Friday, November 12, 2010


One of the best ways to get a fantastic view of the surrounding areas within Chile’s Tierra del Fuego National Park is to go to the lookout points at Lapatia Bay or the Lengas Forest. Chile is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Pepa Amenábar.

During the course of this jewelry journey I have embarked upon, I have seen all kinds of styles encompassing the sublime and transient to timeless elegance to the out-and-out bizarre.

I thoroughly enjoy it all as it is always a pleasure to come across designers who impart unique individuality to their creations as opposed to following the latest trends.

It is always interesting to learn how a designer internalizes their travels, education and other influences bringing striking idiosyncrasies to their work. Amenábar’s visual language is fresh and contemporary chock full of whimsy and humor.

The Spain-based designer’s need to create has lived within her since childhood, and surprisingly did not diminish through her teenage or adult life stages. The ambiance of her surroundings informs designs that are bold in form and color.

The name Pepa means “God shall add” and the meaning suggests her tendency to build her vibrant creations with the inclusion of an array of materials.

The designer’s “daily life” inspires creations fashioned from a blend of sterling silver beads, felt, thread, stainless steel, pearl beads, sequins, ceramic beads, vintage buttons, crystal beads, and polymer clay.

Crystal beads are particularly central to her brooch designs. She piles on a variety of small, colorful crystal beads on such items as her Sushi Delight Brooch that looks good enough to eat! These designs beg to be touched as they are very tactile with lots of grainy textures reminiscent of cupcake sprinkles.

For necklaces such as her Turquoise Horn and Chimichurri pieces she implements larger beads of different styles, colors and sizes building designs that are chunky and tribal. I also like the whimsical Singles, and Couples felt jewelry items fashioned into the likenesses of male and female faces.

I love the high-spirited quality of her collections; the sense of fun and imaginative exploration intermingled with her personality.

“Ideas for my collections come from my daily life and the creations ultimately represent my mood, moments in time, dreams, troubles, and humor.

I have extracted the contrasts of South American and European life and placed them within the context of my jewelry.

I include everything from the cultural differences in clothing to nature, and flea markets. All of these things conspire to make my hands move to make accessories that add something special to dress you up.”
Photo 1 (top right): Bloom Necklace with Vintage Plastic Leaves and Chinese Ribbon Flowers
Photo 2 (center): Coco Buttons Brooch with Felt, Pearl Beads, and Vintage Gold Button
Photo 3 (bottom left): Polymer Clay and Stainless Steel Octopus Brooch
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