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CUERNOS COLLECTION: FORM & FUNCTION

Written by Marisa Howard

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Posted on March 14 2018

The Cuernos Collection came together over months of design work. Once the design is ready, then we begin the process of fine tuning each piece. We make original samples, wear them, watch how they move and how they function. Then we make adjustments and test wear them again.  Sometimes we get it right on the first try, but more often we repeat the "sample & adjust" process multiple times. This analysis of each design gives us an opportunity to really think about how the pieces will be worn and the role the design will play in your lifetime jewelry collection. 

Here are my thoughts on the styles that make up the Cuernos Collection, feel free to send questions or comments! 

(Interested in reading about the collection names? Check it out here.)

RIDLEY -  I have been thinking a lot about handmade chain, I love the chunky and imperfect links and the versatility it allows us in the design process. I also wanted to create a substantial piece that still had the functionality of an everyday piece. Something you could throw on with just about anything. The open link chain allows you to hook the clasp at any point and create of variety of styles. 

CORON -  During the sampling process I actually made one of these for me to keep, which rarely happens! It has been my everyday, go-to, piece. I love it over a silk button up and high wasted pants - but it plays just as easily with a white t-shirt and jeans. We used the thinner sterling silver snake chain on this design to give the style a playful slide and I love the way the pendant moves along the chain. The weight is comfortable and the materials are made to last a lifetime. If you like jewelry that feels sophisticated and playful, this is your piece! 

PALMATA - The Palmata series is inspired by the ancient amulet necklaces that were worn to ward off evil. The left hand symbolizes feminine energy in some cultures. So, wearing the palmata series can be a like a talisman of lady energy against negativity. I want the styles in this family to feel like an everyday talisman, a piece you'll revisit multiple times throughout your life. 

LYGO -  The Lygo and RHUS series are a collection of pieces that are playing with shape and movement. The carved original was hollowed out on one side to provide depth and curve. The connections that gives the Lygo movement are all hidden on the backside of the piece. This movement creates spine-like wave and a gentle swing. Lygo is substantial, weighty and grounded. Rhus is the more delicate alter ego. Both feel like battle armor to me and I think of them as signature statements. 

TOTIS - Statement rings tend to come a bit more naturally to me, especially when it comes to rings with stones. It is easier for me to balance the stone against the larger surface area of a statement ring. And, of course, it's all about balance. The Totis is my delicate answer to that dilemma. Its the most delicate sloping curve and can have just the slightest pop of contrast by adding the opal or labradorite stone. And bonus ... it's our first ring offered in 14K gold! Baby steps towards our fine collection. 

ARIUM - Forever in search of the daily-wear statement ring, enter the Arium. Curvaceous and smooth - it is hollow on the backside for wearability. I don't want to play favorites, but if I was going to, the Arium would be at the top of the list this season. I love wearing it, but making the original design was also really special to me. The wax for this design was the first thing I carved after shoulder replacement surgery.  It's a clean and timeless piece, feeling like a modernist design from the 1960's, it fits in just as well in today casual styles. 

MADAGAS - I am so excited about this earring! It is a difficult piece to produce, hence the higher price for one of our smaller stature designs. The design is hollow on the inside, which makes for complicated casting and clean up process. It takes a lot of precision and care to get it just right. I love the result!  A delicate yet substantial appearance. 

EPIPHYTE -  My favorite dilemma in jewelry design is how to create statement pieces that are still minimal. I don't want the jewelry to wear you, but I still want a statement to feel like a statement. We played around a lot with this design in the beginning stages of production. We talked a lot about movement and how the piece looked from a variety of angles. The Epiphyte earring is a symbiotic statement, it lives in harmony with the wearer (just like its namesake), lightweight and spacious, with just the right amount of pop. 

FROND -  As you may have noticed, I am obsessed with curves lately. Playing with how we can shape metal to follow natural curves. I designed the frond to be an homage to the curving jaw line. It drops below the earlobe and bends ever so slightly back. Each piece is shaped and finished by hand, so every one is an individual. This curve gives the style an opportunity to catch the light from a variety of angles and pop a bit, even when your hair is down. We also offer this style in a brushed finish, which I absolutely love. It is the softest matte finish that we apply by hand to each piece. It is also available on the CATUM earring. 

ZALA -  I love a big statement cuff, but they always turn to the side and try to slip off of my small wrists. I wanted to create a design that would stay in place and was also comfortable enough on the underside to wear while typing or sketching or working. Enter Zala. Available in two sizes and ever so slightly adjustable for comfort. The lily pad portions on the top keep the bracelet in place and resting comfortably on the top side of your wrist. 

ELLIS -  The Coretta ring is one of my favorite designs in the collection and I kept thinking how great it would be as a bracelet! I love negative space and the idea of seeing a bit of wrist through the chunky metal bracelet was just so appealing. This is our first solid cast cuff that we are offering in two sizes, a Small/Medium and a Medium/Large. Which means each size was it's own original carving - two completely unique wax sculptures that were then cast into metal.  I think this design works as a unisex cuff. 

ANDINUM - Don't you just love a shapeshifter necklace?  A wrap-style is my absolute favorite. I bought a handmade necklace of this style at a local boutique 15 years ago and it is still a favorite in my collection. I love the delicate chain with a fancy dress. It is a style I am always reaching for and I am excited to offer my own version to the Seaworthy customers.  It's a difficult design to portray in product photos though. It doesn't have a clasp, so it's just a continuous length of gold-fill or sterling silver with a pendant on each end. The design can be worn wrapped around once or twice. It can be worn like a lariat or a Y-style, it can be tied in a knot ... the possibilities are endless. I can't wait to see how you all wear it! 

CERIUM - BIFUR - CATUM -  This family of styles sort of gave way to each other. They are all some combination of the same shapes either cut down or added on to. Each piece is finished and shaped by hand, so that the slight curve of each design is always unique. The CATUM earring has a centered post and each side of the earring is unique. So, you can turn the piece to create the look and feel that you like most. The BIFUR earring, has just the smallest amount of swing and movement. Which makes it a comfortable statement for everyday wear. Works for the office, works for the weekend. And, comfortable enough that you could probably do yoga while wearing them. The CERIUM necklace is a simplistic take on a traditional coin necklace. Meant to fall right at the sternum, it looks great alone but also layers really well with additional necklaces. 

AZOLLA -  I'm always on the lookout for more ways to accessorize. For me, it is how I add personal style to my daily look. I love clean, minimal hair accessories for this exact reason. I always loved the Patrona hairband, but I kept wanting something with a little more statement.  The Azolla is just that, a fun and subtle addition to any style. Plus it will look nice on your wrist when it's not in your hair.

As a designer, it's exciting to think about the place these pieces will have in your personal style story.  I always love seeing the photos you share on Facebook and Instagram (#seaworthypdx - to share your photos!), please keep sharing! 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new collection. 

Cuernos Collection, new additions to our collection for 2018, available March 15th. 

thank you! 

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