It’s fashion post Mondays again, and this week I decided to get all wrapped up in what I call “Uncultured Pearls”. A bit of word play on my part, but it all started with a little look about for irregular shaped pearl jewelry, and then it turned into something else. Irregular jewelry is something that is not really seen in the local jewelry store at the mall or big name designer stores. Those places offer mass produced items, and even if they have customization options, as with a charm bracelet, they are not truly one-of-a-kind [OOAK] items if they can be duplicated exactly by just about anyone with the cash. You would have to work with a jeweler to design something really unique for your Valentine Sweetheart, the only other option is to go with a vintage jewelry piece, which is also wonderful but sometimes very costly.
So what are the options for those of us who want to wear, or gift, OOAK jewelry items that don’t take weeks of planning or searching in a little independent jewelry store or consignment shop? Well, the internet of course. Etsy in particular is a great place to look for really high quality items, it offers small cottage industry artisans a place to sell their one of a kind designs to a wide audience. If you are buying something for a OOAK person, then you want a OOAK item.
Here is a beautiful selection of jewelry made with unique items; irregular pearls, odd shaped stones, strange and unique combinations of materials. Sometimes it is how the items are used not so much the fact that they are being used at all that makes for that unique item. Just a simple pendant necklace becomes a really eye-catching creation , it’s a bit like wearing a tiny museum around your neck.
Strings of beads in semi-precious stones, shells, pearls, glass, coral, or wood strung in unique colour combinations can become absolute show stoppers when they go ‘outside the box’ and use seemingly random combinations. Using materials not normally associated with fashion jewelry making is also really special. Crochet, ribbons, silk flowers, or fabric yo-yos can have huge eye appeal.
Even if there are traditional elements to the piece of Jewelry in question, a unique color combination or unique construction method can be very special for a wearer that may not be looking for a statement so much as a piece with personality.
Asymmetrical placements of featured pendants or embellishments, such as a floral element, really add a lot of impact visually. Our eyes and brains are trained to recognize patterns, and when they are not obvious or as expected, they draw our attention as we try to sort out the elements we are looking at. My favorite irregular and OOAK item in Jewelry of any sort is the Pearl, particularly natural pearl with irregular shapes. I find them to be natural wonders, the way pearls and mother of pearl is created is so interesting. Grains of sand that are coated in lacquer over long decades and suddenly you have a beautiful and natural jewel.
So love those irregular Uncultured Pearls, those OOAK wearable pieces or art. If you want to be a cookie cutter and have the same heart shaped dog tag around your neck as every other person in your circle of friends, that’s fine. But I am more partial to being the one wearing the piece that no one else will ever be able to duplicate because it is mine alone. Show your Valentine that they are your OOAK work of art by giving them jewelry that is as OOAK as they are.