18 December 2009

Mon Idee Fixe: Rings!

I've had an obsession with rings since I was a little girl. I still remember my very first "real" ring, a golden topaz set in gold. When I lost it I was heartbroken. But that didn't stop me wanting more. And lately there are so many amazing custom jewelers doing beautiful designs (and some a bit risque... ahem Miss Wendy Brandes, no worry, you're my kind of gal!)

I recently purchased a few custom rings from the lovely Etsy seller, Renee Andriole. She hand makes the rings to fit your whichever finger you like and the designs are simple and elegant with a definitely tough-girl edge! Right up my alley. Queen Michelle turned me on to her and we both purchased the "sickle" ring. J'adore!

Photo by Rene Andriole in sterling silver Sickle Ring

My past life as a lingerie designer as well as "exotic wear" (we joke that since I'm a direct descendant of Betsy Ross, she's probably rolling in her grave -- the flag to g-strings? heehee!) her other design entitled "corset" really appealed as well. Renee is great to work with, as I didn't care for either the silver or gold lacing, and asked if she could do a gunmetal lacing. It came out not only unique, but totally me.

Photo by Renee Andriole, Corset Ring in sterling silver with Silver Lacing

A little about Renee in her own words "A little about me, originally from NY, then Miami, and now in Los Angeles. I'm a jewelry designer and artist. I studied fine art in Miami with a focus in small metal work. My medium is metal and I work mostly with sterling silver and create unique edgy designs that are as ever-changing as my mood. Everything is handcrafted by me from my studio here in Los Angeles California.
Life is a constant ebb and flow of contradictions and juxtapositions and living is riding it all out without going crazy. What do you do with all the crazy? I let it all out in the creation of things, with no rules, just crazy.....I get to just make it all up. And the design changes constantly like life, it's never what you expect..."

Wendy Brandes does what I would consider slightly more high-end jewelry with a definite sense of humour! A brief piece from her bio says "Wendy Brandes is strongly influenced by the stories of fascinating women, whether they lived in the 16th century or the Swinging '60s. She creates pieces that are bold and eye-catching, yet feminine and organic. Mechanical pieces that open and close, unscrew or twist are her specialties."

I'm completely enamoured of her "swear" rings. My potty mouth is enough to make a sailor blush, so perhaps I could just flash those rings instead?

Photo From Wendy Brandes, Swear Ring Set of Four, in sterling silver by Wendy Brandes for Christian Francis Roth

I'm also drooling (seriously) over her Onyx skull ring. That is one of the most unique designs I have ever seen. Made from 18K gold, onyx, tsavorites, diamonds. Um won't be purchasing anytime soon, in spite of the fact that I think Wendy used me as inspiration. (only half kidding!)

Photo by Wendy Brandes Onyx Skull Ring (oh please don't make me repeat the glorious that is this ring!)

"Santa Baby, I've been an awful good girl" Screw all that other shit Eartha Kitt asks for, just this will do me fine!

And since this is my damn blog and I'll blog whatever the hell I want in spite of the fact that the title is rings.... Here are two more of Wendy's divine, and humourous designs.

I LOVE Bats! Yes, I'm a bat-shit old lady, and have always loved bats! Lookie here a bat necklace!
Photo by Wendy Brandes Bat Necklace in sterling silver

I told you Wendy had a sense of humour (and an amazing sense of style, sigh.) Here is her "Virginia Wolf Whistle"! Made in gold, it opens to reveal a little wolf with diamond eyes. Best part the whistle really works!

Photo by Wendy Brandes Virginia Wolf Whistle in gold

And lastly one more "what the hell I can do what I want" a gorgeous chain mail bracelet from Renee Andriole. Tough, but something very delicate about it.

Photo by Renee Andriole Silver Chainmaille Bracelet in silver

I do apologize for the lack of photos of my actual Renee Andriole pieces. Camera went on the fritz and I'm waiting with bated breath for the new one to come! Once it comes I think I'll do a little collection post of all my crazy rings!

Links: Renee Andriole: http://www.etsy.com/shop/reneeandriole
Wendy Brandes Queen of the Potty Mouth (I don't care what any asswipe award says): http://www.wendybrandes.com/

If you're looking for unique pieces that will not only illicit compliments but bring great joy to those you gift them to (even yourself!) these fabulous jewelry artists will not disappoint!



  1. Thanks for the good press, girl! I definitely want to see the swear rings on you...

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post -- you are an amazing artist! Sadly the rings will have to wait for a bit, from end of Nov to end of Dec we are bombarded with birthdays in addition to holidays so moolah is tight! But one day they will be mine MUAHAHAHA!


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