Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jewelbox of Earthly Delights

Living rings give new meaning to the idea of ornamental cacti

Italian jewelry designer Barbara Uderzo has moved on from her Blob rings (plastic goo-covered rings embedded with miniature charms and toys, a few of which are illustrated below) to Succulent rings... absolutely incredible carved-wood rings, planted -- yes, planted -- with miniscule succulents. A drop of water every other day? Admittedly, I'd rather fear wearing it. But these little gems recall the wonderful -- whimsical -- cocktail rings of iconic designers like Pauline Trigère and Seaman Schepps.

Probably wouldn't pass customs...

Uderzo, who studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and goldsmithing at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vicenza before launching a jewelry line in 1990, says "the scope of my creative work is not circumscribed to the goldsmith's craft, because I use different materials - above all not precious materials." She relies on form, not the monetary value of the material, and is clearly guided by humor, joy and frivolity. Precisely what ornament should inspire.

A few of the old Blobs, for fun:

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