Monday, July 6, 2015

Gold Plated Brass & White Leather Toledo Hoop Earrings
Housing four “original copies of the Magna Carter,” England’s Salisbury Cathedral has grandly stood the test of time.  

In addition to historical documents, the 13th century structure is said to house what is said to be the world’s oldest clock along with paintings by John Constable.  

England is also home to featured jewelry designer Rowenna Harrison.

As fashion-ready as leather is so far I have only come across three independent jewelry designers, including Harrison, that make full use of the material for their creations. 

Daniela Zagnolli (Brazil) transforms leather into incredibly chic and haute choker necklaces, and bracelets; while Brooklyn-based Alicia Piller (USA) works with colorful suede to build elaborate yet poetic designs.

Since leather is a staple in fashion with coats, jackets, purses, shoes and gloves it seems only natural to explore its potential as jewelry pieces.  Leather is the central component of Harrison’s brand, RositaBonita; however at first glance I thought she worked with metal and colored enamel. 

Her designs of hoop and stud earrings and statement necklaces are alternately sultry, electric, capricious, and exotic.  With collections inspired by mythological sirens [Siren Collection]; Toledo Spain [Toledo Collection]; black licorice candy [Sweet Black Heart]; and Carmen Miranda [Orchard] the jewelry seems to come alive with gorgeous colors that include embossed gold foil.

Viewing this vivid dance of red, blue, white, green and imagery patterned after damascene metalwork, you get the sense that Harrison lives in a fantastical world far away from the realm of sepia and grey tones.
Gold Plated Brass & Red Leather Over-sized Fan Pendant
Embossed with Gold Foil
A gifted illustrator and graduate of Camberwell College Harrison initially worked with a fellow artist creating set installations; and at one-time she managed a vintage shop.  

It was her experience with screen-printing (learned in college) and making traditional items with leather that she played with the idea of marrying illustrating, leatherwork and jewelry production. 

“I have been drawing and creating for a long time.  I don’t see any difference between illustrating and jewelry making because they are both about decoration,” explains the jewelry maker.  “I wanted to put my drawings onto a physical product.  Leather is very tactile and great to work with so I did some tests with surface printing and really liked the results.”

Although her current SS2015 collection highlights new components leather remains her go-to material, and she is enjoying broadening her skill base.  

“I am experimenting with new materials and techniques to link to what is my signature style.  The business is growing but slowly so that can be frustrating.  I produce everything myself right now, so I look forward to the time I can focus on designing, and getting pieces manufactured,” she acknowledges.

“My aim with Rosita Bonita is to design striking but wearable pieces to bring a touch of the frivolous fun of dressing up into everyday life.” 
Gold Plated Brass & Leather Fan Clam Stud Earrings
2015 Jewelry Trend AlertBold is in this year; and statement necklaces are particularly making a splash.  

The exquisite details of Harrison’s show stopping leather necklaces combine scope, texture, color, and strong form the very definition of statement necklace!
_________________________________________________________________________________Note: Some Links Redirect to Alternative Items At ShopStyle Collective

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