I have been combining my love for storytelling and travel in my jewelry since graduate school. My master's thesis involved the creation of large-scale couture works in 3D-printed nylon that interpreted motifs, textures, and scenes from my travels into wearable sculptures. The materials I used in graduate school were plastics and nylon, which allowed me to play with concepts and scale.
My thesis project included a hinged neck collar made out of demons like those I saw adorning the walls of temples throughout Bangkok. The collar stretched the neck long, just like the tribeswomen I met in northern Thailand who wore layers of brass rings to elongate their necks--a sign of beauty to the people.
I also created a wild tessellation of tiles evoking fabrics that rose to form a basket on the shoulder, balanced, yet off kilter, like the bowls of rocks the women in flowing scarves balanced on their heads while working to repair walkways through a garden in India.
One of my favorite pieces and the basis of my Peru collection today is a terraced collar that wrapped the shoulders like silk ribbons and climbed around the neck, transforming into ragged cliffs and clouds, like the mountains throughout Peru that had been chiseled away to provide flat land for farming.
When I started Original Eve Designs, I wanted to combine the idea of place being transformed into objects with beautiful gemstones and fine materials. I wanted to create wearable works of art that celebrate the nuances of gemstones while also calling to mind subtle forms inspired by beautiful locations.
This is how the Into The Amazon Collection was born.
Into The Amazon
A two-hour flight, a one-hour bus ride, a three-hour motorized boat, a two-hour dug out canoe away from civilization, creatures lurk in the shadows, making the jungle buzz. Leaves the size of people, spiders the size of fists, vines strangle trees lacing shadows together. The air is thick and heavy with hidden life.
Into The Amazon borrows motifs from the jungle and the concept of secret layers in pieces that celebrate lush, rich materials, and organic forms. Inspired by a trip I took into the jungles of Peru, this collection is all about unique gemstones.
I was amazed in the Amazon by the secrets that lay hidden in endless layers of green jungle--A brightly colored berry; a hidden colony of insects beneath a log; and people living in community so far away from civilization and so deeply in tune with the world around them.
I wanted to use unique gemstones in this collection and a design element that would draw the eye to the nuance and details of the stones with a subtle organic form. I didn't want the gold to overpower the gem, so I finish pieces in this collection with a matte satin surface finish so that the gold quietly glows with buttery richness. I use a tapered leaf form to the guide the eye to the gems--a clean silhouette that allows the masterpieces from nature to take center stage.
In pieces that set gemstones in prongs, the prongs seem to melt into the stone and details and nuance of the custom created settings are only visible from the side. Ornate trellis patterns of organic forms support the gems and allow them to take centerstage.
It is a collection that continues to grow and inspire me because there are endless possibilities for finding beautiful gemstones with magical beauty and interesting stories. The leaf form used throughout the collection has become one of my signature design elements--modern, yet classic; subtle, but not boring.
With this collection I hope to take the wearers on an adventure into the world of gemstones with pieces that can mix and match in endless combinations to allow for expression through jewelry, and a to give collectors a taste of the wilds of The Amazon.