Monday, July 29, 2013

ALAN VALLIS | OXO

Sterling Silver Symbol Earrings (left); and
18K Gold Stud Earrings with Flat Button Pearls (right)
The city of Liverpool, England is known the world around as the “birthplace of the Beatles.”  In fact the museum Beatles Story holds the band’s top collection of memorabilia.

However, Liverpool is also known for the centuries-old Croxteth Hall and Country Park, a historic hall and estate with amenities still intact.  England is also home to featured jewelry designer Alan Vallis.

To me the glittery inventory for a lot of specialty jeweler retailers looks the same.  Design-wise not very much distinguishes one specialty jeweler from another.

In some cases even the creations of independent designer jewelry brands can share similarities.  

Overall when I think about designer jewelry, I think about interesting design choices that offer a distinctive visual language. 

Whether designer jewelry reflects the original, understated artistry of Björn Weckström (Finland) or the strong yet ethereal creations of Brazilian jewelry designer Claudia Lobao’s crochet wire jewelry vivid conceptualizations and remarkable craftsmanship are readily evident. 

Vallis’ gorgeous jewelry of 18-karat gold, sterling silver and precious and semi-precious gemstones is a testament to his honed skills and fresh perspective about design.

Vallis’ fine jewelry brand, OXO, has been a fixture on London England’s Southbank for 16 years.  The variegated beauty of his otherwise classically styled collection of choker and pendant necklaces, stud earrings, and stacking rings rests in his attention to details.

18K Gold and Sterling Silver Shoal Necklaces
 Surface textures of ridges, waves, perforation and accents of opal, diamond, chalcedony, and sapphires reflect Vallis’ myriad of influences.  Travels to the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and clients inform his fresh and invigorating visuals.

Vallis’ stacking rings, for instance, are far from the popular design of thin gold rings with tiny gemstone accents.  Vallis combines moderately thick to thick gold bands some with etched waves or bar-like stone settings that stretch across the length of rings in the group. 

For his Motif Stacking Rings Vallis replaces traditional gemstone settings with 18-karat gold, platinum or silver charms of starfish, turtles, and fish avoiding emerald rocks.

His Red Sea Shoal Necklaces present a similar arrangement with numerous gold or silver seafaring charms vertically stacked for a unique take on charm jewelry.

“There is a recurring marine theme in my work due largely to my visits to the Red Sea.  I studied a collection of Pharaonic artifacts at the Cairo Museum of Antiquities and I was impressed by the stylistic form.  I was motivated to start carving, in wax, some of the fish I had encountered during diving,” explains Vallis.

“For my stacking rings I handcraft two outer bands to function like bookends and I usually give them a smooth finish.  The central bands are textured, patterned or smooth.  I mount stones on the central bands to form a coherent yet exciting combination of form, color and pattern.

My work is an evolution of ideas and techniques.  I experiment with large stone settings, such as avoiding traditional claw settings and using buttresses in my Pevsner Ring Series.  

I have constant influences that find their way into my designs.  Jewelry making is an expansive medium to display these many sources of inspiration.” 
18K Gold Stacking Rings with Opal and
Complementary Gemstones

2013 Jewelry Trend AlertVallis’ distinct yet classic jewelry collections highlight a few style trends for the year including vibrant colored gemstones and charm clusters.


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