Sunday, June 2, 2013


Located in the Philippines on the Island of Mindanao, the beautiful city of Davao is a favorite amongst
24K Gold Plated Shard Bone Teeth Cuff Bracelet
with Agate, Sodalite and Kyanite
tourists due largely to its exotic beaches and resorts.  

The stunning locale also offers The Pearl Farm where visitors can harvest raw pearls.  The Philippines is also home to featured jewelry designer Joyce Makitalo.

For anyone who is an avid collector of jewelry determining what you consider a statement jewelry piece can be a very personal one.

Perhaps a statement piece for one woman is an elegant, vintage brooch pin she acquired at a flea market; or maybe it is an antique locket passed down by her great grandmother.

However, jewelry designs that are substantial, chunky and colorful (or one of the three) is the typical definition for statement jewelry within the fashion industry.

Makitalo’s exotic array of 24-karat gold dipped brass and gemstone jewelry, which includes bib and choker necklaces, pendant necklaces, and cocktail rings, falls squarely into the broader definition.

The foreboding, primitive beauty of her majestic jewelry collections is so visually commanding patrons decide to buy a piece several minutes after exclaiming “It’s too big for me!” 

Makitalo gleefully admits she is fueled by these reactions.  “I like to create pieces that push people to be a bit more adventurous.  I love watching the wheels turn and witnessing a change of mind.”

24K Gold Plated Brass Globus Ariera Pendant Necklace
with White Turquoise, Mookite, Osemena Pearl and Rice Pearls
The alumna of the Philippines’ University of Santo Tomas, and former graphic designer, took interest in jewelry design/creation ten years ago after observing the beauty and detail of a lithe strand of semi-precious gemstones. 

Her love for exaggerated styles and the restlessness of the 60s inspire, in part, her striking visual language.  The majestic yet askew outlines; the scope and richness of opaque gemstones; and the rustic glow of the 24-karat gold evoke Mayan chieftains.

Gemstones of varying cuts such as Botswana agate, lapis lazuli, butter jade and phantom quartz are juxtaposed like pieces of a puzzle.  She adds a very feminine touch by suspending many of these robust gems with silk Thai ribbon.

“Six years ago I joined the Guild of Philippine Jewelers annual design competition.  My entry was a water color illustration with a piece of poetry that I wrote,” she recalls.  “I became one of ten finalists and had the opportunity to work with a fine jeweler who produced the drawing in 18-karat gold.  I won the competition’s non-traditional category.

Watching my drawing come to life felt like I was meeting my child for the first time.  From that moment I have been designing rough, irregular-cut gemstone jewelry set in gold dipped brass.

I am inspired by many things: the pages of international versions of Vogue; Russia’s Romanov period; master weaver Darhata Swabi; and the concept of the future.  I am a bit outlandish.  My jewelry reflects my passion for art and instinctive understanding of fashion.”

24K Gold Plated Brass Evil Eye Ring with
Agate and Malachite
2013 Jewelry Trend Alert:   Big, bold statement pieces are in this year and Makitalo’s stunning pieces definitely brings it with plenty of colored gemstones to boot.
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