Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ANNA-KARIN HALLSTRÖM | BLACK DAISY DESIGNS

Copper and Rock Crystal Like a Dragonfly Bracelet
The City of Roses is the nickname of Visby, Sweden and it houses some of the world’s most stunning medieval architecture including the Historical Museum of Gotland and the Dominican Monastery of St. Nicholas.  Sweden is also home to featured jewelry designer Anna-Karin Hallström.

Despite the authenticity controversy of certain jewelry shops at Etsy.com, I would like to opine that I think some of the freshest jewelry design ideas come from authentic Etsy jewelers.

For the most part, whenever I have perused the site it is like a breath of fresh air where there is a clear line of demarcation between “mainstream” style jewelry and more conceptual jewelry.

I am not talking about the abstract type of contemporary jewelry but designer jewelry pieces that are unique conversation starters as well as stylish and wearable pieces. 

American designer Judy Richards creates her own idiosyncratic lampwork beads to cultivate equally differentiated jewelry pieces while Clarity Collins (USA) explores classic designs with a touch of whimsy and character that includes an evil eye pendant based on the Leela character from Futurama.

Generally speaking, Etsy jewelers tend to implement lesser known, distinctive gemstones as well.  I really like their unconventional approach as it sets them apart.

Sterling and Fine Silver Lemonade Earrings with
Ocean Jasper, Chalcedony and Vesuvianite
Working from her home-based studio, called Black Daisy Designs, in the Swedish village of Nättraby, Hallström’s copper and silver jewelry trinkets exemplify the Scandinavian hallmark of mastering the art of subtly blended with eye-catching details.  I am amazed at how captivating understatement can be.

The designer divides her creative process between “thinking time” and the actual production of a specific piece.  A bauble can take anywhere from 15 minutes or hours to create.  Such designs as her sterling silver and aqua blue turquoise Two Friends Necklace and sterling silver and rhodonite Crane gemstone ring come at a price; burns, that is.

“When you have heated a piece of silver do not, I repeat, do not pick up the piece with your fingers before you have quenched it.  Really—don’t do it.  You’ll get burned,” she says tongue-in-cheek recalling her advent into silversmithing.

Designs are inspired by foggy weather in the springtime, rainforests, a flock of cranes, fern leaves and desk clutter.  “Okay so my creativity works best with a bit of a mess on the desk, but things have gone out of hand and I really need to get on top of things,” she confides.

“So I started a whole new (and affordable) earring line called the De-Clutter My Desk line.  These pieces will all be—completely or partly—made of “desk findings;” an ear wire, a gem, beads or some other ingredient.  Not my six-year-old daughter’s sock or fake money . . . promise.
Sterling Silver and Aqua Turquoise
Two Friends Necklace

In all seriousness, I love being able to shape hard metal using heat and I love being able to solder pieces together or to make them hold a stone. It makes me happy knowing I can do these things.”
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