Monday, February 13, 2012

NATALIA ARAYA

Sterling Silver To Let Go Pendant Necklace
Located in Costa Rica’s southern region is the Corcovado National Park.  

This incredible location consists of a variety of habitats including rainforests and sandy coastlines as well as a vivid assortment of wildlife.  Costa Rica is also home to featured jewelry designer Natalia Araya.

I have said once before that some—not all—mainstream, high-profile jewelry brands adhering to classic forms can be rather homogenous, conventional and lacking in imagination. 

While I think it is true that no design is completely original I also feel that Araya brings great individuality to classically styled jewelry.

Her modern sterling silver jewelry collections reflect her appreciation for the beauty of simplicity while also highlighting her lucid creativity.  You will find pieces like her exquisite Pearl Ring aside a novel, fun-loving design such as her ethereal, floral-inspired Bubble Blower Necklace.

“To me a pearl ring--pearl earrings and a pearl necklace--give a woman a touch of femininity and elegance,” says Araya.  “The idea for my Bubble Blower Necklace came one day while I was with a friend of mine walking down the street.  We saw a man selling bubble blowers, I said to her Wouldn’t it be cool to have a necklace with a bubble blower and soap?  She laughed and said I had too much imagination,” says the Spain-based designer.

“A few days later I started making sketches and I wasn’t sure if it would work as a piece of jewelry; it was so little.  It did work.  One side is a glass cabochon with a flower motif on the back and a tiny glass bottle with a cork at the end of a silver chain holds the soap; it is used as a lariat.

I initially made one for myself and by the afternoon two people had asked if I was planning on selling them, so I added some to my Etsy store.”  Other examples of Araya’s handmade jewelry designs continue to display her flair for traditional forms mixed with myriad sources of inspiration.

Sterling Silver I'm Late Ring
From the Om and Buddha to teacups and Alice in Wonderland, Araya imbues a sense of unbridled joy in sterling silver cuff bracelets, silver pendants and silver earrings.  

Her detailed, wax carved sterling silver ring I’m Late, based on the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, is a well-crafted characterization replete with top hat, and a tiny stopwatch attached to his lapel that extends from a short, silver ball chain.  It is a vivid interpretation that highlights oxidized and polished silver.

“I began making this ring in May 2009 carving it in wax little by little.  My grandfather first introduced me to Alice in Wonderland and I have been a fan ever since.  The ring took so long to make.  It lived in my bench and whenever someone came to visit they would ask me why I had not finished it.  Finally one day he was finished: my handsome rabbit.”

To me this design definitely broadens the concept of what can be deemed as classic jewelry.  It is clear that a classic design can be a statement piece, whimsical and contemporary all at once. 
Sterling Silver Secrets of the Sea
Bangle Bracelet with Coral Cabochon
“I like living a simple life.  I don’t step on bugs.  I like giving strangers a compliment.  I think I can cook. 

I have faith in many things and I believe in signs.  I have no idea where I will be in five years. I do know that my name is Natalia and I make jewelry.”

Be sure to visit Araya’s Facebook page.
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