Monday, December 3, 2012

ANDRE RIBEIRO

Black Rubber & Diamond Small and Large Hoop Earrings
and Stud Earrings
If you want to see incredible Gothic architecture then look no further than France’s Reims Cathedral.

Built during the 13th century the magnificent structure highlights “medieval statues,” “sculptured arches” and “rose windows of stained glass.”

France is also home to featured jewelry designer Andre Ribeiro.

With only two materials—black rubber and white diamonds--at first glance Ribeiro’s design aesthetic seems pretty uninspired in its linear, repetitive style.

However, his choice is an explorative one wherein he takes a rugged material like rubber to produce hoop earrings, rubber bracelets, and ring shanks with elegance and buoyance.

The visual of sparkly white diamonds against inky black impressed upon me cutting out a strip of the night sky along with a few incandescent stars.  A gift from the heavens!

The 59 -year-old designer credits the work of Marcel Duchamp as influencing his design philosophy.  Ribeiro’s actual designs are inspired by black sealing rings used for plumbing pipes.  Like contemporary jewelry artists, Ribeiro’s choice of rubber is a way to challenge perceptions of value in jewelry.

Black Rubber and Diamond Bangle Bracelet
“Mixing materials in the early 80s caused a lot of head-shaking in the jewelry industry but it was a perfect match with my personal philosophy,” recalls the Berlin-based jeweler.

“The question of value: what is intrinsically worthless and the worthlessness of the valuable reflects a stance that is basic to my life.”

Regardless of its simplicity there is no doubt the collection provides a distinctive visual language.  The assortment of items is sexy, sleek and even mysterious.

I still look at his online gallery convinced I am viewing carved ebony not black rubber.  I never thought simplistic in design could be so visually striking.

“My jewelry belies conventional expectations.  Due to the rubber’s tension the connection between the diamonds set in gold and the soft rubber is not only dynamic but also does justice to the materials involved,” says the award-winning designer and 30-year veteran.

Ribeiro’s inventive jewelry collection is available to buy online at HamiltonHillJewelry.com.

Black Rubber & Diamond Pendant Necklace
 The collection is also exhibited in museums in New York, Germany and France.
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