Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Porcelain Horse Brooch Pin
with  Crystal and Art Glass Beads
First colonized by Dutch settlers in the 17th century, the city of Taipei, located in Taiwan, has a rich history. 

Over the course of many years Spain, China and Japan have each played a role in the city’s storied existence.  Taiwan is also the birthplace of husband-wife design duo Cynthia Chuang and Erh-Ping Tsai.

There is no question that contemporary jewelry is an explosion of imagination. 

From what I have observed this jewelry style is all about letting go and taking a no holds barred approach to design ideas.  No material is off limits as anything from nail polish bottles to the inner tubes from bicycle tires can be the basis of a ring or necklace.

New York-based Chuang and Tsai were educated at the National Taiwan Academy of Arts (where they met), New York’s Parsons The New School of Design, and the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. 

Borth armed with a solid working knowledge of their craft and lucid ideas Chuang and Tsai’s brand, Jewelry 10, draws from the sometimes scary, sometimes majestic creatures of the natural world.

Flexible Band Bracelet with Pink Swarovski Crystals
and Gold Plated Beads
The duo builds their designs with porcelain, Swarovski crystals, inlaid clay and art glass beads bringing to life animal-inspired designer jewelry (though a few items are not animal-inspired) that are rich with individual character and vibrancy.

A frog, squid, giraffe, octopus, lizard or bird of paradise become a whimsical brooch pin or necklace.  Each design is reminiscent of characterizations from a child’s storybook replete with buoyant colors and amusing poses.

“We originally created these pieces in 1987 as toys for my nephew and niece.  Over the years our creatures have changed dramatically.  It is always fun to look back and see how our creatures have evolved into the artwork they are today,” says Chuang.

Despite the designers’ adventurous creative spirit some items from their earring and bracelet collections show a decidedly conservative vibe.  The flexi wristbands with their flexible black bands and accents of silver plated beads, charms and Swarovski crystals are great for casual, sporty or dressy ensembles while their glossy porcelain earrings pack a wallop of colorful surface patterns within classic proportions.

Porcelain High-Heel Boot Brooch Pin
with Crystal and Art Glass Beads

These are truly gorgeous jewelry pieces where each component perfectly complements the other. 

These designs are true works of art and I must say I like the idea of owning a piece of jewelry that beautifully fits those days when I am in a playful mood.  A selection of the designers’ pieces is available to buy online at Gallery 5.
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