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Monday, July 31, 2006

Patty Cokus

Remember that "toy" that was basically just a drawing of a man's bald head, and you'd use a magnet to drag metal shavings around on top, giving him various mustaches and hairdos? (Boy, life before Playstation was tough, wasn't it?) Seattle artist Patty Cokus gives new life to that idea with her amazing "attraction" ring, featuring boro glass with steel filings inside and a magnet on the outside (pictured at far right, US$250). Also pictured here is her "growing grass" ring, US$200; when worn, the grass-filled tubes push up, like they're sprouting from your hand.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Closing out our inadvertent double theme week: double-sided convertible rings (US$80) from Portland, Oregon's lickingpants. Speaking of Portland, I might be heading there-ish next weekend so if you know of any ring shops, let me know!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Yvonne Les Crinier

I just noticed a "double" theme in all the rings posted this week! Well, if you like this silver and enamel double-headed "Nero #2" ring by German Yvonne Les Crinier, be prepared to double your ususal surfing time if you want to view her full portfolio. Her website is packed with playful expressions in matte gold and silver, like the "Ententanz" (duck dance) ring and these double-creepy be-scarfed angels.

Amanda Doughty

These rings are like those shoes you shouldn't have bought: maybe not so comfortable to wear but, oh, so pretty. England's Amanda Doughty finds inspiration in "simple, repetitive, mostly man-made features in the landscape," as is evident in her clean, modern, architectural jewellery.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Andrea Frahm

Andrea Frahm must be a neat freak. The German jeweller's portfolio reveals tidy rows of pearls and beads tucked away inside clean, symmetrical rings and earrings; her matte gold bracelets and necklaces are similarly well-ordered with their repeating patterns and balanced proportions. My favourite is the brilliant silver and coral ring pictured here. It's like a fresh pomegranate bursting with yummy seeds... as long as they're bursting in perfect formation, of course.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dahlia Kanner

"I love making rings." So declares Dahlia Kanner, and it shows. The Rhode Island artist textures her pieces with bumps, striations, facets and crevices, resulting, paradoxically, in a look of cool refinement. Pictured here, clockwise from top left: horn, wide saw, bumpy spiral and two-finger spongy ring.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Katherine Koehler

Inspiration is everywhere but the kitchen sink! Right? Not so if you're Katherine Koehler. The New Yorker (by way of St. Louis, Oregon and RISD) behind this US$200 cream and orange plexiglass ring drew inspiration from "the overlapping shapes found in household sponges." This piece is from her brand new "sponge" series but, if Scotch-Brite isn't your style, she's got a dozen other fantastic collections ranging from the stark to the colourful. Each is worth a long, wistful stare.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Josephine Winther

I don't have much info on these rings but I couldn't resist posting them. They're called "colorrings," they're by Copenhagen's Josephine Winther and they're just a little bit Barbapapa-esque.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Petra Giers

Though her jewellery is sleek and modern in shape, Germany's Petra Giers inlays her rings with images more suited to Arthurian times. Dragons, crosses, roses and signets abound in her collection of rings and pendants. Pictured here is a phoenix, which appears to be etched in an appropriately red gemstone.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


What to do if you're about to tie the knot and you're (a) on a budget, (b) worried about the ethics of the diamond trade or (c) both, and have exceptional taste, to boot? May I suggest this perfect sterling knot band? It's called a "pretzel twist" but, come on, it's so an understated knot. Or it could be a figure "8" on its side, which is funny ha-ha, because the ring costs only US$8. For real! Buy one at Garnish.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Apparently, there's a shop in Tokyo that sells almost nothing but acrylic jewellery. Fittingly, it's called "Acrylic." Very unfittingly, I missed it. Judging by the map, I walked right by it. And I missed it. Every time I think about this, an angel loses its wings... or something. See how these fabulous acrylic and urushi lacquer rings mock me? Ring prices range from ¥5,000 to ¥10,000 (~$50-$100).

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sarah Troper

I have a new favourite ring! Sarah Troper is a Canadian metalsmith, but it's her tiny takes on Americana that are the highlight of her portfolio. Her Wonderbread (pictured here) and picket fences rings are fantastic for the way they turn symbols of ultimate "blah" into jewellery that is anything but.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


CucumberLab is Ben Blanc and Andrew Reed, two RISD MFA grads based in Pawtucket. Their design talents are focussed mainly on furniture and housewares, but they also make a mean ring. No, literally — this bird might be sweet, but visit their site for other not-so-sweet ring designs. I'd post them here, but I have to pardon their French first. The playful pieces are stainless steel plated in 24k gold. Contact them if you need information on pricing and availability.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Eva Bruggmann

Before Microsoft Word had us tearing our hair out over its automatic bullet lists ("Why won't it just INDENT?!") typing was a much more pleasant enterprise, albeit without that handy "undo" feature. To me, there's nothing as satisfying as the sound of a typewriter, keys clackety-clacking and carriages returning. Zurich's Eva Bruggmann pays homage to the old machine with her series of type-inspired "letter rings." Pictured here is "courier 10."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tarina Tarantino

First, she did it with Hello Kitty. Now, Hollywood darling Tarina Tarantino (with partner Alfonso Campos) is at it with Barbie, turning a girlhood icon (like it or not) into a collection of cutesy jewellery. The ring, US$63, comes in four styles, with Barbie channelling a '50s socialite, '60s Hepburnesque miss (pictured here), '70s flower child and '80s surfer girl. And if you have, er, strong negative feelings toward the leggy doll? Tarina's got that covered, too.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Kathleen Dughi

California's Kathleen Dughi practices a traditional method of jewellery fabrication, hand-forging metal without waxes or molds. But since forging is much too firey a topic to discuss in this heat, let's focus instead on her quartz crystal rings, like the "Glacier" ring pictured here. Soothing! If Tupperware were to make an ice-cube tray that produced shapes like this, I'd be freezing water like there's no tomorrow... which reminds me, have you seen An Inconvenient Truth? The best part is how it doesn't star Kate Bosworth.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Kiwon Wang

Korean-born New Yorker Kiwon Wang gives us a "rags" to riches story — literally — but turning old newspapers into precious jewellery. Cut into hundreds of small, uniform circles and stacked together against bits of silver, even newsprint becomes ornamental. Suddenly, you want it to decorate your hands, not just the bottom of your birdcage. Be sure to check out her Paper and Pearl and various other series as well!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Kelly McCallum

I was totally going to make a ring just like this, but my local Michael's was fresh out of human bones! Kelly McCallum, a recent graduate of London's Royal College of Art, combines tiny live plants and pieces of human femur in her "Dust to Dust" collection. As she puts it, "[the plants] grow out of roughly cut rings, which are vaguely reminiscent of rock, but possess warmth from their colour and texture that rock cannot achieve. These are simple, poetic pieces about the cyclical nature of life and death."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hanna Ind

This chunk of brushed gold and silver goodness is by Polish artist Hanna Ind, whose work incorporates a lot of bricks, metal grids, chains, links and cuffs. "Hmm, prisony," you might say, and you might not be wrong. But the jewellery is attractive and interesting, which I imagine prison is not... unless it's that prison with Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. That one was kind of interesting.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Katy Hackney

There's a slogan associated with these cute rings: "Covering the World with Style." A nice catchphrase, but it doesn't belong to any fashion or jewellery designer. Those words belong instead to to a global manufacturer of heat resistant, wipe-clean, plastic laminate surfacing material: Formica! London's Katy Hackney combines plywood and colourful vintage formica to create cute brooches, necklaces and rings, like the stacked bands at left. After its early years as an electrical insulator and many decades covering the kitchens of America, it looks like formica may have finally found its true calling. Once again, all paths lead to jewellery. It's always about the jewellery. Remember that.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ulrike Hamm

Though it may resemble a fanned-out stack of thinly-sliced apples, this ring is actually much less vegan-friendly. Berlin's Ulrike Hamm creates lovely pieces by manipulating and dyeing a paper-thin material and combining it with metal. On second thought, "paper-thin" might be an inadequate adjective, since it actually is paper — as in the animal kind. As in parchment. As in the skin of sheep. Like I said, not vegan-friendly, but in the most stylish way possible.