Friday, September 17, 2010


You have your pick of subtropical or alpine climates when exploring the Copper Canyon located in Mexico’s state of Chihuahua. Touted as over three times the size of the United States’ Grand Canyon, hiking, driving and horseback riding are suggested ways to view this unique region. Mexico is also home to featured jewelry designer Tanya Moss.

A vessel of imaginative energy, as a child Moss created rudimentary jewelry pieces cultivated from found objects.

While an exchange student attending Southern Illinois University, Moss’ aspirations to make her mark in the jewelry industry literally began taking form as she learned the craft of metalsmithing.

Officially launched in 1995, Moss’ jewelry is a showcase of universal iconography and modern designs within delicate metalwork.

Fourteen – and 18-karat yellow gold vermeil renderings of heart earrings offset with gemstone beads, gemstone pendants, and her signature butterfly outline in gold and diamond pendant necklaces make her collections elegantly stylish, sleek with a casual vibe.

Moss’ take on charm jewelry is, in some ways, reminiscent of London-based designer Sophie Harley’s approach in that she does not always make a heart, flower or butterfly a focal point of a design.

Many of Moss’ gold rings, for instance, feature the butterfly and flower motifs, however, these thematic elements are used to accentuate the piece. An open butterfly serenely sits at the start of the ring shank while a textured, rectangular quartz is the focus.

There is a unique, wonderfully crafted ring featuring two, vertically placed ring settings each highlighting three, small rubies with two gold flowers in between the settings.

Some of Moss’ rings bands are open another interesting detail. I like the way she keeps reinventing a subtle canvas with different textures, forms and colors.

Her collection of sterling silver jewelry highlights hammered, peaked, open, and cut-out designs called “punched paper” some of which are drenched in pink vermeil.

Moss’ men’s jewelry items highlight silver cufflinks carved into footballs, puzzle pieces, smiley faces, bones and peace signs.

This kind of playful experimentation seems key to her aesthetic and in a nutshell makes for fun and modern jewelry.
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Yellow Gold and Pink Tourmaline Pendant
Photo 2 (center): 18-Karat Yellow Gold Open Ring with Rutilated Quartz, Diamonds and Flowers

Photo 3 (bottom left): Silver Vermeil Baroque Double Strand Necklace with Onyx Chain
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