Alberian & Aulde

They say that when you own five or more pieces by a particular designer, then you’re officially a “collector” of that line. If that is indeed the definition, then I certainly qualify as a collector of Alberian & Aulde, the unique line created by creative duo, Warren Alberian and Mary Aulde. While I’ve spent many years getting to know their jewelry in stores such as Gallery of Jewels and Fragments, I finally had the pleasure of meeting them in person. I had to feed my parking meter twice, as I was so enthralled hearing about their work and trying on all the pieces they brought for the trunk show. In this interview, they’re sharing their latest collection, Moments. Read on for a glimpse inside the designers’ minds.

The 2-step stud earrings and Alchemy Tower pendant, both in 18K yellow gold with white topaz

What was the inspiration for the Moments collection?

We wanted to envision a modern aesthetic that was in the rhythm of today. The baguette and square shaped gemstones spoke to that with a myriad of parallel step facets and hard angles. Our intention was to integrate and control the flow of light leading from stone to stone enabling us to capture an urban, cosmopolitan, architectural spirit…the experience you may have with constructivist cubist artwork but through the interplay of light — a fresh take on the spirit of modernity. The idea is to excite the present moment. In fact to create moments with unexpected engaging flashes of light reminiscent of shafts of light piercing the corridors of buildings in a cityscape…

The Alchemy Tower pendant necklace paired with the Space Station lariat

As you begin creating pieces for a collection, what’s the driving force? Are you driven by the shapes? The materials?

There are certain principles of light excitation on the eye that underpin any design…that is what drives all of our designs. It is the shapes and it is the materials, but it’s something more than that, the relationship of the parts to the whole which creates a special subtle effect.

We want to make pieces that make people feel something…by the shapes, the way the light from the gem reflects, flashes and then goes dark; by the spontaneity of movement.

So, our intent is to make shapes of light that move with you….ones that are different enough for everyone to self style with in their own way, shape-wise and that compliments your vibration/aura.

The 3:33 earrings in 14k rose gold with white topaz and diamond accents

You can wear the 3:33 earrings in any direction that suits you.

The Deja Vu earrings are just gorgeous. Please tell me a bit about how they developed.

As the Deja Vu piece was in process, we called it the Mondrian. It felt like art… Warren sculpts the original pieces from wax using sketches that Mary makes…as he was sculpting, rather than making it a flat piece, he worked the stones into angles to make it dimensional on the piece so that the light reflects from many directions. A friend who saw the earring calls it holographic, which we think fits the idea for us.

Deja Vu earrings in 14K rose gold, white topaz and diamond accents

The “nugget”, a cube shaped dangle that hangs from the top, is an element we made to hang from several of the pieces. The sculpture also works as a stud earring. We have made the Deja Vu earring both with and without the nugget dangle, we like it best with but some do not like a dangle.

Is there any particular symbolism in the Castle earrings?

The beauty of a piece like the Castle earring is that everyone can put their own story on it! It is designed to be open to interpretation.

Castle earrings in blackened sterling silver and white topaz

We started to see the resemblance of the Moments collection to one of the first collections we ever made — one that was all one-of-a-kind pieces using baguettes, squares, triangles and other fancy shaped gemstones…that collection included our first ever Hoopla piece (interlocking rings of gemstones) and some pieces very similar to the Castle earring and Tower earrings and pendants; little sculptures of shapes, color and light attached together to create evocative jewels. We went with it …and we copied ourselves but make everything producible!

Here’s a peek into the archives — the original versions of the Tower and Castle earrings.

I don’t know about you, but hearing such detailed insights into this jewelry makes me appreciate it all the more. I want to thank Mary and Warren for their time and talent. It was a delight meeting you both, and I can’t wait to see what you create next!

Bridal Event at Gallery of Jewels in San Francisco

I may not be married, engaged, or heck, even boyfriended, but that certainly doesn’t stop me from going to try on some of the most gorgeous wedding rings out there! I mean really, isn’t this the JOB of a jewelry blogger?! I definitely think so. With the upcoming bridal event happening at all three SF locations of Gallery of Jewels, I was psyched to go check out the rings and give them a try today!

The event will take place July 11-27th, and it’ll feature over 20 different designers. Today I learned that many are debuting their first bridal line, such as Sakura Haru (shown in the photo below) and Corey Egan.

sakura haru bridal rings
Instead of feeling like I was in the land of the traditional solitaire (absolutely NO offense if that’s your personal style), my eyes were darting from case to case wondering what to try on next! Here’s some of the rings which really caught my eye (and finger…just sayin’).

Todd Pownell (featuring inverted diamonds…how unique!)

todd pownell rings
Susan Wheeler (morganite and 18K rose gold)

susan wheeler rings
Elyria (because I have a penchant for raw, champagne diamonds)

elyria rings
Alberian & Aulde (stackers galore!)

alberian & aulde rings
Megan Thorne (for a feminine twist with two diamonds)

megan thorne ring
Now trust me, you don’t need to be engaged to attend this event. I have (no surprise) purchased a ring or two for myself at this event in past years. If you’re into beautiful rings, then stop by one of the locations, regardless of the status of your dating life! I promise you won’t regret it!

galley of jewels bridal event

Swedish Sami Bracelets

A few years ago, as I was preparing for a cruise on the Baltic Sea, I was thrilled to find out that we would be starting the journey in Stockholm, Sweden. Why, you ask? I’m sure the answer won’t surprise you, because it involves jewelry. For years, I had been seeing these amazing leather bracelets with woven silver on them, and I finally found out that they are made in Sweden! (Surely the prices of these treasures would be lower there, right?!)

My cousin wearing a Sami bracelet, paired with a sea glass bracelet
My cousin wearing a Sami bracelet, paired with a sea glass bracelet.

With a little research, I learned that these bracelets were originally made by the Sami people, who are an aboriginal people from northern Sweden. Dated as far back as the 16th century, they braid pewter, mixed with about 4% silver, into intricate braids and mount them on bracelets of reindeer leather. The button closure is traditionally made of shed antlers. Many designers now also incorporate copper and silk in their woven designs, taking them to a whole new level.

You can find them in all colors and widths. Eva, a jewelry designer in Sweden, has a great website showcasing the range that Sami bracelets come in.

Love the colors!
Love the colors!

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve also discovered a talented designer, Erika Honig. She is based in Mill Valley and you can find her lovely bracelets at Gallery of Jewels.

Bracelet by Erika Honig
Bracelet by Erika Honig

Oh, and you might be wondering how my shopping quest went when I was in Stockholm…fabulous, of course! I was a woman on a mission, and I managed to track down quite a few bracelets that I brought home with me. One of the reasons I love them is that they stack so easily with other bangles. Here’s a little stack with two of my Swedish purchases.

My stack
My stack

My only regret is that I didn’t buy more of them. Why didn’t I get a couple really wide ones? And why did I shy away from color and just go for the neutrals? Well, I guess I have another shopping mission next time I find myself in Stockholm!

Invitation to an event on May 2, 2013!

Hello there! I’m SO excited to send you this invitation. On the evening of Thursday, May 2, my colleague Jennifer Bressie (and friend since kindergarten) and I will be co-hosting a fabulous event at the Union Square location of Gallery of Jewels in San Francisco. We are both professional image consultants and wardrobe stylists with a deep love of jewelry. We will be here to style you and talk with you about everything from hoop earrings (a definite jewelry box basic!) to what other pieces would look amazing on you. So if you’re up for an evening of jewelry, champagne, and surely some laughs, then come on by! Bring your best-ies and make a fun evening of it. Hope to see you there!

Can't wait to see you in person!
Can’t wait to see you in person!

Giveaway: Dona Taylor Earrings

I have two beautiful pair of Dona Taylor earrings from Gallery of Jewels in San Francisco to give away. Enter the contest below and you may be one of the two lucky people who win a pair! No worries…you don’t have to spend any money, just follow the link below and it’ll let you know how to enter. This contest is open through July 27th.

Dona Taylor earrings
Wouldn’t you love to win one of these??

dona taylor earrings
I love the sparkly pumpkin color!

dona taylor earrings
And these are a deep amber-brown…gorge!

a Rafflecopter giveaway