Happy Friday, my dears!
My goodness – is it as aggressively summery where you are as it is in DC right now? It’s halfway through June and I already need a fan in my hand to survive my afternoon commute. Please excuse me while I move to somewhere with a pool. Or a better climate.
Today’s post takes us back to a day when it was actually snowing (wedding planning was fun but it didn’t do anything positive for blog turnover). Several months ago, I had the delightful pleasure of attending the GlobalDESIGN show in Baltimore. GlobalDESIGN is a small but dynamic jewelry show that happens alongside the trade-only days of the American Craft Council show.
I have rarely seen such a diverse and scintillating collection of designs in one place. My trade show date, the brilliant Nicholle of Jewelry Nerd, and I spent the entire day in one single row of booths – we were there for maybe 8 hours and didn’t see a single vendor of the ACC show. There was just too much goodness to look at in GlobalDESIGN! And such incredible variety: there is a particular joy in walking down a row of designers and getting to experience an array of drastically different, equally compelling styles.
I saw SO many amazing designs, in fact, that I’m going to need to split them up over a couple of posts. We’re going to start today with what I saw from a designer who you already know I admire: Anthony Lent jewelry.
I’ve seen Anthony Lent’s work before, which meant I had a chance to meet some new beauties and also had a second chance to try to take better photos of some previous favorites.
How great are these opal snake earrings? There were some rings in this design, too. Apparently the way that Lent gets this level of detail is to make a larger model snake first, do all the detailing at a larger scale, and then shrink it down. I couldn’t resist trying them on – I thought I rocked them pretty hard, if I do say so myself.
I’m trying to remember to take more photos of myself actually wearing the jewelry, both for scale and because it’s fun to have those photos later. Much easier when I’m rolling with a buddy, like I was at GlobalDESIGN, instead of solo. Thanks for the photo help, Nicholle!
Such a spectacular level of detail. Look at the snakes scales, its nostrils, the underlying musculature of its skull. It looks like a real snake that’s been frozen, wrapped around an opal, gilded, and hung from an ear wire.
I intended that to sound magical and cool but it turned out a bit creepy, I’m afraid. My point remains the same: the snakes on these earrings are as noteworthy as the opals, which is really saying something.
This tree frog ring was another that caught my eye. I’ve , with a different stone (a chrysoprase?) but this fire opal blew me away. The stone looks like it’s literally filled with fire – can’t you see the roiling smoke?
And speaking of frogs…how great is this little golden guy, just chillin’ on his Uvaravite drusy lily pad with his snail friend? My favorite part of this piece (besides the richness of the colors and precision of the frog and snail) were the nearly-hidden embellishments on the side and back:
It would have been so easy not to include these side and back details – but there they are, and I think they take the piece to a whole new level. Why not be delightful from every angle instead of just one?
The bespoke Shoko earrings are another completely unique and utterly unforgettable piece that I had the pleasure of handling while at Anthony Lent. Each earring is composed of layers of delicately veined, precisely shaped rose gold, yellow gold, and platinum leaves; each with the haunting impression of a woman’s face.
The earring dangles a diamond teardrop and is topped by another diamond and a deep, beautiful rhodolite garnet.
Is she a tree nymph, sleeping peacefully? A prisoner? Why are there so many of her? Anthony Lent’s jewelry makes me want to write stories.
I mentioned above that I also had the chance to see old favorites – I was specifically thinking of the Reach for the Stars brooch:
I’ve seen it before and I’ve even featured it before, but I’ve never before been able to take a decent photo of my favorite part: the fitting on the back of the brooch.
Isn’t it wonderful? Kind of scary, but beautiful and – above all else – unique and fascinating. Another one of those details that could easily have been left off, but whose inclusion makes all the difference.
I think that’s enough beauties for today. Stay tuned for more of the designers I saw at GlobalDESIGN – to be posted soon!
Special thanks to Team Anthony Lent for being as welcoming, entertaining, and patient with me as ever. You and your designs are a consistent delight.