GOLD “VIKING CUSHION” EARRINGS AND RING BY LOREN NICOLE, CALIFORNIA, 2020
A pair of gold earrings composed of a flexible gold rope suspending granulated sphereoids, the ring designed with granulated sphereoids that sit between the fingers, the larger set with diamonds, 22-karat gold
• Marked with an owl maker’s mark for Loren Nicole, stamped 22k
• Earrings: 2¾ x 7/8 inches
• Ring: 1 3/8 x 3/4 x 1 1/8 inches
• Ring Size: 7
Loren Teetelli began her career as an archaeologist and worked as a conservator at the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York, while taking a class in ancient metalsmithing techniques. She began to create pieces under the name Loren Nicole in 2016. Her creations are inspired by the art and jewelry of ancient civilizations, combined with the actual metalsmithing techniques used by those ancient artisans, but Teetelli uses those techniques to create something modern, wearable, and beautiful.
Loren Teetelli’s jewelry designs are based in her exploration of ancient cultures. The design for this suite began with the pair of earrings and the extraordinary flexible chain, a painstaking Ancient Greek technique called loop-in-loop. The construction involves creating hundreds of rings of gold that are then heated and woven together, requiring no solder. Examples of this type of construction are found throughout the Greek galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, when Teetelli worked when she first began taking classes in jewelry construction. This particular form is round, snakey, and sinuous as it moves with the wearer.
Suspended from the chain is a polished-gold cone element attached to a granulated oblate sphereoid. Teetelli calls this the “Viking cushion” it is based on brooches in the collection of the British Museum from the Penrith Hoard, a collection of 10th-century Viking penannular brooches, many featuring an oblate sphere resembling a squished bead, or the shape of a fabric cushion. Teetelli was drawn to the seeming softness of the shape, balanced by the hardness of the metal. The form is covered by gold granulation, another painstaking ancient technique where each tiny sphere is placed individually on the curved surface.
The ring was designed to complement the earrings, created with two spheroids that nestle between the fingers, the largest is set with diamonds to contrast the textured granulated surface with cool facets. The Viking Cushion earrings and ring are a sculptural study of layered gold textures and geometric shapes. A combination of ancient forms and techniques, the jewels are surprisingly modern, and are supple and beautiful both in to hold and to wear.