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Let’s brooch the subject

…because it’s winter again, and those wise sages who design sweaters have yet again chosen to deny you and I the opportunity to button or zip our cardigans.  Why why why?  Is there some desperate shortage of buttons somewhere?  Are they being shipped off to help with a war effort that we’re not being told about?  I for one would like to see the airship that’s being forged from mother of pearl, plastic, and balsa wood laminates.  Either that, or the sweater factories are in cahoots with drug manufacturers.  The correlation; if one catches more colds and flus wearing their garments open to the wild winter winds, one is more likely to purchase drugs to cure their ills.  So nefarious, it’s almost believable.

ANYWAY, I digress.  As a person who enjoys meeting these crucial fashion emergencies with grace and aplomb, I go for a large brooch to hold my garments together, thereby gaining the opportunity to express my joy of jewelry while thumbing my nose at Phizer and their ilk.  I made these back in the late 90’s – yes, they are huge and in your face, like the decade itself; bold and overflowing with un-secured optimism.

ThTall broachlapis web broach

This one is aptly called “spider web in the morning” but it’s a bit too brightly plated for any self-respecting arachnid to want.  That was not a good decision.  I should always go with burnished metal…the bright stuff never did suit my style.

And then, there’s this wonderful designer called Alexis Bittar, who was hanging around the streets of Soho selling his wares the whole time I was living in NY and going to jewelry school at FIT.  So how did I ever miss seeing his awesome stuff and how did I not get in on the groundfloor of what has become a handmade, high fashion jewelry empire to rival those of mid-century French fame?  Beats me.  Now I can look at his website and drool over pieces like this one.  It’s not really indicative of his style in that it doesn’t utilize any resin, but the bold, straightforward look is very “Bittar.”

starburst pin

So the next time you see a sweater that you like, even if it’s missing buttons, don’t fear.  Just get one of these babies and you’ll be warm this winter, and hopefully free of cold and flu.  Ew.

smoky qrtz flower pinmop flower pin

Smoky quartz and coral flower on stickpin:  Mother of pearl and carnelian on stick pin.

Designed by Chris Unruh, 2005.

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And then there was also Jewelry…

three rings one mold

As so often occurs in the life of many a poor soul, one often suffers the vicissitudes of personal climate change. I don’t know why I felt compelled to share this, but probably because I’m looking to create waves in my own life in 2013 (the good kind, not the destructive tsunami type) that I’m looking back on where I’ve been. As mentioned in a recent Advocate article, I do in fact have a varied (and some might say shady) past including such avocations as jewelry designer, fund raiser, cookie baker,executive assistant, toilet cleaner, and international spy. Guess which one is not true. Shouldn’t be too hard. Then again, if you just exchange the word ‘fund’ for ‘heck,’ then you’d also have a correct answer.

At any rate, I was just reading a post from one of my jewelry loving, rant-obsessed compatriots living in New York who really had a great way with words (not to mention gemstones), http://www.delivermediamonds.com, and it reminded me that once upon a time – oh about 15 years ago – I too made some pretty kick-ass jewelry! I was super proud of these rings, because they got some exposure in a cool store down in Soho. They were carved from a piece of heavy green wax and cast by a small family casting firm on 30th street. I don’t think I kept any, which is a shame, but I do still have the rubber mold…. so am thinking this might be a clue as to where the new year might take me!

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Crowns!

I know I’m a bit late in honoring the Queen’s Jubilee, but here it is anyway.  A few wonderful depictions of my favorite piece of jewelry, the crown.  How often in life do any women get to wear these?  Isn’t it time for a change in fashion?  Can we please bring these back?