Tuesday, September 7, 2010


A finalist in the “New Seven Wonders of Nature,” the ominous Cliffs of Moher, located in County Clare, Ireland, stands a good chance of winning with its breathtaking views that overlook the Atlantic Ocean. Ireland is also home to featured jewelry designer Rachel Swan.

Many designers have very interesting design ideas and the ultimate renderings do not necessarily have to be showstoppers or statement-making in order to possess that WOW factor.

Swan is someone who understands this; creating classic, timeless designs with small, interesting details.

Like many Irish jewelry designers featured on this blog, Swan veers away from the traditional Celtic patterns choosing instead minimalist proportions to create sleek, modern jewelry.

With a personal style that covers fitted, grey blazers, shift dresses, and a red, crocodile skin Mulberry handbag, the jeweler’s understated sterling silver jewelry is a perfect complement.

The former apprentice to Alan Ardiff often implements such minutiae as white sterling silver beads, embossed dots, curved discs, and cut-out, paper lantern-like orbital patterns within her silver pendant necklaces, rings, and sterling silver bracelets.

These differentiated, subtle details—cultivated through doming and forging—make the bijouterie come alive. Swan’s handmade jewelry designs are a labor of love.

“There is nothing I love more than to see the final pieces come together after a lengthy handmade process. It is very satisfying to see customers take a design into their lives,” she says.

I really appreciate the hands-on aspect in items as simplistic as her single, hollowed black pearl necklace, and the primal aura of a spiny, gemstone necklace. I like the uncluttered, simple beauty of the jewelry, which glows with her signature satin finish.

I have said in other posts that minimalist jewelry is deceptive in its simplicity, and bringing that WOW factor is certainly more than a neat trick.
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Bangle Bracelets
Photo 2 (center): Sterling Silver Gemstone Necklace
Photo 3 (bottom left): Silver Ball Necklace on Silver Snake Chain
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