Alternative Materials

 

1ST PLACE
BRUNINI

Skipping Stones earrings from the Eating Watermelon in the Black Forest collection in blackened sterling silver and 18K rose gold with watermelon tourmaline slices (22.75 TCW), Cocobolo wood, and burnt orange diamonds (2.61 TCW), $23,010

The connection between nature and jewelry is inherent in these earrings, in which the wood of the “Black Forest” is actually present — and it was this unusual yet highly effective combination that wowed our judges.

However, this wood isn’t from the German forest; it’s from Central America. The heartwood of Cocobolo is so dense that it sinks in water. It is hard yet easily machined. In short, it’s the perfect complement to the gemstones normally found in jewelry.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAY

JG: Elevating nature’s simple beauty to wearable art is what Katey Brunini does best. Yes, the watermelon tourmaline and ombre orange diamonds are stunning, but it’s the grain of the Cocobolo wood with its hues of amber, chocolate and a hint of red ochre that makes these earrings truly unique.

JJ: Gorgeous combination of earthly elements between stone and wood, dark and light, black and gold. The color of the orange diamond surrounding the watermelon tourmaline allows for a blood red heart center in a pool of aqueous green. There’s a ton of color that connects to the wood below. So much to love about this piece!

EH: I love the juxtaposition of the different materials in these earrings. There is a lot going on here, but yet the different elements all work together without one overpowering another. Both components of these earrings are very attractive and could stand on their own, but together they are truly stunning and standout!

RS: These earrings are as magical as the designer herself. The watermelon tourmalines appear to look right into your soul. Unique and wowzer!

LU: These earrings are certainly show-stopping. Wood in jewelry is currently gaining momentum: that’s how jewelry trends are born.

 


 

2ND PLACE
SARAH GRAHAM METALSMITHING

Trigon double hoop earrings in 18K yellow gold and oxidized cobalt chrome with trillion cut diamonds (0.30 TCW), $4,725

WHAT THE JUDGES SAY

RS: I love the cool blackened finish that Sarah obtains set against the warmth of the gold. The diamond accents only enhance these earrings further.

JJ: Gold, black, and diamond. I love a good classic!

 


 

 

3RD PLACE
LASHBROOK

Handmade Damascus steel ring with a durable white Cerakote coating, $687

WHAT THE JUDGES SAY

JG: With all the darkened metal in jewelry, it’s refreshing to see a pop of white for the wedding category!

JJ: Simple, clean, elegant and bright. A wonderful harmony of contemplation.

RS: A truly unique alternative material in jewelry.

 

HONORABLE MENTION
JILL MAURER

Tusk necklace for the modern man from the Maurer Limited collection in blackened steel on a black braided leather cord, $70