Saturday, March 20, 2010

DIAN MALOUF

We are in Texas today, and with this day being the official start of spring let's not waste a moment to visit the Fort Worth Botanical Garden.

Boasting 109-acres, the grounds house over 2,500 species of flora along with an incredibly beautiful variety of gardens. Texas is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Dian Malouf.

Malouf is no shrinking violet; she has traveled the world, renovated her one-time dilapidated duplex, authored two books, and occasionally dresses like Frida Kahlo. "Ordinary is not something I do," Malouf quips, "It is not a part a part of my life."

Fueled by many passions that include collecting history books, pottery, glass bottles, and Mexican dolls, Malouf's interest in designing jewelry is a natural outgrowth. "It's a God-given thing. For all my life I would awake in the middle of the night and sketch something."

Though I believe Malouf creates full jewelry collections that include bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces, according to what I have found online--including her personal website--her one-of-a-kind rings appear to be the designer's signature.

Every aspect of her life's memories, including Texas ranches and cowboys, Mexican art and architecture, as well as Native American influences thrive in her unique ring pieces.

Her rings highlight baroque-type proportions of 14-karat gold, and sterling and oxidized silver giving them a visual depth and distressed quality that cause them to seem centuries old.

The overall aesthetic is an interesting hybrid of molten form, cratered and ridged textures, and pops of brilliantly colored gemstones like turquoise, opal, pearls, and rotocrocite. Motifs like arrowheads, crosses, roses, crowns, churches, and hearts add to the rings' visual character.

Over the years, Malouf has created collections incorporating varied themes like food and grains, bikers, horses, and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In addition to these, Malouf also uses her creations to spark awareness for social and environmental issues such as her Flowers, Ferns, and Rainforest Collection geared towards the preservation of water. A percentage of the proceeds from this collection go to the non-profit organization the American Ground Water Trust.

The mother of four loves the creative outlet of jewelry design, providing her team of New Mexico-based artisans with 50 - 70 new designs a month. "I just do what I like to do, and I'm fortunate other people like it too."

For more on Malouf's distinctive rings, checkout Trends and Traditions Boutique.
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Photo 1 (top right): 14-Karat Gold and Sterling Silver Ring with Pink Rotocrocite
Photo 2 (bottom left): 14-Karat Gold and Sterling Silver Dragonfly Ring
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