Monday, February 24, 2014


Alicia Divertida Necklace with
Spiny Oyster Charm, Turquoise
and  Heishe Nuggets
Formed through numerous “underwater volcanic eruptions,” the Galapagos Islands are home to a variety of evolved animal life forms.  

Located along the equator in Ecuador two of the nineteen islands are named for Charles Darwin’s friends.  Ecuador is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Erika O’Donnell.

For me a statement is most effective when conveyed in a simple way.  It is about choosing the right combinations of words.  Simply put less is more.  O’Donnell’s design approach is along the same lines.

Her handmade gemstone jewelry brand, Complementos Fine Art Jewelry, is a marriage of subtle color ranges within statement making outlines.  

Muted shades of rose quartz, cultured freshwater pearls, mahogany obsidian beads and Spiny oyster (a favorite O’Donnell’s) evoke a beachside clambake. 

I envision women styled in boho chic garments flittering about adorned in O’Donnell’s stretchy bracelets, gemstone earrings or single-strand gemstone necklaces. 

Based in Saratoga Springs, New York the former dancer turns up the color volume a smidgen with bold red coral tubes, blue turquoise beads, carnelian, India rubies and garnets.  Here again the right combination of form and color provide a strong yet timeless visual.

Sterling Silver Carnelian (left) and Jasper (right) Reversible Ring
 “I have an artistic personality.  I worked as a singer and dancer.  I taught ballet and Latin dance.  That kind of artsy background led me to jewelry design,” says the working mom.  “When I make jewelry, I feel like I am performing again.  When I finish a piece I accomplish a piece of art.”

Whether the design is an elegant single-strand necklace offset by a sizable pendant or a reversible, sterling silver gemstone ring O’Donnell’s goal is to make women feel good.

“What I enjoy the most is making women feel beautiful and helping them realize that jewelry is not for a certain kind of woman.  It is for every woman because every woman is gorgeous just the way she is.

When I had my first jewelry party a few back the response was positive.  Today my customers still believe in my art and have contributed to my brand’s success.  I will always appreciate that.”

Sterling Silver Isabella Earrings
with Indian Rubies and Blue Sapphires
2014 Jewelry Trend AlertO’Donnell’s aesthetic broadly touches on a number of this year’s style trends.  

Tribal necklaces and lots of semi-precious beads in alternately bright (coral) and muted colors (pearls, rose quartz) bring her jewelry to life.
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