Friday, February 5, 2010


There is no shortage of great places to visit in Greece. Taking advantage of the current mild temperatures, we opt to visit archaeological sites like Vergina with its royal tombs, and magnificent ivory and gold artifacts.

Greece is also the home of featured jewelry designer Daphne Krinos.

Greece's history reveals an evolution in jewelry design and jewelry-making techniques. As early as 300 B.C., Grecians were already accomplished connoisseurs of gold gemstone jewelry creating baubles encrusted with amethysts, emeralds, and pearls.

At the time of the Bronze Age, Greek jewelry makers learned to engrave, cast, and manipulate gold metal sheets. Of course, Greek designers of today bring the glory of ancient aesthetics, in some variation, to their contemporary creations.

Although specific design aesthetics originate from specific regions of the world, since beginning this blog I have discovered that no two designers from the same region share the exact design style, or strictly adhere to their country's traditional design approaches. Designers are susceptible to varied sources of inspiration, and Krinos is no exception.

While there are design elements reminiscent of her Grecian roots, particularly the stone settings for her rings, her overall approach is clean, geometric, and sleek.  These types of linear style choices are commonly associated with Central Europe. Nevertheless, Krinos does not build her designs around a particular style.

"My jewelry is not entirely planned before I start making it," she explains. "I need to experiment with the materials rather than work to a detailed drawing. I let the materials I choose inspire the design of a piece of jewelry."

Working with canvases of oxidized sterling silver, and 18-karat gold, Krinos selects from a palette of black tourmaline, aquamarine, gold citrine crystals, and white diamonds. She incorporates small or chunky gemstones into designs ranging from thin, geometric compositions to bold gold discs reminiscent of Roman shields.

I particularly like her designs featuring a single, raw aquamarine (or different) stone within frames of gold or blackened silver. Many of her earrings resemble beautifully delicate drop lamps; very ethereal, very feminine.

A graduate of London's Middlesex Polytechnic, and Sir John Cass School of Art, Krinos has practiced goldsmithing for three decades. Her varied sources of influences mesh into her consciousness rendering jewelry that is a hybrid of cultures, everyday structures, and contemporary motifs.

"My ideas come from the world around me: buildings in various stages of construction or demolition, fences, gates, art, architecture, my family, my emotions.

My goal is to never over decorate, cover up, or disguise the metals to ultimately create jewelry that is comfortable and easily worn."
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold and Aquamarine Brooch
Photo 2 (bottom left): 18-Karat Gold Drop Earrings
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