The month of January is like one long holiday hangover. You’re sort of muddling your way through it, trying to find your footing in the new year, a string of resolutions most likely broken along the way (hey, best intentions). Then the calendar rings February and it sort of feels like, okay, we’re getting familiar with this new year. There’s hope for (perhaps only slightly) improved weather, and you can really start looking forward to spring (and the sprinkling of holidays—Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras—and television events—the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards—certainly helps).
And with the impending entrance of February comes the time to celebrate one of its birthstones, amethyst. The gem has long held a special place in my heart as it is the birthstone of my mom, and her favorite color to boot. But it takes a bit of oomph on the part of amethyst for me to truly feel fond of it.
I like my amethyst to be “extra,” as they say—glitzy, beyond the norm, perhaps unnecessarily festooned. Take its geode form, for example—I could stare at it all day. Falling under the spell of the sparkling rings of lavender and violet, glittering and grape. That’s when amethyst shows its depth, and that’s the way I like it best.
The Maman ring from Rush Jewelry Design illustrates what it is to be one of those pieces. Though, even an opaque, one-dimensional amethyst would have topped off the design quite well, with its cool, wiry textured design and twisting, possessing prongs. It’s almost enchanted.
Turns out, it has an epic source of inspiration. Its name, Maman, refers to the famous Maman spider sculptures by artist Louise Bourgeois, the original of which now resides at the Tate Modern gallery in London.
“As an avid art lover and collector, I am endlessly influenced by artists, genres, and movements—I am especially drawn to work that relates to process,” says designer Jen Rush. “When I look at a painting, drawing, or sculpture, it inevitably evokes thoughts in my own mind about how it would translate into a piece of jewelry, so it should come as no surprise that I have an ongoing obsession with Louise Bourgeois and her work. Her famous Maman spider sculptures served as the inspiration for this amethyst ring. In the studio I used a wax extruder to create layered ‘legs,’ which would serve as the prongs. Additionally, I love the concept of using a similar process to hers, but using fine material like high karat gold.”
The one-of-a-kind piece is a beautiful ode to the powerful sculptures (even for those with arachnophobia, it is to be appreciated), and the details of its background make it all the more inspiring. Plus, with a name like Maman (French for mother), it would make the perfect gift or self-gift for any kind of mama.
Top: One-of-a-kind Maman ring in 18k yellow gold with amethyst, $4,300; Rush Jewelry DesignFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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