Pearls of wis­dom wins award

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - KEL­LEY TAN­TAU

A unique hand­crafted pearl bracelet made by a Hamil­ton gold­smith has won top hon­ours at an Aus­tralian jew­ellery de­sign com­pe­ti­tion.

Ly­naire Kibblewhite’s piece, which cre­ates an op­ti­cal il­lu­sion of pearls mov­ing in wa­ter, was se­lected over other de­sign­ers in the Aus­tralian and New Zealand mar­ket to win the pearl cat­e­gory at the Jew­ellery De­sign Awards, at the 2017 In­ter­na­tional Jew­ellery Fair in Syd­ney.

Pearls have al­ways been Kibblewhite’s gem of choice.

‘‘There’s no other gem like it in the world. They started find­ing pearls about 3000 BC and they didn’t have to do any­thing to them.

‘‘They were au­to­mat­i­cally beau­ti­ful,’’ she said.

Kibblewhite’s win­ning bracelet, Danc­ing Light, fea­tures 10 re­gal-look­ing gob­lets made from 9 carat white gold which each hold a coloured pearl sourced from Aus­tralia, Fiji, Tahiti and the Philippines.

She said the win was tes­ta­ment to her ‘‘ob­ses­sion’’ with South Sea pearls.

‘‘Usu­ally it just catches my eye,’’ she said.

Kibblewhite buys her pearls in pairs or strands. Like Danc­ing Light, she prefers to cre­ate pieces that are one of a kind.

‘‘The idea be­hind this piece of jew­ellery was to use light to en­hance the beau­ti­ful pearls.

‘‘There’s enor­mous power and ro­mance be­hind the his­tory of pearls which have been cov­eted for over 6000 years. No two pearls pro­duced by an oys­ter are ever the same,’’ she said.

Kibblewhite ex­per­i­ments with dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als and met­als to trans­form pearls from be­ing ex­clu­sively tra­di­tional to be­ing ev­ery­day ac­ces­sories.

If she were to align her­self to any style, it would be Ital­ian.

‘‘I want to move away from peo­ple stereo­typ­ing them with the 1950s. Coco Chanel made them re­ally hip, then they moved into be­ing less hip and far more for­mal,’’ she said.

Hav­ing now been judged the best piece of pearl jew­ellery in Aus­trala­sia, the win­ning bracelet has yet to find a per­ma­nent home.

‘‘The piece is def­i­nitely for sale. I would love some­one to en­joy wear­ing it, as much as I have had the plea­sure in cre­at­ing it.’’

Kibblewhite hopes the win will help give her brand greater ex­po­sure and she plans to hold pri­vate ex­hi­bi­tions and cre­ate a ‘‘pop-up shop’’ in the near fu­ture.

Hamil­ton gold­smith Ly­naire Kibblewhite cre­ates jew­ellery us­ing her favourite gem - pearls.

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