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Precious Wood

May 2011

By Rachel Kaye, San Francisco

A wood cabin, nestled in a redwood grove, walking out to the wood shed to grab kindling to start a fire in a wood-burning fireplace. This place, you just might find in Northern California. Such a setting, fused with a rich history based on the love of nature, seems to be of great inspiration for many designers these days. Northern California culture is a strong influence on design today: from hand-built homes to custom furniture. Stemming from this newly rediscovered tradition, there also lies a resurrection of jewelry made from wood.

Anya Jindrich, a woodworker from Mendocino hand-carves necklaces and earrings. Taking inspiration from the wood itself, she carves each piece to accentuate the grain and color of the wood. They are wearable sculptures, which take cues from California artists like J.B. Blunk and Sam Maloof. Visit General Store in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset District to see her latest carved pieces.

Brooklyn-based designer Lauren Manoogian combines wood, metal, and leather in her jewelry pieces. While her studio is located on the East Coast, her work mimics the landscape of California. This necklace mixes birch beads with pewter, strung simply on leather. Her jewelry can be found at Anica Boutique in SF’s high-end Marina district.

By using less precious materials, wood jewelry is more wearable than gold or gemstones, which can be seen as a statement of opulence. Both Jindrich and Manoogian succeed in creating pieces that complement the wearer with elegance and without the flash of precious jewels. To me this is very Northern California, a population of people who take pride in their landscape and their lack of vanity.

Fashion & Style
San Francisco

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