These extraordinary floral earrings started out as soda cans. Part of designer Anabela Chan’s Blooms collection, they were forged from recycled and refined aluminum drinking cans, then made dazzling with lab-grown and simulated gemstones. The seed idea for the collection “all began at my kitchen table at home in London with a can of Sanpellegrino fizzy lemonade in my hand,” says Chan. “The collection essentially turns trash into timeless treasures.”
The aluminum blooms incorporate 18k gold vermeil and boast 18k gold posts. Each was hand-painted with jet-black enamel and set with two simulated blue sapphires and an array of lab-grown rubies, which were pavé-set on the petals.
The design was inspired by “fields of endless poppies fluttering in the wind in the British countryside in June,” says the designer. Eight artisans—including stone cutters, polishers, casters, platers, anodizing technicians, and gem setters—brought the flowers to life.
That intense rosy hue was a happy accident. “The challenge with recycling aluminum cans is the impurities in the metal that cause issues with porosity,” Chan says. But by refining the metal through a process of trial and error, she was “able to overcome this and take advantage of a controlled porosity that allowed us to achieve greater color intensity.”