Redefining Diamonds: Mendel & Jona

I stumbled on two stunning jewelry designers today: Lital Mendel and Yasushi Jona.  They’re both doing a bit of the same thing – redefining that “rock” we want on our fingers.  And, they’re going about it ways that are as stunning as they are unique.

Ring by Yasushi Jona

Lital Mendel wants to change the very meaning of the word “diamond.”  She starts by reducing it to just what it is – a stone.  A hard chunk former life, compressed by years and years and years of Earth-crushing, dug up, dusted off a bit, and deemed beautiful.  Mendel doesn’t think just one hard chunk should have all the fun.  But a diamond isn’t just any old rock, right?  And we polish and cut them to be multifaceted pretty things that catch the light (and more importantly – attention) and throw it just so.  Mendel focused in on the multi-faceted nature of a cut diamond and came up with these – origami diamonds.

Lita Mendel, Origami Ring

Now we’ve got that sorted, she’s gone back to that simple idea that a diamond is, well, a rock.  For her(precious) Stones collection, she’s nabbing stones from her own environment and mounting them up in interesting ways.  They are all a bit askew, left with their rough edges and earthy colors.  And you know.. they’re pretty neat to look at.

Stone ring, Lita Mendel

In her own words: “My starting point was a common name for diamonds – stones. I decided to use stones I collected from the street and make them the center of my work, the thing to look on. I used simple technologies that will emphasize the special features of every stone, give it a shine and still allow it to remain the main focus. I also wanted to keep the goldsmithing clean as possible and with natural finishing. There is no need to beautify things – the stones are perfect just the way they are. Every stone in unique, a one-of-a-kind to me that’s what make it real diamond.”

Lital Mendel Ring

“In this work I wanted to come up with a new and accessible interpretation on the diamond ring that will force people to look at things in a new perspective.  I decided to use stones I collected from the street and make them the center of my work. People have the tendency to overlook the things that surround them. They don’t look down and see the beautiful details of the small, simple objects.”

I think this one’s my favorite – the way it makes you look once, twice, and perhaps a third time just to be sure of what’s going on here.  Finally, the humble stone gets it due.
Stone necklace, Lital Mendel

Her website is still under construction, but if you’d like to make one of these designs your own, you can find Lital at mendelital {at} gmail {dot} com.

Origami Ring, LItal Mendel

In a simliar vein, I’d love to slip a finger through one of Japanese designer Yasushi Jona’s striking rings.  They’re gorgeous in a supremely gritty way – they summon images of the Industrial Revolution, for me.  However, the collection, called “Jona,” is designed to replicate what might be retrieved from a Spanish galleon shipwreck – rusted and corroded to evoke decades on the sea floor.

Yasushi Jona

Yasushi got his start as a designer at Pola Chemical Industries’ design laboratory and started freelancing in 2005.  You can certainly see the chemist in him.

Pendant by Yasushi JonaRing by Yasushi Jona

Be sure to check out more of Jona’s works here – his designs are available at Osaka-based Toi.

Yasushi Jon

Yasushi Jona

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This entry was published on April 8, 2011 at 15:39. It’s filed under Buy, Get Inspired, Look, Wear and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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