Friday, January 7, 2011


There are many stunningly beautiful locations to discover in New Zealand one of which is Poor Knight Islands. It is one of the world’s best locales for snorkeling, fishing, and scuba diving. New Zealand is also home to featured jewelry designer Vicki Mason.

Floral iconography has been central to many jewelry designs for centuries and Mason is also given to this timeless motif.

However, her design approach is geared towards not only the beauty of flora but how the existences of many originate through grafting and fusion.

These concepts are integral themes to her collections as these hybrid creations in some way reflect the human experience.

The Australia-based jewelry artist coaxes her contemporary jewelry designs to life with the use of sterling silver, nylon, rubber, and powder coating; however, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a primary component.

“Floral motifs are a rich source for reinterpretation and investigation,” says the graduate of New Zealand’s Otago Polytechnic School of Art. “I use plants as metaphors to represent ideas of belonging, notions of place and the life cycle.”

The subtle, gentle outlines of her jewelry pieces are not what I have come to expect from contemporary jewelry. The visual impact is soft, pretty yet belies a delicate complexity where simple plastic becomes the focal point of sterling silver rings, and pendant necklaces.

One of her ring designs, inspired by the long, thin outstretched leaves of the Xanthorrhoea plant, highlights green PVC where the gemstone setting would be. She incorporates PVC into other ring designs where the stone setting features the material in a tight spiral and small accents of thread cause the “whorl” pattern to resemble a tiny, single tier cake.

Her interpretations are a truly thoughtful reimagining of a time-honored motif that also remains true to the rebellious spirit of contemporary design. “I have an affinity for plastic and use it for its inherent playful colorfulness, lucidity, and formal versatility.

For me, plastic is an accurate documentation of our age, perhaps a replacement for the precious gems of more traditional eras. I choose to combine precious and non-precious materials to test the limit of novel aesthetic concepts.

Ultimately, I aim to make my work wearable, visually strong and that provokes in the wearer and viewer a need for response.”
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Whorl Ring with PVC and Polyester Thread
Photo 2 (center): Pink Radiant Broochwith Hand Dyed PVC, Sterlin gSilver, Nylon, Rubber and Copper Wire

Photo 3 (bottom left): Red Rose Earrings
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