Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rising Trend: Knotted Jewelry

Mastering the rope knot isn’t to be taken lightly, as any sailor, rock climber, or Eagle Scout, will tell you. The reef knot, the sheet bend knot, the clove hitch knot, the sheep shank knot, the bowline knot…there are many, many knots that can get you out of a jam, or at the very least make life easier.

So it’s unsurprising that the functional art of the knot has now become a focal point of design, inching its way into necklaces, earrings and rings. A few of our favorites include a black rope necklace from Lanyard, a chunky knotted ring from Adeline Cacheux, vintage brass knot earrings from 1.4.2. (above right), and a feminine necklace from Sunday’s Best sprinkled with knots.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hot Pick: BauXo Surpass Necklace

Leather jewelry imparts a nice textural contrast when layered over pieces like a linen shift dress or metallic-threaded tunic top, and also lends a casual flavor, never looking overdone. The surpass necklace from BauXo owes its bohemian essence to its earthy brown color, but the circular elements veer it into mod territory, blessedly straying the wearer away from a categorical look.

Available at Candystore Collective. Visit the BauXo Web site for more information.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hot Pick: Tomoko Igarashi

There’s such an abundance of jewelry on the market with assorted spikes and handcuffs and other overused punk rock/biker chick iconography, that one could easily be forgiven for losing interest altogether. Another skull necklace? Really? But yes, somehow Tomoko Igarashi reinvigorates the skull by placing it in a grown-up composition that reaffirms our faith that a thoughtful designer can always do something fresh and interesting.

Available at Min-K. Visit the designer’s Web site for more information.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Best of Etsy: Linda Layden

This series highlights noteworthy jewelry selections available on Etsy, the mammoth online marketplace for handmade goods.

Numerous designers skillfully dabble in scrimshaw, from Dana Lorenz to Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons, but we give high marks to Linda Layden for offering her one-of-a-kind pieces at such wallet-friendly prices. And most importantly, the hand-etched designs are sweet, from heart-shaped ivory pendants with colorful flowers to bluebirds on dangling bone earrings.

To view styles and purchase, visit Linda Layden’s Etsy shop.

Megan Auman

You’re a dyed-in-the-wool minimalist, which means you cleverly opt for one savvy, unconfined effect, instead of piling on a myriad of overly hip items. Label it selective behavior or pickiness, it doesn’t matter, because the heart of the deal is that the objects that take up cherished residence in your world are there for the right reasons, instead of all the wrong ones.

Floral patterns are the focal point of Megan Auman’s jewelry collection, but she impressively sidesteps the usual route by employing welded steel in her designs. The effect is dark, but not dour, with beautifully shaped ironwork leaves sprinkled across long necklaces or taking form as hoop earrings (above). Many of the pieces are artistically adorned with raised silver drops in clustered patterns, imparting a dew-like appearance.

To view styles and browse a store list, visit the designer’s Web site.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gemma Redux

I’ve been accused of everything, and I’m guilty of most of it.
- Dolly Parton

Yes, that’s you…guilty of walking into a room and stirring up healthy trouble with a swift wink, a cunning smile, and off-the-radar jewelry that will keep the compliments flowing. But you’ve always been comfortable in your own skin, letting the sweetheart and the siren collide into one formidable woman.

With her Gemma Redux line, designer Rachel Dooley creates daring pieces that are premeditated in their messiness, assembling bundles of chain in a tumbled fashion and then nestling chunky stones within the arrangements. The effect is much like a meandering jazz song, vigorous and free, but purposeful. For her Spring 2008 collection, Dooley selected soothing stones like lemon jade and reconstructed green turquoise to offset the hardness of stainless steel and silver chains in her designs. We adore the Ami necklace (above right), which mingles vintage chains with rippled disks of Labradorite.

Visit the designer’s Web site for more information and to purchase.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hot Pick: Cristalette Thunderbird Earrings

Some jewelry designers tend to craft their wares in a bit of a vacuum, imagining the woman that buys their pieces, but never really knowing for sure if their inspiration is in fact their true customer. Designer Cristina Armijo smartly does not play this game, opting instead to fully immerse herself within the Bay area scene that she not only designs for but helps to create. More than a handful of prominent area bands don her playful clothing designs for gigs (Armijo herself is also a musician), but it’s her signature Thunderbird earrings that are all the rage with the locals. The fringe earrings are heavily beaded, and dangle 4” in length.

Available at Bona Drag in sky blue, black and red. You can also visit the designer's Etsy shop.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Brilliant Everyday: Wendy Nichol Bolt & Pearl Necklace

The Brilliant Everyday series spotlights jewelry pieces perfect for everyday wear.

Wendy Nichol, who typically incorporates exotic skins into her jewelry designs, recently launched a collection of minimalist pieces that are light and feminine, but pack a tough-girl punch. Her Sandra necklace, which dangles a black pearl with a gold vermeil hardware nut on a 14k gold chain, is stunning. Day or night, summer or winter…it works.

Available at Bird.

Kimberley Selwood

The thing about you is, that you never really can be pigeonholed into owning a particular look or style...because that's just downright dreary, and certainly no fun at all. Yes, one of the pleasures of being a woman is playing dress-up each and every day, mixing and matching, and adorning. And so you are always on the hunt for special, yet adaptable pieces that will mesh with your revolving moods.

British designer Kimberley Selwood’s jewelry line is a potent, well-mixed blend of uptown sophistication and downtown cool. Her Order in Chaos collection boasts three-dimensional elements pieces that are lacey and delicate, and Tangled Hearts, an oxidized range, flaunts designs that are twisted with airy filigree touches. The Butterfly Effect presents a bevy of interesting arrangements, from mixed metal rings with an open center to wide cuffs with sterling silver waves adorned with resting butterflies (above).

Available at Astley Clarke. For more information visit the designer’s Web site.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Best of Etsy: Paraphernalia

This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting noteworthy jewelry selections available on Etsy, the mammoth online marketplace for handmade goods.

British designer Paraphernalia paints a very distinct world with their jewelry collection filling its Etsy shop with acrylic pieces screened with vintage wallpaper patterns and illustrated prints. Whimsical necklaces shaped like paper doll dresses, skinny ties and floppy bows brush shoulders with floral crescent-shaped pendants. Somehow it all works. It’s hard to pick just one as a favorite, but we think the batik necklace from the Chroma series is pitch-perfect for the summer.

To view styles and purchase visit Paraphernalia’s Etsy Shop.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hot Pick: Alkemie Jewelry

Online shopping powerhouse ShopBop recently upped their game in the jewelry category with the addition of St. Kilda (a longtime indie favorite) and Tuleste Market (who features some great pieces on their own Web site). But the Alkemie Jewelry line is the true standout collection, serving up arty pieces with a green stamp of approval (selections are forged with reclaimed metal). Their large flower ring has an intricate forest flavor, and we think earns wow status.

Available at

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hot Pick: Double Happiness Sari Earrings

Stephanie Wells and her sister Alisa Rottenberg have been cranking out gorgeous collections of earthy jewelry for years, but their most recent designs caught our attention, from enameled peacock feather earrings to chunky turquoise slab rings. And while everyone else is doing fabric necklaces, they smartly give a pair of earrings the treatment, wrapping dangling ovals with brightly colored sari fabric and then layering them with delicate gold chain.

Available at Double Happiness.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Best of Etsy: Christine Kangas

This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting noteworthy jewelry selections available on Etsy, the mammoth online marketplace for handmade goods.

It’s easy to get caught up in the quest for the statement necklace, but sometimes a sweet little something for the ears is the better adornment. Designer Christine Kangas crafts dainty brass earrings that flaunt hand-wrapped vintage fabric beads paired with rustic stones and sparkling crystals. The pieces look antique, yet modern, and decidedly feminine.

To view styles and purchase visit the Christine Kangas Etsy Shop.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hot Pick: Ant Earrings From Jezebel

As far as insect jewelry goes, the usual suspects generally appear…spiders, scorpions, beetles, and flies. So hats off to Jezebel for choosing the entirely underrated ant as the focal point, an ego-less bug who understands that seemingly impossible feats can be accomplished by being the consummate team player. The stud earrings are crafted from 14k rose gold.

Available at Catbird.

Emily Amey

Beauty, truly spectacular beauty, often can go criminally unnoticed…because it does take a certain type of person to look outside the confines of traditional attractiveness, and appreciate the splendor of an everyday miracle.

Designer Emily Amey positions the spotlight on many of nature’s overlooked treasures, from seaweed to amoebas to swirling vines. Working primarily with sterling silver and 14k gold, Amey’s designs flaunt single silhouettes with intricate detail, such as a crescent-shaped sea fan necklace with a sprawling pattern, and squid hoop earrings that twist and curve in unexpected directions. There are many stand-out pieces from her collection, especially her bracelets, notably the sea fan cuff (above), which exquisitely translates the complexity of the organic form.

To view styles and purchase, visit the designer’s Web site.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hot Pick: Focus Cuff from re:vision

At some point in her lifetime, every woman has a bona fide love affair with photography, taking esoteric shots with an old-school Minolta or Leica camera. Australian designer Craig Arnold can relate, passionately collecting discarded cameras and repurposing their components into one-of-a-kind bracelets. Most of the pieces are crafted from camera lenses, with expected wear. But that’s the beauty, no? Like passing on a great book to a fellow reader, the bracelets are a touchstone to those who have experienced the magnificence of being behind the lens.

Available at Oye Modern.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hot Pick: Yoko Devereaux Coin Necklaces

Menswear designer Yoko Devereaux marvelously enters the jewelry realm with a set of unisex coin pendant necklaces. The coins are hand-carved to retain the interior image, with the background dropped away, giving the medallions a new twist. Hung on 18” aged sterling silver chains, the pendants are available in three limited edition styles, Ponoma (a Czech Republic coin featuring the goddess of gardening), Raghorn (a Canadian coin boasting a young bull elk), and Family Origins (a British ship coin, shown above).

Available at Supermarket. For more info visit the designer’s Web site.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Best of Etsy: Elizabeth Scott Jewelry

This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting noteworthy jewelry selections available on Etsy, the mammoth online marketplace for handmade goods.

Many jewelry pieces have a daring flavor geared for nightlife dressing, but the truth is that your social life is just as active when the sun is shining -- lunch dates, museum trips, matinée movies, strolling through flea markets. Elizabeth Scott's jewelry is exactly what you want for your daytime adventures, boasting botanical prints and shapes, some with soft-hued enamel detail. Her pool series has a wonderful relaxed summer flavor, but we adore the petal collection (earrings above) that features hand-cast hydrangea petals with an oxidized finish.

To view styles and purchase visit Elizabeth Scott's Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hot Pick: Fallon Dynasty Collar Necklaces

Sammy Jo, Alexis, Krystle, Fallon…the women of Dynasty all had one thing in common, and that was searing clothes that defined the decade.

Designer Dana Lorenz, best known for her high-end jewelry line Fenton, scores with her homage to the women of the 1980s prime time soap opera, crafting a series of choker style necklaces for her urban-spiced Fallon line. The rose gold pieces are adorned with colorful stones and studs, except for the Sammy Jo choker, shrewdly presented in hammered sterling silver.

Available at Barney's CO-OP.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beth Church Jewelry

Oh, how we adore, the disobedient dresser who masterminds genius outfits with a palette loaded up with vintage Vivienne Westwood, lace kimono jackets, chenille clutches, and Rachel Comey shoes. Because attitude reigns supreme, which is why Beth Church’s high wattage necklaces are perfect, just perfect, for making that bold statement no one else dares to make.

But really all of the Arizona designer’s glitzy pieces, from cuffs to earrings, grab attention, flaunting color-drenched glass and stones, a wide range of vintage elements, and heavyweight chains. Selections are one-of-a-kind or limited edition. The necklace shown above marries striking opal drops with vintage 1930s Bakelite wings layered with filigree work.

To view styles and purchase, visit the designer’s Web site.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Best of Etsy: OctopusMe Tentacle Ring

This is the first post in an ongoing series highlighting noteworthy jewelry selections available on Etsy, the mammoth online marketplace for handmade goods.

The San Francisco seller OctopusMe is obsessed with tentacles, but in a good way, really. She casts octopus tentacles in sterling silver, leaving no detail to the imagination, and then lightly oxidizes the jewelry pieces on the exterior leaving the interior nice and shiny for contrast. Her spiraled tentacle earrings are creepy cool, but we think the ring is the prizewinner. Capturing the suctioned underside of the tentacle, the ring wraps around the finger, enabling the wearer to vary the position of the piece.

View this ring and other styles at the OctopusMe Etsy shop.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hot Pick: Pretty Young Thing

Designer Arlene Guerra is a crafty chick, adding a dash of this and that to her to her re-worked vintage jewelry pieces. Her collection, aptly called Pretty Young Thing, is for the woman who comfortably wears1950s siren dresses with patterned 1980s-style flats. And her pieces are fun, deliciously egging you on to subscribe to a mischievous lifestyle. Her Darla necklace flaunts a hand-beaded black bow appliqué hung from brass chain.

Available at Shine Collective.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Comfort Station

You’re the brainy one in the group, humble, but with biting wit. Of course, smart doesn’t equate to being a know-it-all, it just means that attention to the finer points carries serious weight. That’s right, the devil is in the details, not to be glossed over in flaky, airhead style.

London designer Amy Anderson’s Comfort Station line is brimming with multifaceted jewelry selections that deliver a singular monumental impact. The whimsical pieces flaunt signature wood pendants (some engraved with cloak-and-dagger type messages, others shaped like chess pieces), as well as a slew of other adornments, from chandelier charms to glass bottles. Steam Punk influences are on full display, from a gold vermeil necklace dangling clock hands to burnt walnut heart-shaped earrings dressed up with brass clock innards.

To view styles and browse a store list visit the designer’s Web site. Selected pieces are also available at kim & maki.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

June Deal: Steel Couture

Every designer should have that one singular thing that they do very, very well that sets them apart from the pack, and with designer Lisa Fortin, it's chainmail. With her Steel Couture line, Lisa offers a wide range of chainmail jewelry using a variety of materials, from brass and sterling silver to black rubber. One of our favorite pieces is the Geraldine necklace, a chainmail confection that mixes plastic and metal rings, and also brilliantly doubles as a belt.

Enjoy 20 percent off all Steel Couture designs at Unsung Designers from now through June 30th. Enter the code JH Steel at checkout. This promotion is exclusive to Jewelry Hunter readers.

Hot Pick: Dream Mullick

A lovely twist on classic hoops, these sterling silver earrings from Dream Mullick are inspired by the New Mexico designer’s travels to Indonesia, as is her entire collection filled with ornate silver jewelry.

Available at the designer’s Web site.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

June Deal: Amy Bengtson Jewelry

Amy Bengtson's wood jewelry flaunts etched patterns, many with a vintage flavor be it circular mod shapes detailed with mother-of-pearl and sterling silver, or intricate scrolling graphics.

And now, her jewelry just became even sweeter...from now through June 30th, Jewelry Hunter readers will receive 15 percent off all purchases made at the Amy Bengtson Web site. To redeem offer, enter JHUNT08 at checkout.

Hot Pick: Sconi

Summer is all about uncomplicated pleasures, which is why “throw it on and go” dresses always hit the mark, especially when you can spice them up with the right jewelry piece. Sconi’s beaded loop necklace, hand crafted in Guatemala, flaunts beautifully draped glass bead clusters in a looping arrangement. Toss it over weekend knit dresses, or linen shifts for work…easy, easy, easy.

Available at Candy Store Collective.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Father's Day Gift Guide

Much like any stereotypical holiday, one would believe that on Father's Day, men actually are interested in receiving goof-ball gifts, such as crazy golf gear, silly coffee cups, and BBQ aprons. But the truth is, that most guys, like most women, just want to feel special, and are confident enough to adore jewelry and wear it convincingly. Of course, nothing remotely girly will do...

Concrete Rings from Tam Aura
Sleek and cool, these rings are lightweight in form, but carry a heavy attitude. Available at Tam Aura Design.

Shark Jaw Necklace from Rogue's Gallery
A more menacing alternative to the shark's tooth necklace, this piece flaunts a ball chain necklace dangling a silver open-mouth shark's jaw pendant. Available at Rogues Gallery.

Deucalion Pendants
Deucalion is the men's jewelry line from Canadian designer Pyrrha, and is filled with their signature pendant necklaces hand crafted from vintage wax seals. The pendants have an antique appearance and are hung on heavyweight chains, some oxidized. Available at Pyrrha.

Hannah Clark's Patron Saint Necklaces
These hand engraved 1" pendants flaunt portraits of icons Grandmaster Flash, Miles Davis, Woody Guthrie, Jack Kerouac, Sartre, and Trotsky. Pithy quotes from each "saint" are engraved on the back. Available at Auto.

Me & Ro's Fearlessness Bracelet
If your main man is on the earthy crunchy side, than he is an ideal fit for Me & Ro's jewelry. The Fearlessness bracelet, crafted from natural cotton cord features a sterling silver bead engraved with the Sanskrit symbol for fearlessness. Available at Me & Ro.

Periodic Rings from ITSNONAME
For the Dad who subscribes to Scientific American magazine, the periodic rings from ITSNONAME will be a treasured recognition of his brainy nature. Available at ITSNONAME (ring sizes 7,8,9 only).

Miki Tanaka Insect Pins
Yes, there are men who are fashionably adventurous, and would delightfully decorate their jacket lapel with a Miki Tanaka oxidized silver insect pin. Is your man one of them? Choose from a rhinoceros beetle, stag beetle, or cicada.
Available at Creatures of Comfort.

Wear your Music Guitar String Bracelets
If Dad is a daily Pitchfork visitor, than he is a worthy candidate for a guitar string bracelet from the Wear Your Music Charity Project. Musicians such as Les Claypool and Jack Johnson, and members of Death Cab for Cutie, Wolfmother and Weezer, donate their strings (proceeds go to the musician’s charity of choice), along with hundreds of other artists. The strings are gathered with a silver seal that bands them together. Available at Wear Your Music.

Pamela Tuohy Jewelry

Sure life is not about keeping score or collecting notches on your belt, but there is something immensely gratifying about finding a sensational piece that no one else owns. Of course, it’s not just the thrill of the hunt, but the discovery of a designer who fits just right with your personality, one who dabbles in intriguing compositions and materials, and understands that jewelry can indeed be flavorful without being conventional or weird.

Designer Pamela Tuohy recognizes that now and then you need to reach back in time to savor something really good. Her one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, crafted from recycled antique frames, flaunt portraits of the world’s creatures, big and small. A mixed metal chain necklace dangles a green Praying Mantis pendant encased within a gold and brushed silver frame…an ornate gold frame brooch boasts a majestic lion…a black and white spider portrait is mounted on a darkened silver cuff. While all the selections have a similar focus, each piece has its own distinct vibe, solidifying its singular status.

To view styles and browse a store list, visit the designer’s Web site.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hot Pick: Daydream Nation

Hong Kong label Daydream Nation designs dreamy bib necklaces to compliment their ethereal clothing line. But we think the pieces are strong enough on their own...the compositions pair chains with crochet elements and draped fabric with a resulting hard-soft dynamic.

Available at Pixie Market.
For more info on Daydream Nation, visit the designer's Web site.