Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Featured Designer: Carri Perani of Iridescence Jewelry

I have been so excited to share this with you guys for ages.  OK, intro: my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Randy stalk garage sales, vintage stores, and estate sales for random treasures, and the stuff that they manage to pick up is kind of amazing.  I really need to make a weekend visit just to join them on scavenger hunts, and they will be the masters and I shall be the pupil.  Which reminds of that time when I was like 6 and was dead-set on ditching my family and just living with Kathy and Randy, even though Uncle Randy tickled me so much I think I stopped breathing long enough to do brain damage, and Aunt Kathy was kind of sarcastic, but I could totally tell she was cool with me and that made me feel very urbane.  Anyways, during a scavenging adventure, they found a jeweler that Aunt Kathy told me about, and I want to share with you.  

Carri Perani began Iridescence Jewelry in West Virginia at the end of 2007, making the transition from a job in a corporate office.  Though she has not had any formal art training in jewelry design, she learns techniques from local goldsmith, Gene Conley of Touchstone Designs, in something akin to an apprenticeship.  Carri tells me that she is currently studying silversmithing with Gene.  (And I just need to break off for a moment to say that it makes me really happy to know that there are still apprenticeships.  Apprenticing needs to come back in a big way.)    

She generally works with sterling and 14k gold, but she also has a line of jewelry called the Rabbit Hole Collection which is what got me so fanatical about her jewelry that I bought two pieces right away.  Carri said, "The Rabbit Hole Collection is about recycling/repurposing & using what's already available. I've traveled all over the continental US, to Hawaii, New Zealand, and to several islands in the Caribbean.  Traveling is so inspiring to me because it makes me realize just how much beauty there is in the world."  She actually named her jewelry line during a walk on the beach in St. Augustine, Florida, inspired by the beauty of thin iridescent shells.  She collaborates with close friend, Cara, who started a buy, sell, trade clothing company called Journe Wear in Steubenville, Ohio.  Together they shop thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales & buy odds and ends from people like Aunt Kathy & Uncle Randy.  

The Rabbit Hole Collection
Gold Scalloped Earrings

"I think the beauty of these pieces is that it is open to interpretation, you can write & rewrite their story because every piece has it's own long lost history. You look at a piece and wonder, who did this belong to? where has this been? It all has so much character & mystery attached to it. That's what I think really draws people to it. I also think people find the rabbit hole collection intriguing because we are using found objects in very creative, unthought of ways," Carri says.
Soaring Swallow

Vintage Teapot Necklace

The Steam Punk Collection

"Steampunk places great importance on the value of beauty that reflects unusual or antiquated ideals. The steampunk culture takes its cues from the Victorian era, and speculates on how our world would be different if steam power had become the driving force behind our culture."

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