Friday, July 30, 2010

MIA PEZZI

Today we visit the beautiful Taroko National Park, located in Taiwan. The area encompasses breathtaking scenery of mountains, waterfalls, valleys, and gorges. Taiwan is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Julie Liu.

Being the daughter of a world-traveling shipmaster certainly has it benefits.
The captain of cargo ships, Liu's father brought home gifts of rare gemstones to her mother that appeared to be "ordinary rocks" to a young Liu.

Nevertheless, even at the age of five, Liu's ability of perception helped her to recognize that her mother's reaction to these gifts clearly indicated these "rocks" were very special.
After relocating to the United States of America from Taiwan, Liu excelled artistically and analytically; lauded by classmates and instructors for her visual aid presentations, drawing and water paintings, as well as her astute grasp of mathematics and science.

Upon her acceptance to Berkeley's University of California, Liu put her creative yearnings on temporary hold focusing on economics, and later obtaining a MBA from the University of Chicago. Once she landed the position of hedge-fund manager with a Chicago-based firm, however, her childhood memories of raw gemstones proved difficult to ignore.

"My first piece was a pinky ring with three hearts. I wanted a ring that I could look at while I typed at my computer," she says.

What began as a creative release quickly developed into something more. "I'd wear pieces I made to social events. It came as a shock when people started asking me about my jewelry, and buying pieces I was wearing!" The reawakening of her creative inclinations brought about a shift for Liu; a change of career was underway.

In 2008, the designer officially launched, Mia Pezzi, a collection of one-of-a-kind, and limited edition couture jewelry. "Jewelry is not just gold, diamonds and other gemstones, but an art form," says Liu.

Her gloriously feminine items are a spectacular convergence of 18-, 22-, and 24-karat white, rose, and black gold with blue topaz, diamonds, and prehnite. The collection's exquisite signature blend of Asian and Italian aesthetics requires plenty of forethought.

Liu's delicate, gem encrusted, two-flower Incantato Rings, from her Limited Edition Collection, took six months to bring to fruition.

"Initially the metalsmith I work with said my concept design was impossible to render. In my design the petals of one flower overlaps onto the petals of the second flower. She didn't think I could get the diamonds inside so I told her to solder together two separate blooms."

Liu takes pride that her high-end, elegant bijouterie is not mass-produced allowing each design precision of creation with prices ranging from $3,000 to $100,000; however, Liu also wanted to create an affordable collection geared toward mainstream women with the same quality of execution.

Liu's pocketbook-friendly Tzen Jewelry is both inspired by, and named for the sunrise and sunset. The assortment of predominantly gemstone jewelry items, accented with luminous gold chains, is composed of such semi-precious minerals as green jade, crystal quartz, peridot, red citrine, and aquamarine.

The faceted stones are arranged in such a way to emulate the play of the sun's rays across landscapes, water, or through a window.
It is an ethereal yet powerful interpretation with prices starting at $110 upwards to $1,500. Such famous clientele as Rachael Ray, Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, and even the diminutive style icon Suri Cruise wear pieces from Liu's expanding collections.

"Women want the pretty, beautiful pieces; something that is so stunning it can set by itself on a table and look fabulous. In this regard, jewelry needs to function like a work of art," says Liu.
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Photo 1 (top right): Moon and Stars Pendant from One-of-a-Kind Collection
Photo 2 (center): Incantato Rings from the Limited Edition Collection
Photo 3 (bottom left): Rosso Soia Necklace from the One-of-a-Kind Collection
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