These past few days, as the weather is finally turning to fall here in northern California, my mind has been focusing on neutral tones and feeling cozy. I think it’s a combination of all the craziness going on in the world and the cooler temps that has me wanting to hunker down and feel grounded. This starts by deciding what gems I want on my body, and what colors and fabrics give me this feeling. My current answer? Grey. It’s soothing, serene, and full of depth. I absolutely adore grey diamonds, and I long to have more of them in my life. Here are a few grey diamond rings that truly call to my soul.
Alexis Russell always wows me with their combination of bands and stones.
And what do I want to wear with these rings? Well given that it’s that seasonal transition time, I want to make some white J Brand crop flared jeans work with the cooler weather. Yes, us Californians DO wear white after Labor Day! To do this, I’d trade my summery tops for a chunky grey cashmere turtleneck (this one is Barney’s own line), some distressed Marsell boots (one of my go-to shoe brands) and top it off with a Faliero Sarti scarf. Yummy, right? And the boots don’t have to be the same exact tone of the sweater — just neutrals that blend.
So back to some more grey diamond rings. Communion by Joy has been on my jewelry lust list for quite some time. The design of the settings, the textures and the stones are so unique. Here’s their Royal Guardian Rustic Diamond Ring.
Oh, and a couple tips from the wardrobe stylist about the Golden Goose sneakers — I’m addicted to them. (I have three pair!) BUT, I hate the sole insert they come with. They have a very raised heel and are uncomfortable for me. So, I toss those and put in a pair of Superfeet insoles. And voila, they’re perfect. AND…since I don’t like going sockless and those little ballet flat peds never stay put, I swear by Hue’s hi cut peds. They work perfectly, and the high profile on the top works just right with sneakers.
So now you know what’s been on my mind. I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek inside my thoughts. Now, I’m going to spend the rest of the day getting my closet ready for the season — packing away my linens, sandals and summer items, and pulling out the boots and flannel. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the change!
I was enjoying the opening night party at the Couture show in Las Vegas — sipping my cocktail while sitting on a poolside tuffet, and I caught a glimpse of something quite fabulous out of the corner of my eye. Hopping up to inspect more closely, I met Sefik Kabas, the designer of Taru Jewelry, who was donning one of his own designs. I made a point to visit this Istanbul-based designer in the showroom the next day to see more of his work.
Sefik gave me a tour of his collection and answered some questions for me.
Your artistic background has included jewelry, glass blowing, interior design, and more. How did you end up launching your own jewelry line, Taru Jewelry, in 2015?
I studied fine arts majoring in sculpture and glass blowing. I designed and produced furniture with bronze sculptural details from ancient civilizations.
Jewelry was our family business from 1976 till 1990. I spent a lot of time in our jewelry workshop during those times. Going back to the roots, in 2015 I decided to get back to jewelry design and created the Taru brand.
Your line is full of brilliant animals — how do you select which ones to focus on?
I have an interest in archeology. I focus on the animals of power with mythical symbols.
I was just amazed by the Queen Bee necklace at Couture, and you told me that it took three and a half months to make. What was the driving force behind this piece?
I wanted to create a one of a kind queen bee showpiece — all handmade, everything made from scratch. Not starting with a drawing, but working freestyle. I also wanted to show the movements of the bees as in real life.
Can you share a recent creation with us, and tell us a bit about it?
My recent creation is the ceremonial horse bracelet for women. The earliest archaeological evidence for the domestication of the horse dates back to approximately 3500 BC. The mythologies of many cultures include references to horses. Horses were used to preserve cultural traditions and for ceremonial purposes to convey royalty. I created this ceremonial horse with a gold chamfron decorated with precious stones.
Who do you see as the Taru customer?
My customer is looking for uniqueness — one who appreciates handwork and wants to wear bold statement jewelry with a story. The Taru customer is both men and women.
For an amazing look at Sefik’s work, take a minute to watch this beautiful video:
I’m so happy to have met Sefik at the show and see his line, full of extraordinary detail and archeological flavor.
My fascination with Brandon Holschuh began when I spied an incredibly unique bead he made on Instagram. I vividly remember I was sitting in my hotel room in Edinburgh, Scotland, and my jaw about hit the floor. I was thrilled when I found out he was showing in San Francisco in August when I returned to California, and I got to meet him in person and check out a similar bead. I love everything about it, from the clearly hand-fabricated texture to the diamonds and variation in metal colors.
I hope you enjoy my interview with Brandon where you’ll find out more about this talented Ohio-based designer.
You told me that you’ve had a life long fascination with beads. Is this what got you going in jewelry design?
Yes, I began collecting ancient and ethnic beads as a teenager. Everything started as a collection. I began collecting beads, artifacts, coins, bones, parts, gemstones, rocks and any small object that had a story. I love learning about the history of the object, the provenance and I equally love the retelling the [object] story as well.
I learned to work with metal as a vehicle to help present the object or artifact. So making a metal armature or a mount to hold the objects began the evolution to jewelry. Copper turned to silver… silver turned to gold… and little by little diamonds creeped in. Our current work still pays homage to beads, but they are diamond beads. They are still strung on wire, but it’s now platinum. The forms are still present but they are also raised in platinum, gold and palladium. We have stayed consistent with the aesthetic throughout the evolution, but the materials are precious, the designs more complex and the whole feel is more refined.
Your pieces have such a raw, organic, yet luxe aesthetic. What’s your inspiration for your designs?
It seems to silly to even say this, but it’s the absolute truth — we honestly let the metal tell us what it wants to be. We process the material in such a way that we have a unique and intimate understanding of its properties, its working capacity and its ability to change shape. This working relationship is how we push the metal to its limits. We get asked a lot about our process and it’s sometimes shocking to hear that our forms, shapes and designs are entirely hand-fabricated. We do not carve wax or cast anything. Each piece incorporates so many processes and various techniques it’s entirely a product of process. We do a lot of fusing, reticulation, forming, raising and sinking. We experiment a lot and we welcome unexpected results. We integrate those into the designs. We make a lot of parts. With those parts we make small objects. With those objects, we decide if it’s going to be a brooch or a ring or a necklace. Once in a while we stumble upon two parts that are similar. Those usually become earrings or cufflinks. The whole design process is organic, as is the work.
What do you find are the most challenging and rewarding things about being a jewelry designer?
I’m an artist. My medium happens to be jewelry. I make small wearable sculptures. Even though I’m a jeweler, I’m still an artist who has a voice. I use jewelry to communicate an idea. Just like a painter makes you feel a certain way when you view their painting, I use jewelry to evoke a certain emotion. More importantly our work still has a conceptual component. Actually, it has three main components that must be met to consider a piece complete. Here they are, in order:
A finished piece must be immediately beautiful. It must be accepted by the general public as an object of beauty. It must exude luxury, refinement and sheer beauty in design and material. This is for the client, the customer and the collector.
Next, it must be well made. It must gain accolades and admiration from other makers, jewelers and craftspeople who appreciate the vast and dynamic processes that go into each piece. We must trigger the question of how it’s made, what processes were used and what the complexity of the design is. This is for those who make and our counterparts. It’s also for the critics, jurors, judges and masters of the craft.
The final component is conceptual. We make work that communicates an idea. Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, it’s expertly crafted. But it also has meaning. We excel here. We challenge the design to communicate a concept or to tell a story without words. Sometimes the viewer creates their own connection to the work. This interpretation is personal. Mostly it’s an emotion. Sometimes it’s literal. We have made pieces that are purely conceptual. This is for the sentimental, the heirloom seekers. This is also for academia and those who want a deeper connection with the objects in their lives. We love to tell the stories. Remember, it’s always about the story.
If you weren’t a jeweler, what would you be doing?
Nothing. I can’t imagine a life where jewelry isn’t in my thoughts and actions in every minute of every day. My time is spent equally between my loving and supportive family and my studio. I have two amazing daughters and between my duties as a husband and father, there isn’t any time for much else.
OK, and now I have something VERY special to share with you. This is the debut of Brandon’s off-the-charts gorgeous emerald and diamond ring.
Did your eyes just go wide with delight? I bet! Here are a few more images of this beauty, which features an 8+ carat emerald, over a carat in diamonds, and all hand fabricated in 18K gold. The emerald just glows from within. I’ve never seen anything like it, have you??
Brandon — you have a true gift.
If you’d like to contact Brandon about his work, you can reach him at [email protected] or 216-577-6365. There are also links to his website and Instagram at the beginning of this article. I have a feeling there are more than a few future Brandon Holschuh collectors reading this article…
About a year ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Lucie Gledhill at the New York Now show. Her work has really stuck in my head, and I wanted to share some of her pieces with you. Lucie is a UK based jewelry designer who’s about 7 years into her line. What really made an impression on me is how she literally weaves with metal — take a look.
This is her Rope Chain necklace, which takes about 4 days to make. One link always has 2 other links to create the woven look.
She also has a really chic interpretation of the traditional gold chain; this is the Jumbled Curb Chain in 18K gold. I think it’s perfectly imperfect in effect, don’t you?
She has another group of necklaces that she described to me as both “ancient and feminine.” She creates this look by fusing white and yellow gold and accenting with diamond beads.