KRISTEN DORSEY DESIGNS: Cultural Stories, Strength, and Jewelry

 

Today’s Sunday jewelry report card is about heritage, culture, and jewelry. Kristen’s designs are her own and reflect a sense of style that matches that strong foundation. Her work has modern lines, but it is also about the power of women in society, as well as Chickasaw heritage.  I first saw her work in a post on the popular instagram page Diamonds in the Library. Not a bad one to follow either! Anyway, she is also carried by Vicki Turberville, whose is a favorite of ours!  She has been featured in British Vogue and other publications. What drew me to Kristen’s work immediately, was her use of symbolism, which is steeped in beautiful jewelry design.

Her work also resonates with me, because I also had more than one ancestor on the Trail of Tears, so we share a bit of that southeastern indigenous link.  Kristen is an advocate for authentic Native American design and indigenous art. This subject is important, because I can attest to having seen many people use indigenous motifs and lead people to believe they were Native American artists, referring to things about their time near reservations, their experiences-yet never clarifying that they aren’t really Native American artists.  It is important to realize how much intellectual and cultural heritage is appropriated and used for monetary gain and to try to support artists like Kristen Dorsey, who has strong ties and is actually Chickasaw. Native American identity, indigenous women, law, and stereotypes was a main focus of my doctorate, so I could just go on and on. In her own words:

“I honed my craft at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston while also earning a degree in American studies with a concentration in Native American studies from Tufts University.

The materials and techniques I use reflect my passion for the history of adornment within the southeastern Native American culture. My designs reflect a unique historical and cultural perspective…one which connects me with my cultural identity.

Chickasaw jewelry is characterized by shell carving, copper relief sculpture, and freshwater pearls. Using Mississippian imagery from shell and copper gorgets as my inspiration, I create pieces that reference traditional materials. Working with these materials and imagery connects me to my ancestors”. KristenDorseyDesigns.com

The pieces in her line tell a story as she says in ‘metal and stone’. She uses materials also once important to her people like pearls. See her detailed historical link here. Yet, while culture informs some of her choices, it shouldn’t be thought that her work is all about the past or that Native Americans are static. Her jewelry has a very personal style…she plays with modernity and geometric shapes.  Her Hatchet Woman collection has these two aspects interconnected. In one way, she discusses the fact that Chickasaw women could be warriors, but in another embraces femininity and contemporary jewelry design.  The Panther pieces highlight the strength of Chickasaw women leaders, but they are beautiful pieces without any knowledge at all of that narrative.  Sky serpent, is also a favorite of mine for it’s ancient roots and modern lines. The scale of her jewelry is great, large and fierce. You can really see this on the body, as seen in the images we’ve included here. Her work is available on her website kristendorseydesigns.com and in various shops as seen via this link. USE THE CODE: SARARA on her website for 15% off. 

What We Covet: 

Why We Follow Her: 

* All images belong to Kristen Dorsey Designs. From her instagram and website. Rights Reserved.

Jewelry Report Card: The Designs of Billie Hilliard

Custom choker, by request. $478.

This Sunday we travel back south to from Texas to Atlanta, GA (my old stomping ground) to the home of a designer who fits the bill for an account and designer to follow. Her jewelry report card grade is an A++! Her brand Billie Hilliard, merges fashion with a sense of heirloom design.  Her jewelry has been worn by Queen Bee, enough said…. She has been featured in magazines like Oh Brides and Essence. You can also follow her blog for more inspiration and style posts. 

How did it all begin? It seems that Billie studied fashion design and even modeled for United Colors of Benetton in her early career. She decided to pursue her passion of jewelry design and is sold in boutiques worldwide.  Studying her jewelry style and pieces, in a few minutes, it is easy to see this gal has talent.  Her designs are fluid and warm, they harken back to the 70s brutalist influences, but in a very modern way. Her jewelry appeals to me because there is a definite sense of structure to the “brutalist” aspects.  She uses wax casting and makes these by hand. Shop our favorite pieces below!

What We WANT:

 

Why We Follow Her:

*All images from Billie’s website and instagram. Rights Reserved.

BILLIE HILLIARD, 1200 FOSTER STREET NORTHWEST, ATLANTA, GA, 3031

Sunday Report Card: Modern Magic at Cyril Jewelry

Lily Stewart in the Orbital Drops and Satellite ring in Russh Magazine.

Today’s jewelry report card is about discovering something new. We’ve chosen this artist’s jewelry account to follow for a few reasons. There is something a little entrancing, almost enchanting about the work of New York based jewelry designer Leila Du Mond of Cyril Studio.  Launched in 2017, it is a new brand, with tons of potential! The pieces are made in the city by hand and retain a minimal but magic style. The crystals she uses are mounted in 14k or sterling,and bounce light beautifully of the human form. There is a sensuality about how they are made and worn, yet the are beautifully modern.  The crystals remind me of antique pools of light pieces in theory, but her application of them is so different and well molded.

Firstly, her construction of the “crystals” seems to be lighter and uniquely mounted. Her hand carved examples seem almost molded to the sculptural fittings that surround them.  Read about her process in a detailed an interesting interview here.  She’s one to watch and you can do that from her instagram account where she posts some of her new pieces and one of a kind creations.  Let’s see where her investigation into light takes us!

What We Want: 

Why We Follow Her:

*All images from the Cyril Studio’s website and instagram page. Rights Reserved.

Oscar Sunday: Jewelry Report Card Muse

Lainy Hedaya in Aron & Hirsch jewelry at Muse.

Some people like Christmas morning, for fine jewelers there may be no other better beginning to the day than Oscar morning. Our choice for the jewelry report card A++, one to follow, has been chosen because they work hard to showcase unique jewelers, include ethical stone practices, and are a influencer’s hidden gem when reporting on the fine jewelry market.

It all started with an international trip to Tel Aviv and a custom wedding band. That young designer was Yossi Harari. Muse, began at that moment. It was founded by the band’s commissioner, Jennifer Shanker, WJA award winner.  She has an established history in the jewelry biz, and in 2016 Muse partnered with GEMFIELDS, using ethically sourced and sustainably mined gemstones. GEMFIELDS X MUSE is in its own right a sustainable and gorgeous charm filled jewelry line. However, if you want to be on top of the fine market and meet new jewelers ahead of them blowing up, following @museshowroom on instagram is a start. We’re betting that we will see some pieces from Muse tonight at the Oscars. Besides Oprah frequently sources her finds there, and if it is good enough for O, it is good enough for me!

The carpet will be full of diamonds, emeralds, and rubies…so why not take a look inside Muse, who has worked to elevate colored gemstones to an artform. They are a leader in showcasing the next big thing in the world of fine jewelry. They stock a group that is both international and in many cases,exclusive to Muse. Here are a list of some of their current jewelry designers. Also, they don’t carry everything online so following them means you’ll be the first to see new designs. If you are in the New York area, one could benefit from a trip to the showroom to see the amount of pieces they really do carry.

Elena Vosti
Holly Dyment
Julls Brasil*
Joana Salazar
Michelle Fantaci
Nancy Newberg
Nikos Koulis
Silvia Furmanovich (fine jewelry and preciously worked bags)
Tara Hirshberg
What We Want:
How does this relate to tonight’s Oscars, well a little birdy told my we can expect to see plenty of Nikos Koulis on the carpet among other jewelers tonight. While the Oscars is usually full of large diamonds, it would indeed be fun to see some color.  Now, if you were following the work of the showroom you would have a leg up on this already!   So to celebrate the work of these designers we have chosen our favorite pieces, and those we think are very red carpet worthy.

Silvia Furmanovich bags at Muse.

Nikos Koulis jewels from Muse

Nikos Koulis jewels from Muse.

 

Carolina Neves earrings at Muse.

 

Joana Salazar earrings from Muse.

Keeping up with Muse on instagram is a way to discover new whimsical designers. Not to mention it is a plethora of pretty sparkly images. The pieces they post are enough to make any Conneoisseur’s mouth water.

*All images from Muse Showroom online, its jewelers, and its instagram images. Rights Reserved.

Yara Shahidi image via Vanity Fair, Nagi Sakai photo.

Jewelry Report Card: Vicki Turbeville and a Turquoise Dream

Wake up jewelry lovers, it’s Sunday and time for us to drink coffee and figure out what’s for breakfast, but most importantly it new jewelry report card time! Like all good things her story began with London, a trip out west and Nina Garcia.

This is an A++ seller and instagram account to indulge in for many reasons! Vicki Turbeville’s images and jewelry are editorial, full of history, and culture. This one is special to me because of my ancestry, my wish to support indigenous rights and arts, and the importance of buying such pieces from a respectful seller. You will be waking up to some great Native American artist reports soon.  I noticed Vicki on instagram and started to pay attention to how many contemporary Native American artists work with her, and how she seemed to have a fair relationship with these special items as well. She understands their context and the rich sources that can be found in terms of current Native artists today.  I find her jewelry collection reaches past basic examples into the finely designed and rare as well. This is based on my collecting since I was very young, when I first met a 80 year old man with a stash from his time out west.  Oh, yes I got the best/ largest ring to add to my collection from her and I collect and stock Native American pieces- so that says a lot!

Vicki began her online presence in 2004 after living in London and noticing English friends collecting Native American pieces. Maybe it was a little nostalgia for her homeland or maybe it was just her recognizing the importance of a truly “American” art form.  With a trip out west, as soon as she returned stateside her business began and she started selling at shows. Enters Nina, who met her at said small show, and asked her to come to the offices to showcase some of her pieces. After a vintage concho belt made to the cover on Uma Thurman in 2006, her small website quickly blossomed.  She had a shop in NYC for many years until moving to Redondo Beach California, merging her business with her real life partner, whom she met in New York!

Native American pieces can be an investment, really they should be… There are imitations out there and sometimes you pay for what you get.  Great older jewelry is increasingly harder to find, it is something I spend true time when shopping for the store, so I know for Vicki to have acquired such a collection she’s put in effort and expertise. She regularly stocks some unique and fab vintage finds.

Her instagram account: Why we love it-Besides all of the sea of turquoise she posts, what her account ig offers are lots of pieces by current Native American artists being shared in visually stunning images.

 

What we want:

*All images belong to Vicki, from her website and instagram account

Visit Vicki online or at
304 Vista Del Mar, Suite A, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Hours: Wed-Saturday 12-5pm

Vicki Turbeville

To read more on Native American jewelry, see our article here.

 

Sunday Jewelry Report Card: All Tied Up in the Jewelry Art of Neon Zinn

 

It’s that time again, but instead of a work day for many, tomorrow we have a holiday of sorts…so enjoy that cup of coffee knowing the next day can involve house slippers!  We have decided to hand out our Sunday jewelry report card to to a designer that is all about color, texture, and most importantly process. So wake up!  I noticed his work a few years ago at fashion week while we where shooting street style. I thought, wow who did these oversized almost body style pieces? Well, you know I like a good piece of body jewelry, so I investigated. His scale ranges from collars to large complex pieces, which I love. The way the artist embraces color is inspiring. Some of the pure beauty of his work is due to the fact that he has his hands on all the moving parts. He dyes the rope and creates a kaleidoscope of hues.  His necklaces are made from cotton yarn and different fibers, which are comfortable to wear.

Elle Magazine. South Africa.

New Orleans based Seth Damm is the creator of the line, and he started much like true artists do…experimenting and coming into his own with this medium. His past experience had been in installation, printmaking, and painting, but this all started with a box of rope and a jewelry show in a friend’s gallery.   Featured in Marie Claire Italy and Elle Decor, one begins to understand that there are more layers to his work than what the label “jewelry” can describe.  

Customization: um yeah its what everyone wants that now and after exploring his site, I found he offers it and treats his shop like a gallery of sorts. Very intriguing, click here for more info. 

Currently, one can see that his new designs are taking him more into the realm of body and adornment, and I for one am excited! Why is he one to follow on instagram? Color, creativity, and inspiration. Need I say more?  But I will- his shop and account are full of breath taking hues that he conjures up daily.

Why we love the Neon Zinn on Instagram

 

Pieces We Want NOW:

*All images belong to Neon Zinn via the website and instagram. 

Earth, Wind, Water, Fire: Minimalism, Jewelry, and Fay Andrada

 

It’s Sunday and we are handing out the report card!  We have chosen our designer and instagram account to follow. Designer Fay Andrada has a grounded authenticity that is admirable in jewelers. She has refined her personal history and skills into a physical representation through her jewelry.  Her experiences as the daughter of an architect ring true, as does her training in graphic design. Each design is made in brass, sterling, or 14K.  They are modern sculpture with an element of earth, water, wind, and fire thrown in the mix.  There is a human aspect to her work, a tiny imperfection, but also a minimal perfect beauty, as well. Although this style has become more sought after recently and reiterated, she has been doing such pieces for years. Her brand was founded in Brooklyn in 2010. She has a studio in Greenpoint, in which one can make an appointment to see her work in person.

We gravitate in the world of instagram to those artists who have the real goods, because jewelry is a personal process.  Sunday #jewelryreportcard is about rewarding those artist and accounts because they are really great, and in many cases deserve way more followers. I hope by doing these Sunday reports we point out some great accounts that inspire the reader, beyond the superficial.  Plus, they of course, we hope, will make your last day of the weekend a bit brighter!  Her work has been seen in Vogue, Refinery 29, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, and more.   Fay has some lust worthy pieces, also the imagery and romance of her instagram feed is not lost on us. If one scrolls down her feed well into a years or so ago or beyond, one can see how marvelously she styles the bracelets stacked to infinity and the consistency of the photography.  There is a poetic beauty to the feed.

Why we love her instagram:

Jewelry we want so badly:

*All images belong to Fay Andrada, via her website and Instagram.

Jewelry Mathematics: Sunday with Yoko Takirai

It may be hard to believe, but I am a modernist-maximalist, no maximalist modernist, no….anyway once again we find ourselves in a Sunday state of mind. Ready to give our A++ to a new designer and instagram account we recently discovered and love. So grab your coffee and get ready!  Today’s jewelry report card goes to Yoko Takirai, which is very fitting since her jewelry takes some mathematical and architectural knowledge.

Her designs combine a sense of modern architectural design with romance.  First of all, her name is Yoko, so we are hooked…second her degrees in the field are quite extensive.  She graduated from West Virginia University in the 90s, then in 1995 she moved to Florence to study at the jewellery school “Le Arti Orafe”.  She then obtained a degree in project jewellery design from the Istituto d’Arte di Firenze. Yoko taught goldsmith’s art at the “Alchimia” school until 2000 and then in 2002 opened Takirai Design.  Her work has gone on to gain accolades, show at museum shows, and beyond.

What we love about her designs are the way they bridge innovation in form, with their wearer.  She creates architecture for the body.  Where can you get her work? Well, here is where instagram comes into play. Yoko’s work can be seen at international design shows, galleries, and beyond. Most of these events are mentioned on instagram and her facebook page, like the Barcelona Jewellery Fair. She has shown her work at the MAD museum in New York.  Her line is carried in boutiques like Oh My Blue in Venice Italy, so to stay on top of all of this we present her instagram page.

Why we love her instagram a visual tribute:

Our Favorite Pieces:

Contacts:

www.yokotakirai.com

Spazio SAM – Vecchio Conventino – laboratorio 33
Via Giano della Bella, 20/1
50124 Firenze
tel. +39 348 9147006

*All images belong and from Takirai Design website or her instagram account, rights reserved.

Sunday Jewelry Report Card, Italian Style with the Work of Mario Salvucci

It’s the end of the weekend again and to help take your mind off of the impending threat of Monday, we are bringing you our report card pick. The blog has chosen the work of jewelry artist and designer Mario Salvucci! Mario’s instagram is an interesting blend of beautiful deep hues of navy blacks combined with images of his everyday Italian life and inspirations. His fashion/jewelry images often look like Italian paintings and never cease to inspire.  In this rhythm, one also finds the occasional quirky post, which makes his instagram account one to enjoy and follow. He has experience in lighting and decor design as well, which also makes his perspective unique.   His jewelry is whimsical and modern, yet a bit industrial and raw.

If you love insect jewelry, look no further as his incredible creatures collection explores a personal favorite of mine, spider jewelry, among scorpions, mantis and others. They have an architectural and tactile feel. The pieces are made by his hand in Italy, from 100% recycled sterling and indulge in the inspiration he finds in nature.  His other new pieces have deep grey finishes, organic subjects, and modern geometric incarnations.

Mario has been making jewelry for over thirty years, first beginning as a line in the USA in 1985. His was work carried in major department stores and in fashion magazines.  In the 90s, he took a hiatus from jewelry and became involved in the interior and lighting design world. He recently returned to his love of jewelry in 2011, with the launch of this new line.  As such, he is new to the scene again and somewhat under valued on instagram!  He regularly displays in New York in person, and I was lucky enough to meet and purchase the spider necklace from Mario. He has a calm sweet demeanor and I look forward to seeing more of his new work. So without further ado let’s explore his A++ jewelry.

Favorite shots from Instagram:

Pieces we covet:

SHOP HIS PIECES ONLINE HERE: Sales and New items!

*All images from Mario’s website and instagram feed, rights reserved to him.

Sunday Jewelry Report Card: Tactile Offerings From Charolette Garnett

 

What if there was jewelry that excited the senses and calmed the anxious fingers?  Well, there is, enter Charolette Garnett. Her instagram and jewelry are the focus of our A++ Sunday jewelry report card rating this week. Just looking at her work, which I stumbled upon via instagram, has me a notch calmer. Not to mention taking all of that out, the pieces are just beautiful and sculptural. Charolette is a British graduate and works out of Alexander McQueen Sarabande studios. She is one to watch in the fashion jewelry art world. Her future seems bright. She combines textures, feelings, and emotion into her rings and other pieces. I have a list started of the jewelry I’d love to have that I am including here. Her instagram account was picked by the blog because, although relatively new, it is extremely visually pleasing. There is also something exciting about following someone who is in a phase of grow and will be producing new ideas for us to partake in. Featured recently in publications like Harper’s Bazaar Brazil and more her audience is on the rise.

New previews of things to come via her instagram account!

Her newest objects of desire mix ebony, 18K, bronze, and resin… These “pebbles are quite magical.

My obsession: