From Mine to Store: Getting Schooled by Wallace Chan’s Cool Fish Bangle

Wallace Chan liked the idea of a bracelet featuring fish swimming in a bowl. But once he meticulously carved a school of fish into a thick crystal bangle, he felt “a bit sad for the fish to live in a bowl.” So the Hong Kong–based designer created a coral forest, illuminated by a smattering of sapphires and diamonds, which he attached to the bangle, letting the fish peek out from in between. “Then the question became: Are they in a bowl now, because of the curve we see?” he says. “Or are they in the sea, because of the coral?” Ultimately, he decided, “The two pairs of fish have water and love. And wherever they are, they are contented in their own universe.” 

Sea Worthy

The bangle itself is made of two pieces of carved crystal (514.35 cts. t.w.), and the coral crafted of titanium. Chan chose titanium because “the color of the titanium structure is essential” for achieving a harmony with the gems set into the metal—a mix of tsavorite garnets, fancy colored diamonds, and colorless diamonds, and pink, purple, and blue sapphires—juxtaposed so “they echo and waltz with one another.” 

Body Conscious

Ensuring that the elaborate bracelet was actually comfortable to wear was a priority for Chan. “I asked myself, ‘How can this be worn as a bangle? Is it ergonomically correct? What is the best way to make and place the clasp?’?” the designer says. “It is highly important for the piece to fluently communicate with the human body.”

In the Zone

When working on any piece, Chan likes to clear his mind of all thoughts. “When you empty yourself, you allow new ideas to flow freely [and] pieces of memories are free to connect and overlap,” he says. “By doing this, you unlock the door to endless inspiration and are able to think outside of the box.”