There are so many reasons to wear jewelry. To accentuate an outfit. To carry a loved one’s token. To add something beautiful to a mundane day. Or to feel like a glorious, magnificently powerful badass.
Does the click of your heels against the sidewalk create seismic shockwaves radiating out into the universe as you charge into the world, wielding the strength of your desire and the steel of your heart to do battle with whatever fate throws at you?
Then Lisa Kim‘s newest collection, The Seabeast, is for you.
Jewelry designer Lisa Kim – also known as the Metal Mythologist – has long been captivated by the mystery of the vast, unknowable sea. These depths are what sparked the idea of The Seabeast:
The sea is where life began. The creatures of the deep are among the oldest life forms on Earth. I always get the shivers when I see coelacanth, monkfish, rare footage of live giant squid. Their kind have been around a lot longer than we have, and they will continue their line long after we go. This survival strength is what I mean to capture in my work.
Imagine that each piece in the collection comes from a mythological sea creature, an ancient being of wisdom and power. No one really knows what this creature looked like but each of us can dream up our version when we view these pieces. The Seabeast is meant to evoke the feeling of mystery and wonder that we experience when we see fossils of animals that went extinct long ago.”
The result is spectacular.
Today is launch day for The Seabeast, so you’re among the first to see these new designs. Some of the pieces are literal, like this incredibly badass tooth ring. With its elongated golden teeth and diamond studded jawbone, this ring is small but impossible to overlook.
Other elements of the collection are more abstract – jagged, toothlike pendants with ripped-looking edges, earrings that look like they could be the scales of some long-extinct aquatic dragon – ways to incorporate a bit of wildness into an outfit fit for whatever the modern woman warrior needs to accomplish.
Several of the pieces feature ethereal opals and glowing blue moonstones, limpid, water-like stones that evoke The Seabeast‘s oceanic origins. A piece of ancient Seabeast, captured in gold and diamonds, fit for wearing to a board meeting, a ballroom, or a battlefield.
Behold the Opal Spine earrings: these beauties are objectively lovely, with their rich yellow gold studded with the opals’ soap bubble iridescence, but the overall silhouette elevates the total piece to a new level.
You can see in both these earrings and the tooth ring above that The Seabeast‘s treasures feature a textured matte finish to the gold, to further the impression that these are pieces that have been weathered by deep water and the passage of time.
Because she is a woman after my own heart as well as a ridiculously talented designer, Lisa Kim actually wrote out the myth that was floating around in her head as she created the concept for The Seabeast. Partly inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu, and partly distilled from the designer’s own dreams, here it is:
There was an ancient beast that lived in the sea. It was a creature of great wisdom and power. Men worshiped the beast and sought him to answer questions about the past, present and future. The beast always had an answer in the form of riddles and magic verses.
One day an evil mage set out to find the beast. He wanted its wisdom and power all to himself. He lured the beast from the great ocean deep with the blood of a bull. He used spells to bind the beast and to hold him captive.
The mage wished to rule the world. He demanded that the beast tell him all so that he could inflict pain and suffering on his enemies and subjugate them. Knowing that the mage was guided by ill will and a hunger for power, the beast remained silent.
For nine days and nine nights the mage tormented the beast who maintained his silent defiance.
On the tenth day, rage overtook the evil mage. If he couldn’t have the power of the beast to himself then no one could, he decided. He uttered a final spell that tore the beast asunder. He cast the parts of the beast to the wind which scattered them across the earth. Little did he know that the beast is eternal – once reassembled, the beast will live once again…”
Now when I look at the collection, I feel that secret, thrumming power of the beast, just waiting to seize its chance to live again.
The Seabeast includes two different ear climbers in its initial release: one designed like the Opal Spine earrings up top, and this pair, shaped like the jawbone of a mythical beast.
I love the way that this tooth ear climber would look benign from far away, revealing itself as more and more unusual and fierce the closer a viewer comes to it.
It feels like a warning: beware, there is danger here.
The same could be said about the Eye of the Beast ring, which is one of my very favorites – I love the way the pointed gold prongs holding the ethereal moonstone in place echo the gold points radiating out from the edges of the eye. The eye itself is detailed in tiny black and white diamonds, emphasizing the feeling that this is a relic of an ancient and powerful creature.
Are they eyelashes or poisonous spines? Either seems equally likely.
For more about The Seabeast, check out this great interview with designer Lisa Kim, live on Gem Gossip today!
This post is brought to you by Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry.