Keeping the Faith
Scott Kay first showed the industry his spiritual side in 2008 with his striking and vividly detailed Faith Collection. One hand-sculpted piece even depicted beads of sweat rolling off the face of Christ.
“When the economy started crashing, there was so much negativity everywhere that I felt inspired to create the Faith Collection,” he explains. “I wanted to give people faith—not just in the religious sense, but also in each other. To have faith is a very healthy thing.”
His latest piece, and the one he’s proudest of, is Protecting the Cross, a pendant partially sculpted and cast in silver and also available in 18k gold vermeil. Kay and his design team sketched the design with pencil and paper (no CAD!) and completed eight wax models before a final version emerged. Kay’s goal: to get the angel’s head resting properly on the cross, and the wings—each hand-feathered by master engravers—outstretched, like arms enveloping and “protecting” the cross. “This is jewelry through meaning, designing through feelings,” says Kay.
One irony in this: Kay is Jewish. “My wife is Catholic, and my son had a bar mitzvah and goes to Catholic high school,” he says. “I always have respect for other religions, and I’m inspired by their convictions. I think my overlying message to people is to believe. I look forward to telling stories about Judaism, but right now this is where I am.”
Lest anyone think that Kay is crafting these pieces for commercial reasons, consider this: The Cross pendant took eight months to perfect. A piece he unveiled last year took 16 months; it retailed for just $250. “The artists of the past took their time,” says Kay. “That’s what I want my jewelry to reflect.”
Silver Gaga cuff with 60.82 cts. t.w. sapphires; $9,500; M.C.L. by Matthew Campbell Laurenza, New York City; 212-695-7904; mcldesign.net
Think Lady Gaga, and some crazy costumes come to mind. (Meat dress, anyone?) Well, the outrageously stylish star was top of mind for M.C.L.’s Matthew Campbell Laurenza when he made two appropriately named Gaga cuffs. With 463 grams of silver and more than 60 cts. of sapphires, each piece required 300 hours to make in Laurenza’s Hong Kong workshop. (He also made similar smaller versions of the look, weighing 127 grams with 20.08 cts. t.w. sapphires; those sell for $2,524.) “[The original] was cast in one piece to ensure that the melted silver would flow throughout the mold,” explains Laurenza. “To make these two, we had to cast five pieces before we were able to perfect the process.” But interested parties will have to settle for the smaller cuffs—Laurenza isn’t parting with the big ones. “We have not offered them for sale,” says the designer, who may be hanging on to them in the event of a Gaga meeting.