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The Ukraine is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Vera Balyura.
Sometimes I come across a jewelry designer whose creations sort of baffle me (in a good way that is).
A few bloggers have labeled Balyura’s aesthetic “weird”. I, however, was not quite certain how to describe her design approach.
I guess to say that her assortment of silver rings, pendant necklaces and bangle bracelets are a little eccentric with elements of the macabre thrown in for good measure is probably along the same lines as saying “weird.”
In any event, her jewelry pieces are not what I would call conventionally pretty. Balyura creates from a fanciful place that is full of strange wonders.
“Magic happens when you let yourself free,” says the New York-based jeweler. “I run a jewelry company that began as a way to unwind my brain from stories told to me in dreams: starring beekeeper centaurs, creatures that never die and deep sea animals.”
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In my opinion charm jewelry that features universal symbols like wishbones or four leaf clovers diminish the personality the item might otherwise have; I already know the meaning of the symbol. Balyura’s four-year-old company, VeraMeatJewelry, is a tour de force of her whimsical (and scary) imagination where charm jewelry is turned on its ear.
With Balyura’s affordable designer jewelry a wearer can project his or her own meaning to a piece or choose not to attach any meaning at all. For that reason, there is something oddly nostalgic about them.
Whether it is a baby goat climbing a cupcake; a scuba diver with a gun and dagger; or a Tyrannosaurus Rex eating a fried chicken leg the imagery touched a recess of my mind that is related to childhood fascination with pets, monsters and mermaids.
“I am a teller of winding tales in search of the extraordinary. The character of my collections is in the richly, articulate surfaces, wearability and subtle details that are created with the precision I inherited from my grandma, she was a surgeon,” says the 26-year-old former fashion model.
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“My customers cannot be easily defined. I have had everyone from an old man to super fashionable women to celebrities wear my jewelry.
I love seeing the kind of people who buy it. I don’t want it to be just for girls or guys or for younger or older. I want my jewelry to be looked at like a kind of artifact.”