Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Sterling Silver and Rose Hip Beads Pendant
with Rubber Chord
Larnach Castle, and its surrounding grounds, is a breathtaking landmark of Dunedin, New Zealand.

Built during the 18th century no expense was spared for its construction. The magnificent structure's amenities were composed of Italian marble, English tiles, and Venetian glass. New Zealand is also the home of featured jewelry designer Lynn Kelly.

Nature-inspired jewelry is a trend that will not likely disappear anytime soon. Many designers implement beautiful floral and leaf motifs or pattern the arrangement of gemstones in a way reminiscent of flora.

Still others like Kelly, and fellow New Zealander Tania Patterson, take this design approach to another level cultivating materials into literal interpretations of nature.

Educated in both New Zealand and Australia, Kelly channeled her voracious fascination with New Zealand landscapes through creating jewelry. She began creating jewelry 21 years ago working in both collaborative and personal studios. "I need a certain amount of time sharing ideas, talking and also some time alone concentrating and experimenting," she explains. "A mixture of both is ideal."

Since gold is not readily available to many New Zealand designers, its absence encourages the use of unconventional materials like aluminum and rubber. Kelly is undaunted by this challenge. "I am delighted when I have had an idea for ages, and I finally find the right material to make a piece," she says. "The materials need to adequately embody the idea, in order to highlight the quality of the materials."

Her rose hips pendant is a stunner made with sterling silver, and a cluster of vibrant, crimson rose hips beads. She has replicated small leaves in a beautiful wreath-like necklace made from aluminum with pearl accents.

In 2007, however, Kelly had the opportunity to work with gold after winning the Dowse Foundation's Gold Award competition wherein her sketch design was chosen.

The foundation provided her with $5,000 worth of gold to create the piece; a necklace blending a tall grass called Tussock with gold.

"Many contemporary jewelers are unable to be lavish with gold, because of its expense. It’s a shame really, because it's one of those precious metals that match the golden Otago landscape perfectly," she says.
 Printed Aluminum Lacebark Necklace
with Sterling Silver and Pearls

You can view more of Kelly's work at Fingers.com.

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