Tuesday, February 9, 2010

KADEK WIJANEGARA

The carved out cliffs, warm sand and spacious ocean make Indonesia's Dreamland Beach just that, a dream.

One of the country's most popular beaches, it is peppered with coconut and pine trees with plenty of recreational activities to explore. Indonesia is also home to featured jewelry designer Kadek Wijanegara.

Many cultures have an extensive history of jewelry making that highlight superlative, painstaking techniques and innovative designs.

Like Thailand, Mexico, and the American southwest, silversmithing is a highly regarded art form in Bali passed down from one generation to the next. Wijanegara is a part of that tradition, having learned the craft from his parents.

"When I was in elementary school, I already knew how to make simple jewelry," he says. "Silver jewelry has been a part of my life since I was a child. Most of the people in my neighborhood were silversmiths."

Wijanegara's range of jewelry items includes the romantic filigree leaf earrings: a gorgeous filigree tulip, and the minimalistic Six Plus Six Earrings . He also implements very precise and stunning granulation work in many of his pieces adding an and complex form of texture.

He does not implement many gemstones but the ones he does implement including black onyx, turquoise and pearls, are somewhat muted in color. He uses them largely as accents instead of incorporating them as focal points.  I also like his clean, effortlessly chic, chocolate brown cuffs made of Sono wood and accented with sterling silver.

There is such an ease in the way he moves from a traditional aesthetic like lotus blossoms to the intricate wirework of filigree to sleek and modern pieces to the rough granule accents. It definitely speaks to his gift as an artisan.

"My parents told me this: `When you make something, don't use only your hands but also your heart. This way everything you make will have spirit in it.' This is really true," he enthuses.

"I really want to reach success creating silver jewelry, and continue the family tradition. I love combining my skills with Balinese tradition, dance, carvings, beaches, and nature to create jewelry. I love something comfortable, simple, and good to look at."
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Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Amaranth Earrings with 18-Karat Gold Accents
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Starfish Sands Cocktail Ring
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