Bella Neyman Selects

Bella Neyman

Independent curator and journalist Bella Neyman is a big name in the New York City jewellery scene. As a past Directory of New York’s only contemporary jewellery gallery and co-founder of New York City Jewellery Week, she knows a thing or two about the latest trends and most exciting talent working in the jewellery world today.

See her selection of Goldsmiths’ Fair 2021 exhibitors below.

Not being able to travel to London and see the gorgeous and very diverse selection of jewellery is truly heart-breaking. I already got a taste for what I was going to see after I spoke with exhibitors Ellis Mhairi Cameron and Ella Fearon-Low this past week. I knew that I was in for a real treat and expected a panoply of forms, materials, textures, colours. I was certainly not disappointed and ready to book my tickets for next year!

Graduated Curb Chain by Lucie Gledhill

If I were to walk the Fair, I would have made a beeline for Lucie Gledhill’s work. I am familiar with her monumental work “Rope is Patient” and was hoping to see her work for the first time at Schmuck in 2020. I normally do not gravitate to chains, but Lucie’s chains are different. Lucie employs beautiful timeless hand-crafted traditions, to make work which speaks to our humanity. I love the large “exhibition only” work but I also love these very wearable and chic graduated curb chains. I can just feel the weight of the links in my hand and I can imagine how beautifully the chain lies just below the collar.  It is simple perfection. So easy but so complicated at that same time.

‘Censored Anger’ cufflinks by Caiyang Yin

I do not wear cufflinks but I am always on the lookout for the perfect pair for my husband. These cufflinks, originally modelled in CAD, then cast, and finally finished by hand are unlike anything that I have seen before. Actually, they remind me of the work of the German- Austrian artist Franz Xaver Messerschmidt and his “Character Heads” series (1770-83) which are sculpted busts of exaggerated facial expressions, similar to these cufflinks. I believe that jewellery should provoke emotion and any work that also captures emotion as well as tries to express what so many of us are feeling is truly deserving of accolades.

Cloud ring by Leonid Dementiev

I love the ring form as a space for exploration. The brooch, the most common way for jewellers to express their creativity, is typical but I think rings are more challenging because there are more constraints. The wave motif which Leonid Dementiev has made a trademark makes up the entirety of the shank must feel nice against the skin. Additionally the fresh factor lies in the placement of the Baroque pearl on the interior as if it is floating in space. The Cloud ring is truly ethereal.

Rock Pool 18ct Wide Custom Colour Pop Ring by Jenny House

Origin 31 and its founder Jenny House have been getting a lot of attention lately and it is easy to see why. I absolutely adore this Rock Pool Colour Pop Ring. I am a sucker for colour, texture, and the use of enamel in jewellery. The placement of the blue sapphires alongside the enamel is a really unique and thoughtful moment and the texture is really neat. I also like that you can see a bit of skin through the ring. It’s like it’s been torn apart and oozing with possibilities.

Conversation Earrings by Gearry Suen

What can I say about these Conversation earrings by Gearry Suen other than I can talk about them all day long because they are stars! I have been watching Gearry’s work for a while and I am constantly impressed. I think his work is next level, the intersection of traditional hand craftsmanship and 3D technology is not new, but his colour palette, textures, and overall aesthetic and the way he mixes precious and semi-precious materials is like modern day wizardry. On NYC Jewellery Week’s website we have a special online feature called Exhibitionist, this year curated by Jodie Marie Smith, and Geary is one of the six jewellers that she selected. His work has major wow factor. We love it at NYC Jewellery Week!

International Introducing: Maggi Simpkins from Los Angeles, USA

I really miss seeing jewellery in person and earlier this month I was fortunate to meet Los Angeles based jeweller Maggi Simpkins in New York. Simpkins was one of the 21 jewellers who participated in the ground-breaking exhibition called Brilliant & Black: A Jewelry Renaissance curated by Melanie Grant and Frank B. Everett at Sotheby’s New York. Simpkins, inspired by her client’s love stories, creates one of a kind engagement rings. The Peacock Ring is unlike any jewel that I have seen in recent months or years! Not only has Simpkins captured the grandiosity of the peacock’s tail by selecting and matching the most beautifully coloured stones such as sapphires, emeralds, and teal blue diamonds but she has grounded these around an emerald-cut diamond that weighs 10.12 carats. What you can’t see in this photo is that on the backside of the ring there are two gold peacock feathers on both sides.  I think any peacock- or me-  would be proud to flaunt this gorgeous ring (it is just my size and in my price range)!