Wednesday, May 29, 2013

RACHEL BALL | ELEPHANTINE

14K Gold-Filled Wire & Faceted Gold Beads Libra Ring
At 114 years old Seattle, Washington’s Woodland Park Zoo has been a long-running fixture.

The award-winning zoological garden houses numerous exhibits including a Zoomazium (part zoo, part gymnasium) that serves as an “interactive play space” for children; the African Savanna exhibit with its model of an African village and live animals; and the hand-carved Woodland Park Zoo Carousel.

Seattle is also home to featured jewelry designer Rachel Ball.


I think choosing a timeless design aesthetic can be tricky.  Although I recognize that many jewelry patrons love universal symbols like wishbones, hearts or four leaf clovers these symbols, in my opinion, do not speak to the designer’s individuality.  The symbol’s history and identity is the focus.


Based on her Etsy store, Ball's three-year-old brand, Elephantine, does not feature heart or wishbone pendants as part of its classically styled inventory of simple, textured stacking rings, dangle earrings, and beaded necklaces.

Nonetheless Ball combines all the right details of 14-karat gold-filled chains and luminous glass beads that culminate into the epitome of everyday jewelry: clean, simple, graceful and feminine.  The soft, muted colors of the glass beads are like transient wafts of light.  They include purple, opaque pinks, misty greens, baby blues and the ice crystal transparencies of white cubic zirconia.

Each detail and arrangement of Ball’s jewelry reflects a little something about her and is not just a jewelry item for placement into a timeless category.

Love Story Beaded Necklace with Translucent Pink Beads (left
on model); and Love Story Beaded Necklace (right, close-up)
“I worked as a designer in a leading Seattle design/interactive agency.  I worked mostly on websites, videos and other interactive projects.  Having that background was beneficial when I launched Elephantine.


I enjoy the time playing around with materials.  I go shopping for beads and experiment with designs.  I will grab a bunch of beads, pendants and chains and see what I can make with them.  My philosophy has been pretty straightforward since the beginning: making simply jewelry that can be worn everyday.”

Ball’s modest yet very pretty gold-filled wire and faceted gold-filled beads Libra Ring is one of many designs reflecting her gift for minimalism.  The ring highlights an “ultra-thin” wire band with five, tiny gold-filled beads as the setting.

Lucky in Turquoise Earrings with Turquoise Glass Beads
“The Libra Ring is very popular.  It is light and looks very pretty when stacked.  I have never considered myself a ʽjewelry designerʼ but I really love what I do.”

2013 Jewelry Trend Alert:   Ball’s brand, Elephantine, is on point for the year with plenty of colorful glass beads.
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