There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion. - Sir Francis Bacon
These are the words that jeweler Liz Phillips designs by. “I tend to be drawn to things that aren’t entirely correct or beautiful in an obvious way,” she acknowledges. It’s a visual belief that is most apparent in Liz’s surprising gem pairings, self-described as “a bit off" -- deep violet amethysts surrounded by tsavorite, stormy labradorites anchored to a black pavé band, and bright emeralds big enough to swim in.
Though she recently moved her studio from Santa Fe to Brooklyn, Liz continues to work with her long-standing production team in Jaipur. She spends three months in The Pink City every year, sourcing and designing alongside a community of creatives. For anyone who has experienced this famously colorful city in Northern India, it’s a sensory overload of sights and sounds, and one that is a fitting source of inspiration for Liz’s work. “It was a planned city, created in the 18th century, and from the beginning there was a great tradition of patronage to the arts. So the best artists and craftsman came to Jaipur and you still feel that legacy today,” explains Liz. In the buildings, textiles, and people of the city are the colors she captures in her jewelry.
For a designer who doesn’t shy away from any stone, Liz still plays favorites. “I have always loved labradorite. It always looks to me like some kind of magical, shimmering storm is raging inside of the stone! But I also absolutely love spinels. They occur in all sorts of pretty, subtle colors -- dusky pinks, purples, and blues -- but I love the bright red ones. You see them a lot in old Mughal jewelry…gobstopper-sized red spinel drops! They’re just amazing.”
Experience Liz Phillips' color-filled world at Catbird's Williamsburg flagship and online.