Colored Stones: Vegetable Ivory Jewels by Irthly Jewelled Adornments

Ivory HourOn a 2002 trip to Ecuador, David Alvarado, the designer behind Irthly Jewelled Adornments, saw vegetable ivory—a solid, creamy-white substance found inside tagua nuts throughout the ­Amazon—for the first time. Alvarado, the son of a bench ­jeweler, was earning his master’s degree in Chinese and European comparative philosophy at San Diego State University, but the sight of the tagua seeds’ elephant ivory-like material, made into craft jewelry at Ecuadorian markets, stayed with him.While working on his thesis, Alvarado and his wife were expecting their first child. The time seemed right to pursue the simmering idea of jewelry design as a profession. A teaching from a favorite Chinese philosopher, Laozi, cinched the deal, Alvarado says: “In order to be wise, you have to return to the foundation or seed of things.”Irthly Jewelled Adornments Fontaine pendant in recycl

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