Friday, October 9, 2009


Just one look at the towering glass and steel greenhouse, which houses a simulated rain forest, we instantly know that Taiwan's Taichung Botanical Garden will be a great adventure.

Once inside we are met with a miniature replica of Orchid Island, over 80 plant species, and an amazing aquarium brimming with exotic fish from the Amazon. Taiwan is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer I-nan Chen.

To say that Chen, who presently lives in Canada, is bursting with creative energy is an understatement. Like fellow designer Elke Kramer, Chen is a vibrantly inventive person, with predilections for fashion and architecture.

In the vein of Kramer, he chose varied outlets like photography, drawing, and graphic design to unleash his fertile imagination. Also like Kramer, Chen eventually chose a career in jewelry design recognizing that the medium allowed him to channel all of his passions into one outlet.

In establishing his company, Si Collections, it was--and still is--important to Chen to create not only classic, modern pieces but also jewelry that lifts the wearer's spirit and senses. "When a woman puts on one of my designs, I want them to feel enlightened," he explains. "I believe this will make the wearer and my jewelry shine brighter."

Chen fashions his beautiful designs from 14-karat gold-filled metal, and soft, pastel-colored gemstones. The liquid transparency of stones like citrine, peridot, and tourmaline create an ethereal quality like luminous beads of light dangling from a golden link.

His designs are simple but not plain. I think it is important that I make that distinction. The breathtaking arrangement of the items seems effortless in execution, and is a striking embodiment of femininity.

Chen shows no lack of confidence in his ability to accentuate a woman's beauty. "Design ideas and inspiration come from all sources," he says.

"My sense of style and knowledge of color allows me to create something stunning. I definitely know what looks good on a woman," he enthuses. "I put my heart into each item."

Chen's ethereal designs are sold through the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland; the Portland Art Museum in Oregon; The Alamo Museum in Texas; Lici Jewelry in Taiwan; and The Jade World in Canada.
Photo 1 (top right): 14-Karat Gold-Filled and Citrine Seeking Stars Earrings
Photo 2 (bottom left): 14-Karat Gold-Filled and Lemon Quartz and Peridot Spring in Central Park Pendant
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