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21 December 2017

The Most Intriguing Necklace in New York

A lot of people ask me how I decide what to make into jewelry. The plant and animal kingdom, after all, is a large monarchy. Simple, plain old inspiration and fascination; and a phone call from Warrie Price. Warrie is a category of her own. The president of The Battery Conservancy not only knows what is attractive stylistically but what attracts people to a space ephemerally. Yes, as a matter of fact, I can back up those big claims.

  1. It was Warrie who re-conjured the wild beauty of Manhattan acres once walked upon by George Washington, that we New Yorkers now know as The Battery When Warrie imagined a carousel, she did not see horses galloping. No, that would not be Warrie’s style. She wanted an ethereal, light-casting scene stealer. The best firm was hired,  the set designer for Little Mermaid George Tsypin, for Seaglass, a chambered nautilus shaped sculpture that spins captivated riders.
  2. When she needed a garden to narrate the space, she crossed the ocean to hire famed Dutch landscaper Piet Oudolf. It was his first project on these shores.
  3. When Warrie wanted a playground near SeaGlass, you can bet she tapped Frank Gehry. That will be unveiled soon.
So when Warrie says let's make some  jewelry for The Battery Conservancy, you instinctively grasp that she wants the necklace like no other necklace. She wants ground-breakingly different.

Hunting in the garden for a plant like no other

I studied the garden at The Battery to find the most botanically intriguing plant in Piet Oudolf’s living oeuvre.

I found my muse: Bowman’s Root.

It doesn’t simply arrive for the party in April, or fashionably late in May, then say buh-bye in October. No, the plant's interest peaks when its neighbors are dying back ... in the winter. That's when the skeletal beauty of Bowman’s Root emerges, morphing into alien-like stalks that catch snow in its empty cups. I love Bowman's Root for its weirdness and heartiness just like my fellow New Yorkers.

For more interest, Warrie and I decided to show all this herbaceous perennials phases on one necklace: the seed head, the flower, the shapely branch.

In the prototype stage: 

The most intriguing necklace prototype

And the finished necklace:

And, at a recent Battery luncheon, the Bowman made the rounds on necklines and lobes.

If you’re not around to witness the hauntingly beautiful drama unfold at The Battery, the entire story is told in my latest necklace .