Monday, October 26, 2009


Oxidized Sterling Silver &
18K Gold Brooch-Pendant Set
With a beautiful, starry backdrop, it is impossible to miss the breathtaking silhouette of the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Canada.

Perched atop a bluff above the St. Lawrence River, the grand hotel, designed by architect Bruce Price, once served as a meeting place between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in 1943. Canada is also the home of featured jewelry designer Janis Kerman.

What do you tend to notice first, shape or color? There are times I notice color more, other times it is shape. Sometimes it is both. Blending various shapes and colors are the basis of Kerman's beautiful, modern designs.

There was never anything blocking Kerman's path to jewelry design; the road was always clear to her.

Thirty-four years ago, Kerman completed the studies required for her chosen trade, and in 1977, she established her company Janis Kerman Design.

She loves investigating her appeal for textures, form, and color. The look and feel of tree bark; the natural blue-green of the Mediterranean; and the structure of rose and daisy petals. The world was a virtual playground for Kerman's senses.

"It's the balance not the symmetry that is important to me. Architecture, paintings, fashion, ceramics, I am inspired by both artistic and common objects," she says. "I am intrigued by the way shapes and colors work together."

She enjoys experimentation with unusual materials, and jewelry-making techniques that allow her to produce distinctive pieces. "My work is based on geometric shapes; the inherent strength, applicability, and timelessness command my respect."

Kerman's contemporary jewelry with its clean curves, angular lines and vibrant gemstones, reminded me a lot of Swedish designer Ulla Hornfeldt's creations. Kerman's designs, in my opinion, also resemble some Native American jewelry I have seen. Initially, I could not quite pinpoint just what aspect of Native American jewelry was similar.

I then recognized that her use of vivid, complementary colors within the architectural designs brings an earthy beauty to the pieces akin to Native American trinkets. I also realized that the use of sterling silver accents in Native American pieces provide that rustic aesthetic, while the gold accents in Kerman's jewelry added a modern edge.

I was really intrigued by this observation, since most modernist jewelry I have seen so far is fashioned from sterling silver, platinum, or even stainless steel. It is interesting how a simple exchange of material would ultimately transform the personality of her pieces.
18K Gold/Oxidized Silver Earrings with Aquamarine
and Black Mother of Pearl

Kerman's gorgeous work has been exhibited in galleries in Canada, the United States, and Australia.

Among those galleries are, Taboo Studio in California, the Katherine Kalaf Gallery in Australia, and the Canadian Guild of Crafts in Canada.

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