With the new film "Blood Diamond" and all the talk surrounding this
fairly common mineral, I have been thinking a lot about the value,
design and bru ha ha around diamonds. With the noise surrounding the
recent thread on David Yurman, there is another movement regarding
While on vacation in sunny Florida, I came upon the magazine, "The
Robb Report". Although Santa did not leave me a yummy new yacht
featured on several pages of this upscale magazine for the rich
famous, nor did I find a new Rolex under the tree or a new Jaguar
with a seat warmer, coffee warmer or state-of-the-art GPS (lovingly
called Agnes) cooing directions in a sultry voice directing me to my
new Tristar business jet, I do like to look at the jewelry ads and
articles. For me it's an indication where the well heeled by their
Two excellent articles written by Jill Newman discussed a Manhattan
Jeweler who specializes in putting together jewelry, but only if you
provide the stones. A white gold cuff with diamonds and amethysts was
priced at $38K.
However the article that caught my eye was the use of rough diamonds
as a centerpiece to finished diamonds which wrap around it. I have
been intrigued with this style of using rough diamonds for quite some
time and have been watching the trend closely. The first view of
rough diamonds I encountered was by Michael Zobel, and then most
recently, Todd Reed. There are two pages in one of my sketchbooks
which is called "Todd Reed" and "Not Todd Reed." Because Todd Reed
has marketed his style so well, just about any piece of jewelry with
a square rough diamond with a bezel is assumed to be one by Todd.
The article in the Robb Report was on a new jeweler who uses
polished and uncut diamonds as a center point of attraction.
I find this whole thing fascinating. One, several years ago, using
an uncut diamond would be risky and thought of "artsy" and
"unwearable". Yet now, this style is making its way into the
mainstream. SNAG meets JCK.
Although we all struggle with the kinds of designing we do, and how
best to posture ourselves in the market to make a decent living,
there are a lot of very wealthy people out there. Jewelry sales
always do well in recession. Instead of bitching about how one person
makes their wealth, use the talent that you all have. While JCK, SNAG
and MJSA Journal, Ornament, Lapidary Journal, Art Jewelry and
American Craft are all great journals, I'm starting to spend my time
looking at Vogue, Vanity Fair, Town and Country and the Robb Report
as an indicator as to where the wealthy are purchasing their
For all of you looking at the Lark books and saying, "geez, this
isn't wearable jewelry, it's crap!" Consider this, the people who
take risks and chances creating "unwearable art" are watched by those
who take the essence of the art and put it into the mainstream.
Isolated portions of traffic signs have visually striking graphics.
In a few years, you might find a diamond set into a portion of a
traffic sign and a new generation will think it is "edgy" and "cool".
We will have Boris Bally and Roy to thank for this, for it was them
who brought it up in the first place.
It doesn't matter if the work is completely wearable. What isn't
wearable today, might very well be turned into something fabulous
later. Contemporary and abstract art is like that too. If it's not
literal, than why have it hang on your wall?
I hope in 100 years from now we will be remembered for our art and
not our banks or insurance companies.
M E T A L W E R X
School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854