also artistic: his father was an embroidery designer; his brothers George and Godfrey became architects, later helping to design Andrew’s unconventional London showroom.

Andrew studied mechanical engineering, Then, during WWII, he volunteered for the British Army. When the war ended, he wanted to pursue his passion for drawing, but most art colleges were still closed. So he entered a secretarial course, where he met his wife Helène and later joined the accounts department of her family’s jewelry business.

Two years later, a life-changing moment occurred. As he himself recalled, “two dealer brothers arrived at our office with a suitcase of large Brazilian stones – aquamarines, citrines, tourmalines and rough amethysts in quantities I had never seen before. I persuaded my father-in-law to buy the entire collection and I set to work designing. This was the beginning of my career.”

Andrew Grima’s daughter Francesca remarks that not being a designer by training must have helped him create some of his most daring and revolutionary designs. He did not have the narrowmindedness that might have made him think: I have to design jewelry that looks like jewelry. Rather, the combination of technical drawing skills and his love of art proved crucial in Andrew’s original, creative toolbox.

The bizarre shops of an unusual personality

Andrew Grima’s shops in themselves were original works of modern art.

He opened his first shop in 1966 on Jermyn Street in central London. By 1986, it was demolished and replaced with an unremarkable façade. However, in its golden days, the shop was a majestic, if not outrageous, structure.

Its exterior, designed by Bryan Kneale, took the form of a large screen, where huge, rough pieces of slate were attached to a metal frame. Instead of large glass windows, which you would expect from a standard jewelry boutique eager to showcase its merchandise, there were narrow peepholes and openings through which curious passers-by could gape at the unusual masterpieces.

Hidden behind the massive, automatic, aluminum door, designed by Geoffrey Clarke, there was a two-storey interior, designed by Ken Adam, a translucent perspex spiral staircase, engineered by Peter Rice, and Andrew Grima’s office – a white, concrete, tube-shaped bunker – located right in the center of the room.

A decade later, building on his reputation as an extraordinary personality, artist and businessman, Andrew Grima opened another jewelry shop in Zurich. This time, his two architect brothers used the salvaged hull of an old clipper ship as the foundation of the shop’s head-turning façade.

"Disrespect" for diamonds

Andrew Grima was not one to obsess about precious stones. A rebel in the world of jewelry, he refused to put a million pound-worth diamond or ruby on a pedestal and treat it differently from a cheaper, “imperfect” mineral or riverside pebble. Rather, he liked original, semiprecious gems, often in their raw, uncut form, which he would then offset and highlight with minimalist diamond or sapphire accents.

The same goes for the purity of gemstones: building his designs around natural wonders, with their natural inclusions, imperfections, and mischievous characters, he firmly believed that a masterpiece is, first and foremost, valued for its design and artistic message, rather than for the monetary value of the stones and metals used in it.

Today, the Grima brand continues to follow in the footsteps of its founder, with each stone exactly and strictly in its place. For example, the dioptase used in the production of a stunning necklace in 2020 waited in the Grima gem and mineral collection for 34 years for its moment of glory.

The Royal Jeweler

In 1966, Prince Phillip bought a “Venus” brooch – carved rubies in yellow gold – for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Soon afterwards, Andrew Grima was awarded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Prize for Elegant Design and the Queen’s Royal Warrant, and in the decades to come, he designed over a hundred masterpieces for the Royal Family.

He also became Britain’s first celebrity jeweler. Alongside royalty, his clients included Jacqueline Onassis and Estee Lauder and, among contemporary wearers, Miuccia Prada, Marc Jacobs and Gwendoline Christie.

Watches with precious faces

In 1970, Omega – the Swiss luxury watch company – commissioned Andrew Grima to design and manufacture an exquisite collection of dress watches which, to this day, remain unrivalled in their game-changing, powerful design and clever implementation.

At a time when digital watches seemed to endanger the art and craft of making complex, mechanical watch movements, Andrew Grima’s About Time collection displayed time through glass-like precious gemstones. For that purpose, stonecutters had to cut precious and semi-precious stones into odd shapes and sizes, and jewels faced the ultimate test of their skills.

Six years later ,Andrew Grima designed another revolutionary collection of solid gold digital LED watches for Pulsar – the inventors of the electronic digital watch.

A legion of awards

Andrew Grima was the only jeweler to win the Duke of Edinburgh Prize for Elegant Design. He also won eleven prestigious De Beers Diamonds International Awards – more than any other jeweler in the history of those trophies.

The irony of the moment

On 25 December 2007, Queen Elizabeth II wore her Grima ruby and diamond brooch – a gift from Prince Philip – while delivering her Christmas Message.

Andrew Grima, the most significant, influential and spectacular jewelry designer of the post-war period and the father of modern jewelry, died the following day, at the age of 86.

TO WELCOME 2023: TIME-HONORED TRADITIONS AND UNTRADITIONAL JEWELRY

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A HEARTY MIXTURE OF THE TRADITIONAL AND THE UNCONVENTIONAL ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE NEW YEAR

Whether in a winter coat under fluffy snowflakes, or in a raincoat under a pouring rain. In a t-shirt on an open terrace, or in soft pajamas under a warm blanket. In the whirlpool of a loud carnival, or at a night shift in the hospital ICU: in a few days, all of us will welcome it again.

Just as there are many ways to celebrate, there are many traditions to usher in the New Year.

So pick a hilarious or bizarre, unexpected or inspiring, whimsical or uplifting tradition from any spot of the world, and an out-of-the-ordinary piece of jewelry – for the cozy, festive and beautiful celebration!

Smashing plates in Denmark

On New Year’s day, the sheer annoyance of breaking an expensive porcelain plate might turn into a sign of good luck. In Denmark, finding a pile of smashed plates on your doorstep on the morning of January 1st is not a bad thing. On the contrary, the more shatters – the better! It means good luck and is a symbol of leaving anger, aggression and any bad thoughts and deeds behind: in the past year.

Eating grapes in Spain

In Spain, when the clock starts striking, you need to reach out for grapes and eat one grape with each strike, which is believed to bring twelve lucky months. The origins of this festive practice, dating back to the late 19th century, are banal and commercial: Spanish vine growers came up with it to sell more grapes. However, soon this shrewd marketing trick turned into a sweet tradition!

Ringing bells and slurping noodles in Japan

On New Year, following the Joya-no-Kane tradition, the temples of Japan ring bells 108 times: 107 times on New Year’s Eve, and one time at midnight – to chase away the one hundred and eight worldly desires which, according to the Buddhist belief, are experienced by people throughout their life.

Also, before the festive midnight, the Japanese eat the Toshikoshi soba (roughly translated as “year-crossing”) noodle soup. The long soba noodles are easy to cut, which symbolizes cutting off and letting go of all the bad things and feelings which were trying to bend and break us in the past year.

Throwing furniture in South Africa

In Johannesburg, South Africa, people have an odd New Year’s tradition: they throw old furniture and other unused and unwanted items out their windows and balconies. Though sounds like fun on paper, in reality it may prove dangerous: if heavy stuff falls on a pedestrian’s head. Besides, just think of the people who later need to clean up all this mess!

Walking with an empty suitcase in South America

In some countries of South America, people walk the town on New Year’s Eve with empty suitcases, because they believe this will attract breathtaking adventures and fascinating travel to their lives (hence more travel items to their suitcases) .

Hiding potatoes in Colombia

On New Year’s Eve, Colombians put one peeled, one unpeeled and one half-peeled potato under their bed, and then, when the clock strikes twelve, pull out one, without looking. Picking up the unpeeled potato means a prosperous year, the unpeeled – financial struggles, the half-peeled – just the average year: neither too promising, nor too unfavorable.

Banging bread against the wall in Ireland

Meanwhile, the Irish bang a loaf of bread against their walls, thus chasing away the evil, inviting good luck and making sure the new year will not lack in delicious food or other good things in life.

First footing in Scotland

One of the biggest New Year’s traditions in Scotland is called first footing: if you want (and why wouldn’t you?!) the coming year to be successful, you want the first person to cross the threshold of your home after midnight to be a dark-haired man. Historically, this may stem from the times when Scotland was invaded by the light-haired Vikings; so, naturally, the Scots wanted to see someone quite the opposite entering their house on the festive night.

Pummelling pomegranates in Greece

In Ancient Greece, a pomegranate was a symbol of abundance, life-giving power and fertility. That is why, right after midnight, modern Greeks throw a pomegranate against the door of their home. Although sounds – and looks! – messy and a real nightmare to the one who will need to clean it up, the more grapefruit seeds get scatterėd around, the luckier the coming year is expected to be.

Sprinkling salt in Turkey

In Turkey, the tradition, although less unaesthetic, still requires some cleaning afterwards: people sprinkle salt on their doorsteps at midnight, which – as you may have already guessed – is believed to bring good luck, peace and prosperity in the new year.

Wearing colorful underwear in Brazil

Before winter holidays, the local markets of Brazil offer an astounding variety of colorful underwear. The color of underwear worn on the New Year’s night means the kind of luck the wearer will experience in the year to come: red is for passion, yellow – money and luck, green – physical health, white – peace and harmony, blue – tranquility and friendships, pink – love, orange – professional success, purple – inspiration.

So, which one will it be? 

Messy or colorful? Reckless or sensible? Flashy or laconic? Classic or ultramodern?

What is your favorite?!

And may your – and everyone’s – New Year be peaceful, happy, healthy and fulfilling!

A DREIDEL? A FISHING FLOAT? AN ABSOLUTE EYE-CANDY BY TAFFIN

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JOYOUS AND HAPPY COLORS FOR ALL JEWELRY LOVERS

With a pinch of classy humor and plenty of refined elegance, these cool earrings come with a festive greeting: Happy Hanukkah!

Taffin jewelry is an upbeat, optimistic fusion of vibrant gemstones and less common media, like pebbles, wood, plastic, rubber, marble, or patinated metals, while ceramics have become their signature material, whether with minimalistic accents or bold, all-ceramic looks.

The execution, which is reminiscent of enamel, gives a modern look to the wearing of large stones, which American women love.

From The French Jewelry Post 

Progressive methods of ceramic-to-metal bonding are widely used in dentistry, manufacture of sensors and power electronics and, in recent decades, have expanded to jewelry and watch-making. James Taffin de Givenchy has mastered this complicated material, making it play by his rules, taking the exact shapes and colors that the designer desires.

A nephew of the world-famous Hubert de Givenchy – French aristocrat, fashion designer and founder of the eponymous luxury fashion and perfume house – James grew up in Beauvais, a small, secluded town close to Paris. In the early 1980s, he left France, where he saw his illustrious family name as a disadvantage: at that time, it might have been seen as an unfair prerogative, both in the fashion world and in business circles. So, he travelled to the United States where, with its endless possibilities (but also competition and obstacles), he could prove himself as both an artist and designer in his own right. And in this he succeeded magnificently.

In New York, James first studied modern dance to become a choreographer, earned a degree in Fine Arts and an associate degree in graphic design, and was later hired by the famous British auction house Christie’s to answer the phone in their jewelry department. There, he acquired his knowledge about jewelry and, from 1991 to 1994, ran the West Coast Jewelry Department in Los Angeles. It was also at Christie’s that his renowned uncle Hubert drew James’s attention to the extraordinary auctioned jewelry pieces.

In 1996, James established his own jewelry brand.

He always unlocks his safe with the curiosity of a chef opening a refrigerator: “I look inside, and decide — what am I going to cook today?”

From The New York Times

In his creations, James Taffin de Givenchy offsets emotion with logic, boundless creativity with clear-headed intellect, endless color schemes with tasteful style, playfulness with boldness – to create unique objects of wearable art.

He understands his stones, and searches to find exactly the right frame, with the right shape and palette, making every gem, whether big or small, look special, whimsical or ultramodern.

The brand’s intellectual and playful approach to jewelry makes their creations both eminently artistic and extremely fun to wear: neither too serious nor too bizarre but rather, flirtatious, colorful and delightful.

This time, their creative approach took the shape of jolly earrings. On the days leading up to Hannukah, Christmas and New Year, Taffin designed precious representations of dreidels – spinning tops with a Hebrew letter printed on each of their four sides, used during Hanukkah to play a popular children’s game: spinning the dreidel and betting on which letter will show when it stops – to win Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins, wrapped in gold-colored foil).

The alluring pieces also look like delicious, amusing fishing floats, meant to catch magical fish.

Either way, these colorful, funny and fun earrings are the perfect choice for winter festivities, to brighten up your days!

THE ANGLES OF BEAUTY: TROPICAL LEAF EARRINGS BY HEMMERLE

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IN THE WORKSHOPS OF AN EXTRAORDINARY JEWELER, A POISONOUS PLANT METAMORPHOSES INTO A LUSCIOUS STUNNER

Beauty has many facets, depending on how you look at it. Oftentimes, what matters is the interpretation.

Hemmerle recently announced private viewings in Palm Beach, Florida, with a symbolic image of their tropical leaf-shaped earrings.

The jewelry house, now run by the fourth generation of the Hemmerle family, interprets beauty according to their codes and high standards of perfection.

Prominent for its innovative spirit, conceptual leaps and ambition, Hemmerle researches and uses new, unconventional materials and unexpected combinations thereof. In their one-of-a-kind creations, they frame and offset exceptional and rare gems with base metals and alloys – copper and iron, brass and steel – with wood or acorns from a park, walrus teeth from a fossils fair or pebbles from the river banks.

Beauty has as many meanings as man has moods. Beauty is the symbol of symbols. Beauty reveals everything because it expresses nothing. When it shows itself, it shows us the whole fiery-coloured world.

Oscar Wilde, 1890

Hemmerle looks deep into the majestic wonders and the simple things around the world to find inspiration and keep moving forward, rather than solely relying on classic yet stagnant approaches. Instead, they choose to combine classics and modernity, tradition and unorthodox, alternative methods and media.

Their uncommon creative path started decades ago. In the 1990s, Stefan Hemmerle was approached by a client, a Munich art collector, whose wife was less than thrilled with traditional, pompous gems, and chose to wear Berlin iron jewelry.

This kind of jewelry became popular in the early 19th century, during the War of Liberation, when the Prussian royal family urged citizens to contribute gold and silver jewelry to fund the uprising against Napoleon. Overnight, metal jewelry, which had previously been worn only as a sign of mourning, became aesthetically appealing and an immensely popular symbol of patriotism.

For that client, Stefan Hemmerle created an unconventional ring, setting a diamond in textured iron, using a “cheap” metal to reinforce the expensive luster of the gem.

There are no ordinary materials, only the beauty of nature.

Christian Hemmerle to New York Times

In the exotic leaf-shaped earrings featured, Hemmerle uses as inspiration a split-leaf philodendron, a tropical plant originating in the rainforests of Central America.

The earrings are delicate and dainty. Meanwhile, the plant’s glossy, leathery, heart-shaped leaves can grow to an impressive 18 inches (45 centimetres) wide on foot-long stalks.

As sweet and pretty as it may look, this plant is dangerous: it contains oxalic acid, making all of its parts – except the ripe fruit – poisonous.

Through the purity of the natural shape, with its clean lines and vivid, attractive greenness, Hemmerle transforms a seductive, poisonous plant into refined earrings. The artistic interpretation of absolute and uncanny natural beauty.

THE DEEPER YOU LOOK, THE BLUER IT GETS: AQUAMARINE EARRINGS BY HEMMERLE

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HOW IS THE BLUEST OF THE BLUE BORN? THIS IS THE STORY OF STONES NAMED AFTER THE COLOR OF THE SEA.

The incredible story of equally incredible stones is revealed through the shining eyes of the fourth generation of Hemmerle jewelers.

Like two lakes in a freezing Alpine morning, gentle blue aquamarines of more than 70 carats sit between bronze banks.

The carved pebbles, framed on the reverse side by white gold, contrast with the translucent stones – to give these stunning earrings a strong, earthy look, bringing them closer to nature and to a new, ultramodern reality.

To achieve this effect, Hemmerle designers went on their own creative hunt along the riverbanks – to find the perfect pebbles to match these precious stones.

This is a reflection of the spirit of Hemmerle, a family-run jewelry house widely recognized for its unique and innovative creations, techniques and concoctions of unexpected materials, alongside impeccable quality and unrivalled craftsmanship.

Named after the clear, bright to dark-blue and sometimes blue-green color of seawater, aquamarines form in pegmatite rocks, carbonate veins and cavities. When magma, which can get as hot as 2,900 °F (1,600 °C), heats the rocks deep underground, minerals start chemically reacting with each other. Later, as the slow cooling process of the magma begins, crystals form within the voids, which can take from tens of thousands to millions of years.

And this is how aquamarines – hard and durable stones, ranging from 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale – are born.

Their hardness makes them suitable both for special occasions and for daily wear.

Meanwhile, their cool, transparent, clear blue color makes these Hemmerle earrings perfect for any mood, any garment and all skin tones.

NEW MOONS RISING: LUNARIUM EARRINGS BY ILGIZ FAZULZYANOV

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TAKE A LOOK AT HOW THE GENIUS OF WEARABLE MASTERPIECES EXPERIMENTS WITH A LUNAR THEME

Just like the gems in his masterpieces, the personality and creative approach of Ilgiz Fazulzyanov – a miracle jeweler who has escaped the one-size-fits-all standard – are both multifaceted and outstanding.

Never giving up, even in the face of tremendous difficulties, Ilgiz acquired his mastery and knowledge through trial and error, passion and dedication.

Ilgiz does not follow mainstream trends. Unlike many other jewelers, he rarely builds designs “around the stone”. Instead, he takes an idea and ingeniously fills it up with materials – metals, stones, enamel, sometimes even changing the stones – to fit his vision, such as faceting pearls to create an unusual visual effect.

The more complicated the task, the more it is interesting to me.

Ilgiz Fazulzyanov

In his pursuit to not just create something beautiful but also to compel people to feel this beauty, Ilgiz Fazulzyanov has dreamed up the Lunarium Earrings.

In the ancient world, a lunarium (from the Latin word “luna”) was a device – a system of different types of globes – used to illustrate the motion and phases of the Moon.

In these earpieces, implemented in gold, diamonds, fire opals, pearls and hot enamel, the geometrical shapes, accompanying pearl moons, resemble the transparent wings of a fantastic, nocturnal insect, or the stained-glass windows in an Art Deco cathedral.

As in all Ilgiz’s creations, the earrings are wearable treasures.

Not once has he emphasised the importance of wearability. In his opinion, all jewels should be as comfortable on a museum shelf as on the person who wears them, not catching on the clothes, nor pulling or scratching the skin.

The smooth pearls of the two full moons and honey drops of fire opals in the ultra-feminine earrings are further proof of the artistic genius of Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, elegantly delighting the eye and delicately firing up the imagination.

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