In a jewelry market currently crowded with lovely-but-simple charms, designer Ray Griffiths’ versatile pendants feel especially artisanal, and acutely special.
The Australian-born, New York-based designer’s work is full of voluminous forms shaped from intricate gold cross-hatching that resembles a woven fabric. The technique is called crownwork, and was originally seen in European tiaras and crowns in the 17th century.
Griffith mastered it early in his career, as an apprentice in a restoration house in Melbourne where trained in the art of remaking and restoring antique jewelry and tiaras. “Crownwork was one of many techniques used in the back of the settings to take the weight out of the piece so they were comfortable to wear,” Griffiths tells The Zing Report. “A lot of my designs come from classical shapes in history.”
The designer creates elegant earrings, bracelets, rings, and necklaces, to be sure. But it’s his ever-expanding collection of pendants—featuring intricately set gems (diamonds, rubies, moonstones, etc.)—that mesmerize. Many of the pendants feature spheres and other pleasantly plump shapes, shaped by the cross-hatched crownwork. And the pendants’ gem-setting is clearly the work of bench masters.
Prices for the jeweled drops range from $1,000- $12,000, and Griffith notes that they can be “worn on a long necklace or clipped onto a bracelet.” They’re so opulent-feeling, we’re tempted to string them from our dining room chandelier.
All photos courtesy of Ray Griffiths