By Rebecca Doulton in Madrid
One of Spain's most talented and original jewellery designers, Luz Camino, is taking a new collection of jewellery to her annual trunk show at Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Entitled Pencil Shavings, Luz and her son Fernando give me an exclusive preview of the pieces before they cross the Atlantic.
Pencil Shavings is entirely built around the humble wood shavings produced after sharpening a pencil. Although many people associate her work with her exquisite jewellery renditions of flowers and other nature-inspired themes, often using plique-à-jour enamelling, Luz has always been fascinated with abstract shapes and how common, everyday objects can express an innate beauty. Last year she showed me pieces from the Rubber Band collection, inspired by the way a rubber band wriggles and writhes after being stretched. This year it's all about pencil shavings.
"I have tried all sorts of pencils, traditional pencils, eye make-up pencils, just about every pencil I could get my hands on, believe me," admits Luz as she removes a ring from her finger with the hallmark Staedtler Noris black and yellow enamel on the tips.
"I love the beauty of imperfection," says Luz as she holds the gold ring up to the light, revealing the delicate variegated structure of wood. Surprisingly comfortable to wear, the gold shavings can be positioned with the enamel tips pointing upwards or downwards.
The gold ring, crowned with spinels and diamonds, is exceptionally elegant and perhaps more traditional in that the shaving is mounted on a gold band. My favourite, though, is the model encrusted with fancy sapphires on the tips, which respects the amorphous shape of a wood shaving.
The reproduction of the natural details of the wood shaving on the metal is remarkable, and Fernando explains the process: "The design is transferred to a computer to create a 3D image, which is then modelled in lost-wax casting before being cast in gold. However, in order to retain the delicate texture and imperfections of the wood, a lost-wax model is made for each individual piece."
The new Luz Camino Pencil Shaving collection is composed of rings and earrings, and Luz holds a pair of delicate wing-like earrings, tipped with green tsavorites, to her ear. "The fun thing is that you can position these in both directions," she explains, "depending on the shape of your jaw line."
Limited to series of 20 and 100 pieces in the case of the yelllow and black enamel tipped ring, Pencil Shavings goes on show at Bergdorf Goodman this Sunday, 30 November 2014.
In addition to Pencil Shavings, Luz Camino will be exhibiting some of her latest one-off collector's pieces, including a sensational Artichoke Brooch brought to life with garnets, diamonds, tourmalines and enamel and a whimsical pair of Peas in a Pod earrings cocooned in an ebony pod with turquoise, tsavorites, diamonds silver and gold. Another marvellous one-of-a-kind brooch is the Thinking Velazquez ensemble of three ephemeral, translucent butterflies and an impressive enamel moth inspired by the hair decorations of one of Velazquez' Meninas.
"I guess I must have had food on the brain this year because many of my pieces are inspired by food," says Luz holding up a squiggly pair of gold earrings with sapphires, inspired by the shape of fried shoestring potatoes.
The pieces will be at Bergdorf Goodman until mid-January and Luz Camino will be in New York to host the exhibit and chat to buyers who want to find out more about her wonderful world.