Monday, April 4, 2011


Within Mysia, Turkey lie the remnants of past kingdoms. The Pergamon Ruins is a complex of Grecian structures that include the Hellenistic Theater, the Sanctuary of Athena, and the Trajaneum. Turkey is also home to featured jewelry designer Nurdan Sen.

Korean jewelry designer Andrea Li said that in the fashion world a completely original design idea does not exist. A jewelry artist therefore has the onus of re-imagining longstanding concepts making them his or her own.

To me, there is nothing as individual as when a jewelry designer imparts his or her own personal history and culture to their designer jewelry. In my opinion, this factor truly sets one designer apart from another.

An alumna of Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan University, thirty-five year old Sen boasts an official site and Etsy store; both of which showcase the incredible character she brings to her six-year-old silver jewelry collections.

While the designs for her Etsy store—though organic—possess a more mainstream sensibility the handmade jewelry designs featured on her official website reflects a deep sense of cultural influences.
Sen’s aesthetic is clear-cut and minimalist. Using the occasional gemstone or brass dots for accents, Sen primarily incorporates deep set surface designs on oxidized silver rings, silver pendants, and silver earrings. Instead of the standard metallic cuff or bangle bracelet, she creates leather bracelets with a sterling silver or brass face reminiscent of a wrist watch.

Her silver ring collection is a particular marvel of her silversmithing skills. Here again, the rings are created without the accent of gemstones. These quietly majestic and commanding jewelry pieces come in three different styles: Square, Groove and Round. For the Square Ring the band is wide and round while the stone setting is square-shaped with carved out geometric patterns on its surface.

With a delicate teardrop shape, the Groove Ring highlights deep furrows engraved along the ring’s circumference looking as though it was carved from thick tree bark dipped in sterling silver.

Sen also works with gold and platinum and creates custom jewelry. Uplifting charm jewelry--that includes iconography of the owl, swallow and Tree of Life—are central to the designs from her Etsy store.

Her whimsical Corset Ring, fashioned from matte finished, oxidized sterling silver, is easily one of many standouts with a strip of leather looped through the metal in a manner reflective of the garment for which it is named.
Photo 1 (top right): Oxidized Sterling Silver Seahorse Pendant Necklace
Photo 2 (center): Oxidized Sterling Silver and Leather Bracelet
Photo 3 (bottom left): Oxidized Sterling Silver Square Ring
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