Enamored with Enamel Jewelry

What do you think of enamel jewelry? Personally, until a couple years ago, I hadn’t given it much thought. But with its resurgence in popularity, I’m becoming a big fan!! Certainly enamel is nothing new, as it dates back to the 13th Century BC! (If you want to read more about the history, Lang Antiques has an amazing article about enamel jewelry.) Basically enamel is when a certain type of glass, called an allochromatic, is fused to the metal below. You may be familiar with Closionee and Champleve, which are two popular types of enamel.

Today, some jewelers are really taking this tricky technique to new heights, mixing enamel with jewels and themes that really make what’s old new again. Foundrae is one company that really has melded enamel, gold and meaningful talismans together. Here’s their Dark Blossom cuff.

Erica Molinari combines my love of momento mori and enamel in a new type of heirloom ring.

Just about a month ago I visited August in Los Angeles, and tried on this incredible emerald ring from Alice Cicolini. Not only is the peacock pattern on the side of the ring fab, but the red rim of enamel around the emerald really makes it pop!

Brooke Gregson adds a whole new dimension to enamel work with hand engraving. She said, “It is really tough to create an enamel that also can enhance the engraving and I feel this piece was successful in doing so!” Agreed, Brooke — it’s awesome!

When I first met Marc Alary back in 2015, I wrote all about his jewelry featuring animals. Now, I’m a bit obsessed with his rings with accents of enamel and diamonds. I can’t decide which design is my favorite!

Through For Future Reference, Sarah Hendler’s earrings are now on my radar. Love the touch of violet enamel on these one-of-a-kind peridot earrings.

Buddha Mama has really been expanding their enamel collection. Personally, I dig this evil eye ring. How about you?

Enamel can even play into an engagement ring, as seen in this spectacular diamond ring from Selim Mouzannar.

But let’s not forget that enamel was quite popular during the Georgian era as well. This past summer I picked up this white enamel mourning ring from Lucy Verity. She taught me that the white enamel signifies that the person died young and/or unmarried. The inscription inside is still very clear, so I must research who this man was who perished too soon.

As you can see, there’s an extremely wide array of enamel jewelry out there. Have you been noticing it where you live? Or perhaps you already have some in your jewelry box? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

Spectacular Stack: Jewelry Judge

I always love to see what eclectic mixes people can come up with in their bracelet stacks. This gal did not disappoint, and I think we spent at least 10 minutes talking about where all her various bracelets came from.

What a combo!
What a combo!

From the pearls by Erica Molinari, to the large bracelet by Diane Cotton, it was a cool mix. The antler cuff is from Grange Hall in Texas — apparently a store that I must add to my “must see” list!

This inspires me. Tomorrow I will be heading to my jewelry box and creating a brand new stack for the day!!

Erica Molinari: Designer

I first stumbled across Erica Molinari’s jewelry line on a visit to Head Over Heels in Menlo Park, CA. While not always drawn to tiny, petite jewels, something about the little pearl pendants with inlaid diamonds really caught my eye. Combined with one of my horn pendants, and her small four-diamond enhancer, it really came to life. In addition, I purchased the oxidized silver chain, which I had been searching for in vain for quite some time. Score!

erica molinari pendants
The three together are quite charming

Erica draws her inspiration from the days of yesteryear…ancient Greek coins, the Italian Renaissance, and old Latin words. While at the Couture show, I was happy to run into Erica’s fabulous rep, Felicia, who showed me a new collection of teardrops pendants. They’re available in a brushed finish in sterling, oxidized silver and 18K gold. The icons range from four-point stars to dragonflies to snakes and evil eyes, just to mention a few. So much to choose from!

erica molinari jewelry
Some of the teardrop pendants

One of the things I love about this line is that you can really mix and match the pendants, creating your own look. I think it’s a great way to play with a mixture of metals on one necklace, as well. And for travel, it’s perfect because you can switch things up and wear different combinations, so you don’t look the same in every picture.

I have yet to meet Erica in person, nor have I seen her whole line. Though I just encountered this photo of her rings and I have a new mission. I’ve got to see these in person! Guess it’s just one more item to add to my jewelry bucket list. šŸ˜‰

erica molinari rings
The organic, luxe feel of these rings is amazing!

Seattle’s Treasures!

I recently made my way to Seattle for a fun girl’s weekend. (In fact I think I’m still recovering…) I didn’t have time to do any shopping research before leaving (oh, the horrors!), so I just relied on tips from locals and hitting the pavement to see what I could find. I knew there were some gorgeous items just waiting to be discovered, and I was right!

I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear, but I think I was shopping within about and hour and a half of landing! The first boutique I visited turned out to be one of my favorites of the trip. Alhambra is conveniently located right near Pike’s Place Market, and I was delighted to meet one of the owners, a lovely Turkish woman named Serpil. When you walk into the shop, you feel transported to some exotic location. The merchandise is cleverly displayed in every nook and cranny. She carries some of my favorite jewelry designers, from Erica Molinari to Nava Zahavi. There’s a wide array of price points and styles, so I’m sure that most shoppers can find something they just “must” have.

Alhambra Seattle
Serpil and Amy

alhambra seattle
A glimpse of the exotic decor

(Side bar: If you’re into vintage jewelry, check out Isadora’s Antique jewelry just across First Street. I spotted some cool Native American pieces and some lovely 1890’s Persian turquoise.)

If you wander a few blocks further down First, you can’t miss Watson Kennedy, which is a virtual cabinet of curiosities come to life! It’s a huge store, and there is jewelry tucked in quite a few places, so you really have to spend some time looking. (like that’s a chore, right?!) I thought these earrings (made by a friend of the owner) were quite intriguing, as I do have sort of a “thing” for religious artifacts. They’re made from vintage French medallions.

watston kenney seattle jewelry
Charming earrings

Watson Kennedy doesn’t sell any fine jewelry, so you can be sure that they have lots of baubles at accessible price points. It’s a truly eclectic mix of goodies!

watson kennedy jewelry
Colorful delights at every turn!

In talking with locals (and the ever-so-helpful concierge), I next found myself heading about 20 minutes from downtown to the Ballard neighborhood. This is purported to be an “artsy” area of town, which in my mind translates to unique jewelry! I was about done exploring and hadn’t come across anything that turned my head…and then I discovered Curtis Steiner. This triangular, well-lit shop is just amazing! Everything in this delightful boutique is either antique or hand-made by (predominantly) Washington artists. The owner designs exquisitely feminine necklaces, many of which can transform into short or long lengths.

curtis steiner necklaces
A tri-level display of Curtis' designs

The displays of antique jewelry abound!

curtis steiner jewelry
A parade of bangles

curtis steiner jewelry
Gorgeous antique pieces

The walls of the store are covered in floor-to-ceiling displays of hand-made greeting cards, also a creation of Curtis.

curtis steiner seattle
Hangin' with Curtis

Of course, all this shopping makes a girl hungry. In Ballard, stop by La Carta de Oaxaca for some amazing Mexican food. Yum! Or if downtown, make your way to the Purple Cafe & Wine Bar for drinks and dinner. Gotta keep a shopping girl well-fueled!