Nov
01
2012

A Luxury Dream of Every Girl: Vera Wang’s 2013 New Style Wedding Dresses

After two seasons of bold and totally unexpected bridal collections, Vera Wang surprised us again by showing… white wedding gowns.

Yes, after seeing her black and nude Fall 2012 collection, and her crimson and dahlia Spring 2013 collection, we were shocked to see classic ivory gowns — in lace, no less! — on the runway on Friday. Leave it to Vera to shock with the least shocking color of all.

In press materials, Wang describes the collection as a “study in femininity and romance [that] celebrates the wedding gown in a new take on classicism and ornamentation.”

* Original source: A Luxury Dream of Every Girl: Vera Wang’s 2013 New Style Wedding Dresses

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Sep
28
2012

The Most Fashionable NOOKA Watches

Fashion desgin appreciation: The most fashionable NOOKA wathces

 

 

 

* Original source: The Most Fashionable NOOKA Watches

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Aug
22
2012

Seeking the Art of Jewelry across Ages(III)

The Torpedo Factory Art Center is in the old area of Alexandria, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. Here, on the second floor is a workroom and store called Susan Sanders Design. Let us go back to the modern geometric jewelry we told about earlier.

Susan Sanders is a jewelry designer at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. She started making jewelry when she was in college but my desire to make things started much earlier than that. Her father was a graphics designer and brought me home professional supplies. Although her original plan was to be a furniture designer.

Susan Sanders says this ring is not the easiest of her rings to wear. It is more like a finger sculpture. She carved the main sterling silver form of the ring from a piece of hard wax material. With the lost-wax method we told about earlier, she carved the wax model to make the silver form. Then, she used a milling machine to create a perfect circle opening for a finger.

She also used this milling tool to carve out the areas where she placed small pieces of onyx and jasper stone. Once the stones were in place, she ground the surface to a smooth finish.

Like most of her work, this ring is very modern and geometric. Susan Sanders says she is not exactly sure where her ideas come from. Some ideas come from subjects she loves such as modern architecture. But the hardest part is choosing an idea for a piece of jewelry since she does not have the time or resources to make every design she imagines.

Susan Sanders sells most of her work in her store in Alexandria.If you visit the store, you can see her hard at work on new jewelry. She has shown her work in countries such as Italy and South Korea.

Listen as Susan Sanders tells about an exciting show she helped put together in Russia. SUSAN SANDERS: “I have had quite a number of shows in different countries. The most exciting of which was a show that we had in Moscow in Russia that was called Two Capitals which was jewelry designers from the Washington, D.C., area and artists also from the Moscow area. We put together a show and went over there with it.

We had a fabulous time. We were entertained by three of the country’s best opera singers and one of their top pianists, which was absolutely incredible. We had an opportunity to meet some of the other Russian jewelers and visit their studios, so we feel like we have friends over there even though we had to speak through an interpreter.” Susan Sanders says to be a good jewelry maker you have to enjoy working long and hard on very small details.

She says it is not work that goes quickly. Sanders feels lucky to have grown up with the choices she had. Because her father was an artist, he supported her creative goals early on. Many women did not have the same choices. Susan Sanders says she is thankful to be an artist doing work that she loves.

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* Series article:

Seeking the Art of Jewelry across Ages (I)

Seeking the Art of Jewelry across Ages (II)

Seeking the Art of Jewelry across Ages (III)

* Original source: Seeking the Art of Jewelry across Ages(III)

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Jul
18
2012

Seeking the Art of Jewelry across Ages(II)

Several other metal working methods were developed in ancient times and still define jewelry design today. They include cloisonne work and casting.

Cloisonné involves forming metal borders to make different contained areas on the surface of the piece of jewelry. These spaces are then filled with different pieces of finely carved precious stones or with small bits of glass that are melted together.

The ancient Egyptians were experts of the cloisonne method. For example, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City you can see a beautiful cloisonne necklace made more than four thousand years ago.

More than three hundred small stones make up a detailed image of Egyptian symbols such as birds and snake creatures. The symbols tell about the sun god giving long life to the Egyptian ruler of that time, King Senwosret the Second.

For thousands of years, Egyptian jewelry represented a great tradition of artistic skill. Many of the pieces were not only beautiful, but also believed to be magical. Amulet jewelry was believed to protect people or give them special powers.

For example, scarabs in the form of the beetle insect were believed to be the symbol of new life. Jewelers in ancient Egypt made many examples of finely carved scarab rings and necklaces that still exist today.

One very old technique of metal casting is called the lost-wax method. With this method, an artist carves the shape of jewelry he or she wants to make out of wax material. This shape is placed into a piece of clay, which is heated at high temperatures. The clay takes the form of the ring, but the wax inside melts away because of the heat. This is why the method is called “lost-wax”.

The original carved wax model is lost, but its form remains in the clay. Hot liquid metal such as gold is placed inside this clay form. As the metal cools and hardens, it takes the form left by the wax.

The rulers of Asante in modern day Ghana wore gold jewelry made with the lost-wax method. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Asante jewelers made beautiful, fine, detailed gold objects. The ruling family and other leaders wore objects as symbols of their importance, wealth, and power.

Granulation, filigree, cloisonne and casting are only a few of the metalworking methods used by jewelers both in the past and today.

Of course, not all jewelry is made by metalworking. Many cultures throughout history used other valuable materials as well. For example, in China, carved jade stone was part of an ancient jewelry tradition. This green stone was beautiful and also thought to have magical powers.

In southern Nigeria during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, only the ruling family of Benin had the right to wear jewelry carved of white ivory material.

These are only a few examples of the creativity humans have demonstrated with the art of making jewelry. What kinds of jewelry traditions exist where you live?

The methods we have described are still being used by artists today. Modern technology and newer methods have only added to the countless ways that stones, metals and other materials can be formed.

Today, jewelry designers combine old and new methods with styles from around the world. Many also use unexpected materials, such as plastics, cotton and wood. The creative possibilities of modern jewelry making are limitless.

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* Series article:   Seeking the Art of Jewelry across Ages (I)

Seeking the Art of Jewelry across Ages (II)

* Original source: Seeking the Art of Jewelry across Ages(II)

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