Sunday, May 20, 2007

500 Earrings

This spring, the latest on the series of books by Lark was released. They have previously published 1000 Rings, 500 Necklaces, 500 Bracelets, and 500 Brooches. On the cover, you can see earrings by Todd Reed, with his trademark raw diamonds. The book was expertly juried by Alan Revere, a master jeweler with his own jewelry training school in San Francisco.
I recently found out that the gallery Velvet Da Vinci in San Francisco will be hosting an exhibit with many of the earrings featured in the book, October 17 to November 25, 2007.

The big news for me? I made two of those 500 pairs of earrings. Included in the book were my Spiral Foliage Earrings, fabricated in 18K gold, with chalcedony and sapphires:, which are currently in Vermont at the Grannis Gallery

Also included were my Wish-Fulfilling Vine Earrings. They are also 18K with green tourmaline. The name sounds quite fanciful, but I didn't actually make that bit of poetry up. It is a plant mentioned frequently mentioned in Buddhist texts. Since it is not an actual plant, I felt that it was possible to allow myself the luxury of giving it whatever shape I liked. The earrings can be seen at Lisa Reisman et Cie in Philadelphia

After carefully looking at the book, I chose a few of my favorites. Just choosing these gave me an insight into how hard it must have been to select the images that ultimately ended up in the book. I decided to let my personal taste show through in my list of favorites.

Page 10: I was so flattered to have my Wish-Fulfilling Vine earrings on the opposite page from Jacqueline Ryan's exquisite composition of tiny petals arranged in a gold frame. She has a level of precision with these tiny shapes, which she arranges in multitudes. In a way, her work is also very minimal in that it has very little variation in surface texture and no extraneous addition to the theme of the overlapping petals. It is also suggestive of other organic textures, such as feathers or scales.

Page 87: I saw a pair of earrings by Rebecca Hannon at the last SOFA NY show, and I really surprised my friends by seriously considering buying them. The reason they were surprised? Being enthralled by earrings which incorporate compact discs is not my usual taste. Her use of a non-traditional material was exceptional, as well as the craftsmanship of the overall piece. I notice in the book that one pair of earrings seems to be flipped over and features very composed florid metalwork, which will only be seen by the wearer. Her use of traditional pendant and chandelier earring shapes also makes the CD material less obvious and more like a discovery.

Page 123: Another great use of plastic was by Kathleen R. Prindiville (sadly, I could only a find a reference to the fact that she graduated from RISD in 2006). When I first saw the image, I thought of queen Anne's lace, but was surprised again by the materials. The overall design of the earrings is very uncomplicated, just a circle of plastic with a wire rim and prongs. and that complements the composition of carved divots in the plastic. The composition of all of these carved dots can suggest the galaxies, or even the beginning of white fuzzy mold, but with a soft beauty.

Page 136: Annette Ehinger has successfully taken a classic faceted gemstone and turned it into something a bit radical. By leaving part of the stone rough and unfinished, she is reminding that gems don't appear full of facets and sparkles. I also have an image of a stalactite, with the startling evidence of human hand emerging off of it. I do have one little qualm about this piece. I really wish the wires that wrap around the stones were not twisted. Or is she also making a statement about crystal wire-wrapped jewelry?

to be continued...

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