It’s a Jungle Out There

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the direction my jewelry work might go, looking at many pieces and collections by other designers, and trying to figure out what my “style” might me as a designer. I dislike the concept that a designer needs to adhere to a style in order to be recognised or stand out, but I guess that’s the way the world works. There is a growing trend in the market of dainty, minimalist jewelry. There are tons of really great designs out there. Some are really easy to make though – I know because I’ve tried making some of them. That’s how you learn right. If I start selling my own jewelry on a bigger scale, that’s probably the way to go – with my own twist of course.

There is however the artist/designer side of me, who wants to see what is possible with this medium, who likes to be challenged. Applying techniques and skills available to me, to create a piece that it truly original and unique – without being overly gaudy. The market for these pieces is obviously a lot smaller. These are supposed to be pieces that you attach sentimental meaning or value to. I want to explore that side of this trade as well.

To me design – in any field – is figuring out how to create something with the resources, skills and techniques available. It’s a process of solving a problem; having and idea of what you want to achieve and then figuring out the best way to apply techniques, materials and skills at your disposal to replicate the image in your mind. I want to explore that side of this art/trade as well.

The following piece falls into the second category of my designs; the once off originals. I mentioned in the previous post that I want to make series depicting endangered animals or habitats.

tropic 1

This piece was inspired in part by a piece of art by Arymiss which I recently acquired,  in part by the Monstera plant making quite the comeback – I am not immune to trends – and, as my mother pointed out, because it’s reminiscent of our lush, tropical garden in Mpumalanga, where I was born.

tropic 2

Silver Stag

I designed the following piece in 2014, but I knew I had to put in a couple more hours in the studio before I would be able to make it. In the meantime, I made a little card mock-up to see if it would work and to wrap my head around how exactly to make it. (The model also helped to show the instructor exactly what I wanted to make, seeing as I don’t speak any Korean.)


Making the actual thing took longer than I expected (about 5 hours), and at times the process of making it really tested my patience. I’m pretty proud of myself for actually making it – and not giving up on the idea. This is the final piece:

Stag, Jade and Silver, 2014

Stag. (Yellow Jade and Silver.)

Stag, Jade and Silver, 2014

From a different angle.


This week in jewelry class I tried to do something a little more feminine and dainty. I did want the pearls to be the same colour, but the instructor insisted I use two colours. She also indicated that I should make the flowers differ in size next time – I agree with that.



The two colours bugged me too much, so I changed the pink pearl. It is lacking in contrast, but I like the overall blue-ish tone of it better now.

blossom 1

blossom 2