Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Multi-Colored Stingray Cuff Bracelets
The Philippines’ Chocolate Hills, located in the Central Visayas region, is an area consisting of nearly 2,000, naturally occurring hills and is one of the country’s most popular destinations. 

The mounds are widely believed to be a combination of marine limestone overlaid with clay and depending on the season they transform from green to brown.  The Philippines is also home to featured jewelry designer Janina Dizon Hoschka.

For the most part, designer jewelry from the Philippines is born from a lavishly bold artistic vision. 

It is an aesthetic that calls for intense use of materials, colors and proportions making these collections among some of the most unique jewelry creations I have seen.

Hoschka, a mother of two and alumna of G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America), is part of a pedigree of jewelry makers that began with her grandmother Paz Bañas, and her late mother Jul Dizon.  Hoschka’s mother would prove to be a large influence as she made a point to encourage her children to observe her in her element.

“At age fifteen my mother would have my siblings and I sit next to her and watch her design and interact with clients.  Nothing beats hands-on experience,” says Hoschka.  In 1991, Hoschka officially joined the family business after an apprenticeship with a renowned Israeli diamond distributor and acquiring her gemology degree.
Assorted Rings
Hoschka would channel sixteen years of knowledge and experience to launch her own company in 2007.   She implements a wide variety of semi-precious and precious gemstones that include citrine, pink sapphires, green amethyst, black and white diamonds, and blue topaz offset by either 18-karat gold or--get this--rose, black and yellow sterling silver!
Smoky Quartz Earrings
with Rubelite and Diamonds
The arrangement of the materials in some ways is reminiscent of vintage jewelry. She piles on textures, contrasts different colors and incorporates unexpected forms like a coral octopus or gem encrusted coiled snake. Each piece is different; possessing its own unique character.  There is no shortage of personality.

“I like using non-traditional materials for jewelry.  I think that makes it current and fresh.  I also like including symbolism in my collections.  I have a pair of octopus earrings whimsically carved from coral.

The octopus symbolizes diversity and intelligence. I like to cross boundaries and mix traditions in my jewelry reinterpreting them in a modern context.”
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