Resist the Urge to Eat This Jewelry
Jewelry designers are incorporating colorful, festive elements straight from the produce section to create necklaces, bracelets, and other wearables that are a feast for the eyes.
If it weren't for the matters of physics and insects, I'd wear pieces of fresh fruit all the time. Mother Nature has a flair for the fabulous, and some of her most audacious work is in the edible realm. Consider the jewellike arils of a halved pomegranate, the kiss-POW! color pop of a ripened cherry, a banana's sunny perma-grin. There's a reason all those artistic masters of yore—not to mention Nancy Meyers—chose to fixate on fruit. Aside from all the symbolic (religion, sex, cash, et al.) razzmatazz, it's just plain stunning.
In the mid-'90s when I was working on my MFA in metalsmithing, I'd safety-pin plastic cherries and rubber lemon slices to my outfits in what I thought was a cheeky, punk rock homage to this Old Masters aesthetic (also I was broke and couldn't afford to work with precious metals or stones). But in the years since, I've come to deeply, possibly obsessively appreciate and collect jewelry crafted by artists who clearly share my lust for these lovely forms.
Tatty Devine, the jewelry company founded in 1999 by Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine, so perfectly captures this playful bliss that I had to buy a small cabinet just to hold the necklaces and pins I buy the second a limited edition collection is released, or that I scour for on eBay. Tatty's iconic acrylic Velvet Underground-ish banana necklace is the way I initially slipped into their cult following, but surprise drops continually reveal new pieces I can't resist, so I keep my eyes ever-peeled. (tattydevine.com)
Enchanted Pomegranate Pendulum Earrings
Editorial Lead of Food at Food52 Margaret Eby is a paragon of bold, poppy style (she's totally borrowed my Tatty fruit) and thoroughly rocks the handmade leather jewelry of Brit-based Rowenna Harrison, a.k.a. Rosita Bonita. Her screen printed earrings and necklaces evoke an Edenic dreamscape where pomegranates, orchids, hummingbirds, and the occasional serpent gorgeously commingle. (rositabonita.com)
Dragon Fruit and Strawberry Necklaces
Debbie Tuch has mastered the craft of slivering, drying, and preserving real fruit slices while preserving their inherent appeal, and even enhances the razzle-dazzle with a layer of glitter-flecked resin. The dragon fruit packs plenty of raw rawwwr, and the strawberry sliver is somehow made extra-luscious, but feel free to venture into Glitterlimes' sparkled blood orange, persimmons, signature limes and beyond. (glitterlimes.com)
Fresh Papaya Perler Beads Statement Earrings
Aaliyah Taylor crafts her poppy, pixelated renditions of watermelons, cherries, papayas, and more under the name Exalting In Beauty, and you know what? Accurate. It's impossible not to grin when you catch a glimpse of your face flanked by these vibrant, gigantic yet featherlight earrings. Brace for compliments. (etsy.com/shop/exaltinginbeauty)
Orange and Lemon Bracelet
I fell in love with Caramia Visick's bold, beautiful cast resin designs via a bird necklace my husband gave me (seriously, I can't leave the house without strangers asking where I got it), and was thrilled to learn that Hotcakes Design's retro-stunner asethetic extends to fruit. Come for the citrus-studded resin chain bracelet, and nab the strawberry, raspberry, pear, pawpaw, and further fruit bedecked pieces (yup, there are necklaces, keychains, and more) as well. (shopatfavor.com)
Full disclosure: Pnut Jewelry designer Rusty Pistachio was a classmate in my metalsmithing days, but that's exactly why I have remained in such awe of his work over the decades. Not only does he make the most excellently edgy and exquisitely crafted jewelry (like these cheeky cherries); he's also a bona fide rock star. When Pistachio isn't on tour or recording with his hardcore band H20, he's at the bench making pieces for celebrities and civilians alike. (pnutjewelry.com)