By Ashley Davis
Pictured here is a collar by Giampiero Bodino, as featured in Rizzoli’s Jeweler: Masters, Mavericks, and Visionaries of Modern Design, written by Stellene Volandes.
Pictured here is a collar by Giampiero Bodino, as featured in Rizzoli’s Jeweler: Masters, Mavericks, and Visionaries of Modern Design, written by Stellene Volandes.

New York--In her new book, Town & Country Editor-in-Chief Stellene Volandes explores the fantastical, the awesome and the unbelievable in jewelry design.

Out from Rizzoli this month, Jeweler: Masters, Mavericks, and Visionaries of Modern Design focuses on the extraordinary works of 17 contemporary talents, hailing from various geographical and cultural backgrounds and connected only by the thread of having mastered their shared medium.
20160929 Jeweler Book-INSERT© JEWELER: Masters, Mavericks, and Visionaries of Modern Design by Stellene Volandes, Rizzoli New York, 2016.

Jeweler commences with a look into German, family-run design house Hemmerle, which experienced a rebirth in the 1990s, emerging as an innovative and adventurous home for jewelry formed from the marriage of seemingly disparate materials. Pieces like a set of earrings that consist of brilliant beryl stones set in white gold and copper that are surrounded by pebbles, or ornate food-inspired brooches depicting cauliflower and pomegranate illustrate Hemmerle’s creativity.

Volandes charts the colorful life and jewels (and language) of Nicholas Varney, an American designer born into a family of maximalist interior design who, conversely, played college baseball and treasures his time spent at his farm upstate.

His bold, brilliantly hued designs bring to mind the former of Varney’s influences. He sets tourmalines, amethysts and diamonds into large pieces of labradorite, jade and agate, held in place by enormous gold prongs, themselves set with brilliant diamonds. Varney’s pieces are exuberant and loud in their non-classical aesthetic.

New York-based Judy Geib’s idiosyncratic works also are on display in Jeweler, with Volandes noting the handmade element that permeates her design ethos. Geib’s pieces convey a feeling of experimentation and exploration rather than one cohesive story. On one page, a geometrical masterpiece of rectangular emeralds making up the entire length of a necklace sits next to a pair of organic, fluid ruby and diamond earrings. Volandes paints Geib’s studio as a repository for her varied influences and ideas, ranging from calligraphy to architecture.

Elena Votsi, Mark Davis, Wallace Chan, James de Givenchy, Giampiero Bodino, Suzanne Syz, Bhagat, Sevan Bicakci, Lydia Courteille, Muriel Grateau, Luz Camino, Antonia Miletto, Marie-Helene de Taillac, and Lauren Adriana complete the roster of jewelry designers featured in the book.

Volandes lends context to each of these designer’s visual oeuvres. Of course, jewelry speaks best through imagery and Jeweler doesn’t disappoint with 300 color images.

Jeweler includes a forward by Carolina Herrera. It is out now from Rizzoli.

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