Monday, January 4, 2010


Surrounded by the healing waters of a therapeutic spring, the Indonesian temple Pura Tirta Empul is undoubtedly a place for regeneration and renewal.

Indonesia is also the home of featured jewelry designer Nyoman Rena.

As I addressed in the very first post for this blog, Rena's varied aesthetics reflect how a single piece of jewelry can become a microcosm of the designer's life in many ways.

His range is given to the delicate, ethereal form of his Butterfly Love Earrings; the streamlined accents of his Three Full Moon Earrings; and the Gothic, foreboding details of his Immortal Skull Ring.

The jewelry not only speaks to his training, but every nuance also speaks to Rena's influences both modern and traditional Balinese. The grandson of an architect, who was a senior carver of historical Balinese buildings, Rena learned woodcarving while still in elementary school.

Over two decades ago, Rena's father precipitated a meeting between Rena and a famous, Balinese silversmith from whom he learned metalwork.

Over time, Rena blended the two mediums into jewelry work that adheres to boldly sculptured, baroque-like animal and floral motifs, as well as pieces of sleek elegance.

One of his lotus blossom items, cultivated from slightly oxidized sterling silver, evocatively hints at the real flower's growth in muddy waters.

As I have mentioned in a few other posts, I find it fascinating that simple details, like color and shading, provide such strong visual impact. A simple choice of materials can add depth, gravity, or luminosity.

Here again, every minute detail Rena, and other designers, implements into a single design are an extension of his training, style preferences, exploration, and intuition.

The wonderful symbolism within Rena's jewelry, the purity represented by the lotus blossom, the higher consciousness represented by the skull pieces, speak to his country's heritage.

The ultimate rendering, no matter the aesthetic, speaks to the designer's love of giving beauty to so many willing to take it in.

Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Arabesque Pendant Necklace
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver and Reconstituted Turquoise Blue Turtle Ring
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