You might think that contemporary jewelry is so distinct from commercial jewelry that trends don’t really come into play. But, in fact, no group has their finger on the pulse of design trends more firmly than contemporary jewelry artists, in my opinion.
After all, the most innovative and artistic voices in our culture often lay the groundwork for future commercial successes, whether that’s the voice of an emerging artist in Brooklyn or the head of a Parisian fashion house.
This reality inspired me to spotlight a few contemporary jewelers whose work is truly a reflection of the times and could very well end up defining where we’re headed in jewelry. Below, see the contemporary jewelry version of 5 Jewelry Trends to Watch in 2023, which The Zing Report’s editor-in-chief, Emili Vesilind, wrote last month.
Pastels and Brights in Gems
Claire Webb received her MFA from Suny New Paltz in 2021 and immediately launched “Yours by Claire Webb,” a playful space within her art practice where “the jewels play dress-up and dream about the future with a nod to the past and a wink and a smile.” Her brightly colored (and pastel) metallic rings have been featured in trend reports worldwide since their 2021 launch.
Israeli art jeweler Shacher Cohen makes what he calls Reflective Idols. They are large, voluminous silhouettes that simultaneously recall the past and imagine the future. He uses steel sheets, blown and welded to create mirror-like seamless shapes that reflect and distort the world. It is white metal in rare and perfect form, drawing you in via its high shine finish and futuristic vibes.
Big and Bold
The work of Veronika Fabian questions everything about jewelry: our relationship with it, its value and, most visibly, its scale. Her recent project, you, me, and your stuff, reconstructs personal everyday objects into chains, such as a bottle of perfume (see that below). While the material informs size, the bigness and boldness of the work, is a bellwether for the post-neckmess era.
Provenance in Gems
Meet Adam Grinovich, an artist and jewelry professor at SCAD, who creates stunning pieces using cubic zirconia, a stone culturally defined as an imitation of a diamond, a fake. He constructs CAD-designed, often 3D-printed steel frameworks, and meticulously sets stones within them by hand. The work invites us not to simply talk about provenance, but to question cultural definitions, values, and traditions and their impacts.
Not So Precious
Yvmin is a fashion jewelry brand built by contemporary jewelry minds. Created by Xiaoyu Zhang and Min Li, Yvmin has been setting trends since its inception in 2013, and this season is no different—the duo presents a variety of concepts built for fun—from not-so-precious materials including plush animals (in the Paradise collection).
Top image: Claire Webb rings