Artfully stacked on a crystal dish, ribbon candy was a holiday staple at my house growing up but at some point fell out of rotation. I know I have seen it at my local Ocean State Job Lot and would like to work it into my own holiday decor but fear sticky toddler hands (she has already eaten the “snow” off a miniature gingerbread house that is at least as old as she is). For those who require a visual:
Nostalgic confectionery evocations notwithstanding, the thing that makes Ark Fine Jewelry’s newest pieces stand out in general is the fact that they are wrought with plique-à-jour enamel—hat tip: one René Lalique in his art nouveau heyday.
Surely designer Ann Korman (whom I featured here on All That Glitters when she first came on the scene a few years ago) is not the only designer to work with this complicated enameling technique (eloquently explored here by JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky). But her geometric executions, expressed in the most joyous shades of fuchsia, tangerine, and a spectrum of dreamy blues, feel fresh and modern.
It was enough to catch the eye of the buyers at Twist, who picked up the line after seeing it at the Couture show in Las Vegas.
“Twist has always been dream retail partner because of its amazing relationships with the artisans they sell,” says Korman. In fact, “All of our stockists were interested in carrying a selection of the plique-à-jour pieces, which feels like we’re onto something special.”
After winning the Best in Colored Gemstones Award at Couture 2018, Korman wanted to push what she knew about color and color theory further. It took her nearly two years to perfect the enamel colors with a team of highly skilled artisans trained in the plique-à-jour technique.
“My collection is very much inspired by the concept and meaning of light, so the plique-à-jour technique, which loosely translates to ‘light shining through’, made sense to explore and pursue,” says Korman. “These pieces definitely have a bright, sunny effect and remind me of stained glass. Architects used stained glass in churches and temples because it creates a transcendent atmosphere, great for introspection. It’s meant to draw the eye upward and inspire meditation and prayer.”
Which is a much more elevated—and righteous—evocation at peak holiday season than my ribbon candy reference, one that clearly resonates with buyers: “The pieces are fun to wear and have the right vibe for the moment,” says Korman. “They’re whimsical, elegant, and meaningful. Customers are responding to the bold and playful colors and are ready to go out and have fun!
“Buyers saw that we’re creating something different by employing a very traditional technique but making it feel very fresh and new. At the same time, each new piece is still imbued with meaning because that is the core of my brand. And this play on light and color will be something I continue to explore in upcoming collections and for years to come.”
Sounds pretty sweet to me! A small taste, below…
Top: “When the light shines through the glass, it creates a dreamlike environment,” says Ann Korman, the designer of Ark Fine Jewelry. Pink Aura Dreamweaver hoop earrings in 18k gold and enamel, $3,900
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