Behind the Scenes & Sparkles


Of course every artist and designer works differently but what unites most of the designers selected to present their work with & Sparkles is a conceptual approach to their work.  By conceptual design we mean the creation and exploration of ideas through jewelry and objects.  A concept is an idea often inspired by nature or art, but it can also be inspired by a simple feeling or observation.


Barbara Nanning, for example, always starts with an idea.  The idea for her “Galaxy Ring” started 25 years ago when, inspired by our own universe, she started thinking about its shape and the relevant implications.  Like most designers she put pen to paper and started generating sketches where all the myriad possibilities of her core shape could be fully explored.




With her sketches Nanning then started experimenting with different materials like ceramics, glass and stoneware, creating 3d shapes of various sizes. Some designers prefer to draw by hand, others introduce computers and technology earlier in the creative process.  It is a personal decision, but Nanning prefers to sculpt by hand.


With her 3d shapes, Nanning was then ready to take her “Galaxy” concept a step further.  Initially more art then design, she introduced materials, size and colour and thought about environments where her sculpture would make best sense.


Because depending on its environment, the Galaxy concept can be reinterpreted and refined.  At its earliest stages Nanning never envisioned it working for jewelry, but soon realized that art and design ultimately emerge from a similar noble modesty.




So when & Sparkles approached her with this invitation to collaborate it felt natural to look at different ways her work could be translated into wearable jewelry.  The “Galaxy Ring” is the result.


And now & Sparkles clients can become a part of Nanning’s creative process by customizing her “Galaxy Ring” using the metal and precious gem of their choice.  This represents how & Sparkles likes to draw its customers into a more open creative process.



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