Thursday, June 25, 2009

NATALIA KHON

Wherever you turn in St. Petersburg, Russia, you are bound to see historical monuments, buildings, and sculptures.

 Due to the city's maze of lakes, gulfs, rivers, creeks, and canals, the city was built in a similar fashion to Venice, Italy whereby numerous bridges connect the many islands comprising the city.

Russia is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Natalia Khon.

"I am an artist by nature," says Khon, "I like creating beautiful wearable objects." Khon, who has designed and created jewelry for over 16 years, eagerly seeks out new techniques to express her creativity.

She produces remarkable pieces using seed beads, shells, clay, and wire; but after moving to Canada several years ago, she was introduced to sterling silver.

"My favorite material is silver as it gives wide opportunities to a metal artist. It does not limit the size of a piece, it can be tarnished or colored, and it can sustain a shape or be flexible and dynamic," she says.

One such piece from her collection Priceless Gallery is called Queen of the Golden Forest. This highly ornate, majestic necklace of cascading silver and gold-plated chain-links was cultivated through a combination of soldering, beading, and casting.

In honor of her surrogate hometown, the Maple Leaf inspires many of Khon's creations. Khon loves the Maple Leaf's inherent "grace, beauty, tastefulness, elegance, and the feelings it evokes. It is a highly ornamental shape with refined texture, and exquisite delicacy."

Simple designs accented with bold colored gemstones are part of Khon's Big Gem Stone Silver Jewelry from one of her Maple Leaf collections. Her Wildlife Silver Jewelry Collection features beautiful detailing of owls, deer, squirrels, heron, and hummingbirds in sterling silver and gold. Both collections are gorgeously understated and reserved.

Her broad artistic scope also includes working with thin, durable silver wire to create beautifully intricate crochet designs. "I have always been strongly attracted to developing special techniques and finding new ways to express my ideas," she says.

Khon possesses remarkable artistic vision and talent, "When people see my work, I would like them to feel that the beauty of nature around us affects our souls and add to their beauty too."

On June 28, July 26, and August 30, Portobello Fashion and Art Market in Vancouver will feature items from Khon's collections; and from September - November, 2009 Khon will hold an exhibition at the Port Moody Art Centre.
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Photo 1 (top right): Necklace with Red Beads and Shells
Photo 2 (bottom left): Fine Silver Wire Crochet Pendant with Red Seed Bead Flower and Garnet Strands
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