Friday, May 28, 2010


Situated along the shoreline of Aughnish Bay in County Galway, Ireland stands what is believed to be the "most photographed castle in Ireland," Dunguaire Castle. Ireland is also home to featured jewelry designer Kate Bajic.

Considering the wide, homogenous sea of look-a-like actors and models there are times it seems everyone follows the same fashion rules and styles.

However, it is refreshing to see individuals be bold and enlist their own identity through fashion.

As I referenced in another post, bespoke or custom-made jewelry is a growing trend in the jewelry industry due to the interlocking of ideas between designer and prospective wearer.

Spelling a secret name or coded messages using gemstones are a few of the ways in which bespoke jewelry is inherently personal.

Like Eva Martin (England), James Meyer (USA), Karen McClintock (Canada), and Julie Allison (Scotland), Bajic can be added to the growing list of designers that specialize in custom-made bijouterie.

There is nothing like owning an item made especially for you. You harbor the secret of its design. You relish the questions people ask about it, but most of all you love the tangible sense of personality and individuality.

An accomplished metalworker, Bajic incorporates her affinity for nature to bring life to idiosyncratic jewelry pieces. "I use elements of plant life, mosses, and even cell structures to explore themes of repetition, movement, and layering. I intuitively allow an element of chance to take over."

Since she creates limited edition pieces, there are not many photos of Bajic's jewelry online. From what I have seen, her aesthetic is elegant, not elaborate, or complex giving the sense of casual wearability.

The 18-karat gold and sterling silver forms are clean and geometric highlighting a fire opal or multiple turquoise beads. Deceptive complexity is characteristic of pieces such as her Flowers and Oval Pendants, and Circle Necklace.

At first glance, these designs seem understated but take a closer look you see small, movable discs as well as hammered or granulated surfaces atop thin, entwined metal hoops.

"The metal is hammered, heated and rolled with heavy papers to create texture and I overlay it with delicate discs or gemstones or beads to complement the designs, and react with the wearer."
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold Scatter Brooch
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Circle Earrings with Turquoise Beads
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