Out of Time
Jewelry inspired by ancient designs is here to stay
Maija Neimanis and Carol Seiden and Carolyn Gang of SeidenGang began
to make ancient inspired jewelry for different reasons. But Neimanis and
SeidenGang have helped ensure this design trend becomes a permanent part
of jewelers' showcases, not just a fad.
For Neimanis, of New York City, it was a 7,000-year-old picture of a
tiny bee that inspired her to learn more. "I was taught the ancient
techniques and how to reproduce ancient styles," says Neimanis, who
attended the Jewelry Arts School in New York City.
SeidenGang, Rye, NY, had a different inspiration: the discovery of old
but vividly detailed plasters Seiden's father-in-law bought from a European
antiques dealer. SeidenGang, with designer Larry Keller, used these images
to create a jewelry collection.
Designers and consumers alike find this style of jewelry appealing because
of their love of antiques, says Neimanis. She specializes in granulation,
handwoven chains and working in 22k gold. "Because Roman settings are
so simple, people often mistake them for being very modern," she says.
"Byzantine styles are pure and classical, which appeals to people who
like antiques. Using 22k gold gives the look of pure gold, which appeals
to an entirely different taste altogether."
Seiden and Gang say the more women wear the style, the more they love
Colored gemstones are an appropriate accent because they've been used
in jewelry since antiquity. But modern-cut gemstones give ancient styles
a contemporary spin. Cabochons and faceted stones that play off the light
make this jewelry come alive. Pink and watermelon tourmalines, chrome diopsides,
amethysts, rhodolite and citrines are some of the gemstone accents Neimanis
chooses. "I pick stones on their ability to attract not just
color. You have to feel for it and let it draw you in," says Neimanis.
Maija Neimanis, New York City; (212) 249-6236 or fax (212) 535-8684.
SeidenGang Designs, Rye, NY; (800) 227-4890 or (914) 723-4344, fax (914)
by Lorraine M. Suermann
|18k gold earrings by SeidenGang Designs depict a Roman god taking flight
and are enhanced by diamonds and gemstones. 18k gold brooch is encrusted
with a large diamond fissure and a South Sea pearl.|
22k gold star earrings are enhanced by granulation. The handwoven sterling
silver neck chain features a 22k granulated gold bar. By Maija Neimanis.
Diamond encrusted leaves and flowers are set in 18k white gold surrounded
by a heart-shaped framework of 18k green gold by SeidenGang Designs.
22k gold and green tourmaline granulated pin can be worn as a pin or
pendant. By Maija Neimanis.
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.