Tuesday, December 29, 2009


It is said that the view of Turkey's Anatolia Fortress at sunset is like peeking into a parallel universe filled with romance and adventure. Turkey is also the home of featured jewelry designer Ceren Keyman.

Just like many countries, Turkey has a grand tradition of jewelry making that highlights superlative goldsmithing techniques, and dramatic aesthetics.

Gurhan Orhan, for instance, incorporates time-honored skills like sand polishing to hand-fabricate exquisite pieces from 24-karat gold.

Though influenced by her Turkish roots, Keyman chooses a resolutely different design approach. Foregoing precious metals, and gemstones, her materials of choice are multi-colored Plexiglas and leather.

Keyman's focal points are the materials and for the most part clean, simple structures.
"My first inspiration is always the material. I like to think of jewelry items as wearable sculptures," she says. A trained violinist, with a Master of Music received from Bilkent University, Keyman's creative passions come in many forms.

"I also design clothes, and furniture. I designed my first jewelry collection in 2007 under the label Keyman Design. The collection was included in an exhibition in Istanbul called "Design Cities" for new designers."
Keyman does not consider jewelry design as work, and that sense of abandon is evident in pieces that are playful and lighthearted.

Some structures are free form, others geometric, with a sprinkling of familiar forms like a sewing machine, penguin, and a pair of scissors.

Keyman's approach, like other artists who design in the same vein, is interesting. Though unusual and a stark contrast to Turkey's jewelry tradition, her work still displays a love for artisanship but with the use of unconventional materials and humor.

Photo 1 (top right): Leather Cuff Bracelet
Photo 2 (bottom left): Plexiglas Necklace
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