I miss parties. That’s not a statement I foresaw myself making, to be honest. I’m comfortably introverted, and I don’t often find myself clamoring to go out and socialize all too often (though it does happen). Having the option to do so, however, is something I am clamoring for. The absence of that warm feeling of closely gathered family and friends is starting to burn a hole in my otherwise homebodied existence.
The absence of this option isn’t something I tend to dwell on, but occasionally, something pops up to remind me of what we’re missing.
Like this ring by design superstar Daniela Villegas, which I saw on Instagram yesterday. A colorful, gem-rich piñata curled around the finger of the designer, as she celebrated the first birthday of her own sweet child. It’s a sweet
image that brings not melancholy as I thought it might, the regret that my own little one’s second birthday couldn’t be rung in with friends and family. Instead, it made me feel hopeful, grateful, and not just a little charmed by another one of Villegas’ creations.
Have you noticed that piñatas have changed? Or at least, some of them have. Where children used to gather around a papier-mâché animal and beat it senseless with sticks or bats, now modern piñata makers offer a gentler counterpart, one where partygoers try their luck by pulling on a string to see if candy falls out.
Fun fact (if that’s what that is?) aside, piñatas, no matter the kind, evoke an aura of memorable celebration, the best kind of gathering, riotous with joy and excitement. No child’s party feels complete without one. I suddenly feel it to be a highly unexpected symbol of hope—next year, we’ll get a piñata. And the warmth of friends and family will return to enjoy it with us, whether we go to bat with it or pull on its strings.
Villegas’ version goes the traditional route with a stick, a glorious detail that sets her work apart. This stick is golden, textured to appear as wood, and perfectly placed along the piñata’s side, attached by a golden chain to secure it. The donkey’s likeness is fancifully frilled along its flanks and around the collar with colorful stones, its body set with gemmy polka dots.
“[The ring] is inspired by my country, Mexico, and its culture,” says Villegas. “I grew up having piñatas at every birthday party, it is a Mexican tradition. The piñata is the wish, and when you or someone at your party breaks it, all the candy that falls is a representation of the shared blessings and happiness.”
There has been a lot of inspiring work on Instagram to witness, as there often is, but recently nothing has struck me quite as unexpectedly as this. Celebrating the work of Daniela Villegas is not new to us here at JCK, but it never ceases to amaze me what might speak to us as individuals. For me, I never thought I’d put much stock in piñatas. Leave it to the hands of a talented jeweler to craft one in gold and convince me otherwise.
Top: Chromatic Paradise piñata ring in 18k yellow gold with multicolor sapphires, tsavorites, and amethysts, price on requestFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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