The Story Behind the Nomos Collection
Being married to a Greek-American, my life is always peppered with Greek thoughts, sayings, and delicious Greek food. Being obsessed with gemstones, their crystal structures and colors, and the way they are formed in the earth… well, it is two things that were bound to come together at some point!
The word nomos comes from the ancient Greek term for law and order – a “force” that battled phusis – nature and chaos. The ancient Greeks put everything into categories and pretty much everything is either on the side of nomos (order) or on the side of physis (nature). The gods they created and worshiped were there to create order out of chaos.
If you’ve been following my jewelry journey, you know that nature is fascinating to me, especially in the geology and gemology world. Rocks and gemstones are created through violent and extreme occurrences: high heat, great pressure, movement of earth and minerals. The fact that one can find perfect variants of crystal cubic structures and a variety of incredible colors buried within the ground is mind-blowing to me. How is it possible that so many hues exist? How do these delicate structures survive over time, erosion, and destruction (human or environmental)?! You can see why nature fascinates me.
This new collection, Nomos, celebrates the geometric and graphic wonders Nature gifts us. Precise, geometrically hued gems born out of powerful and intense situations. This “wild” and “disorganized” birth becomes Nomos when the gems and rocks grow into their absolute, formed crystal structures. Furthermore, when different chemical elements are introduced, it actually changes the colors of the stone that is growing: this is the nomos I am highlighting.
One of my favorite examples is the Red/Black/Green Earrings featuring intensely tri-hued Sonorian jasper. Found in Mexico, this rare stone is a mixture of bluish green chrysocolla and orangey-red cuprite, often with boundary lines of black from either iron or the mineral tenorite. Here, I rely on the lapidaries (aka stone cutters) to cut massive hunks of haphazardly patterned rough stone into smaller pieces for use in jewelry. While maximizing the beauty of the design in the shape they cut. Here, nomos comes into play again, bringing the “chaos” under control by creating order through distinct lines of patterns and boundaries.
The overall look of this collection is a departure from where I’ve been. In fact, it harkens back to the very first jewelry pieces I made, right after my graduation from college with a graphic design degree. When I’m dreaming up a new jewelry collection, I like to challenge myself on what I can do differently. But my first job is to choose the group of stones to highlight. When I put out my trays of gems in front of me and studied them, these graphic stones jumped out at me and rang a bell in my mind, recalling influential art movements such as De Stijl and Bauhaus. Each of these gems is a striking example of color and pattern – miniature artworks from Nature like a Josef Albers color study or a Mondrian composition.
Every Nomos jewel is an exercise in restraint, with emphasis on simplicity in materials, structure, shape and color. The collection is modern, it's streamlined, and the settings are smooth 18k yellow gold bezels surrounding a stone with no extra prongs or fuss. The metal is a matte finish instead of reflectively polished, so as to fade away into the background; allowing each stone to showcase its extraordinary color pattern without distraction. All of these details allow the viewer to focus on the piece as a whole – to see the bold lines and overall shape of the jewel as a complete object instead of multiple components. Each jewel representing perfectly organized order emerged out of the chaos.
Nomos at its finest.
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