Saturday, May 22, 2010


Lake Tahoe, nestled between the borders of California and Nevada, is one of North America's largest alpine lakes. California is also home to featured jewelry designer Alison Antelman.

Sculptural and fluid is how I would describe a portion of Antelman's jewelry collections.

Her clean design approach adheres to soft, voluptuous figures of 18- and 22-karat gold, oxidized and sterling silver with gentle sprays of found beach glass, aquamarine, agate, or druzy.

Dusky, high-gloss semblances of manta rays, sea urchins, and legumes are notable motifs that express Antelman's love of nature.

However, her oxidized, barb-like bracelets and neckpieces from her Metropolis Collection evoke a dark, foreboding future world reminiscent of the spiky structures of the Machine City in the film Matrix: Revolutions.

Each jewelry piece is alternately primal and streamlined where perfection in simplicity is key. "I am drawn to the relationship between the metal, stones, movement, and form. Forging jewelry from raw materials is a labor-intensive process that I constantly explore, it is a process of puzzle solving," Antelman says.

"Some shapes have the feeling of movement like seaweed flowing back and forth in slow motion underwater." The manta ray interpretations, for instance, highlight this `flowing' effect in my opinion. The smooth, lustrous seemingly flawless rendering evokes the image of the actual sea animal swimming gracefully beneath crystal-clear waters.

Many of Antelman's ring settings are unusual implementing the legume and Metropolis forms atop a ring band. In some cases, one ring supports as many as three, pictograph-like settings. The marble-like surfaces of the gemstones are faceted smooth and appear to be inlaid maintaining a subtle yet raw aesthetic.  Antelman's work displays her masterful skills and the beautiful, supple quality of metal.

"I draw from a palette of joining textures, shapes, and hues. I combine rough and faceted stones, showing two faces of the same stone, usually set up against or joined with an organic shaped hollow form.
I seek contrasts allowing odd relationships to gain new perspectives, which is also what I hope to achieve when the jewelry is worn."
Photo 1 (top right): 18- and 24-Karat Gold, Oxidized Silver Manta Ray Pendant with Aquamarine and Peridot
Photo 2 (bottom left): 18- and 22-Karat Gold Cluster Ring with Agate, Druzy, and Tourmaline
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