Have you ever had friends or family over for a meal, and they’ll be really chatty and loud, but then you serve the food and it all quiets down? All you hear is the clink of silverware on the plates and you think, “Wow, they must really like that.” That’s how I feel about Brenda Smith’s Gibson Girl Earrings.
When it comes to writing, I am loud and talkative (in person not so much, but on paper sometimes you can’t shut me up). When served this image of the earrings, however, total silence. I was stunned by their appearance, struggling to put the right words together because there were just too many to settle.
Are the Gibson Girls gamers? Certainly. Luxury ? This too. It’s not that I haven’t seen jewelry with a face before, but I don’t often see such whimsical pieces using fine materials like these.
There’s really only one person who could really put these words to words, so I asked their designer, Brenda Smith, to expand on her inspiration and design process.
“I was inspired by the painting entitled The kiss of Gustav Klimt,” Smith explains. “When I was in Vienna, I had the privilege of going to his studio/gallery. I was intrigued by all the portraits of people he painted with realistic faces, but the clothes and backgrounds were geometric shapes. In my mind, I saw gemstones in the background to create these shapes.
“I have a friend who is a master artist who makes faces in the Italian millefiori technique. I worked with her to create the desired size and attitude in the faces. Then I had a stonemason gemstones encasing these faces in crystalline quartz. I “painted” around the face with multicolored gemstones. I had to be aware of the amount of gemstones and the weight of the gold so that they weren’t too heavy on the ear.
There are actually three versions of the earrings, each with Smith’s different hand-drawn face styles: the Gibson Girl (pictured here), an art deco style and one in the Roaring ’20s style. All are 18k gold, with omega style earrings for support.
“My work as an artist is eclectic,” says Smith. “I don’t strive to fit into a pre-designed box, but I strive to push the boundaries.”
Top: Gibson Girl earrings in 18k white gold with one-of-a-kind millefiori face by Barbara McGuire, 1.54 ct. two pink tourmalines, 1.11 cts. tw blue-green tourmaline, and 0.65 ct. two aquamarines, price on request; Brenda Smith
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