Meriken-Metals

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Mima Pejoska, the lead-designer on the Osmytza Collection, is back in Macedonia, but she’s still helping Meriken Metals bring beautiful filigree jewelry to the world. These five classic styles are available online now. And stay tuned - we’re setting to work on some new designs that we hope to release this fall. www.MerikenMetals.com

ANCIENT MODS UPDATE, 1/1/12 - RESPECT (14th century, South America)

Pair of Ear Ornaments

Culture - Chimu
Date -14th-15th Century
Period - Pre-Columbian
Region - South America
Materials - Silver and gold
Dimensions -12.1 cm
Repository - Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, New York
Website - http://www.metmuseum.org

 

Vancouver, your very own Rick and Michelle Gilmour of Adorned Precision Body Arts have brought some amazing jewelry to Canada and we’re proud to be in their collection! Go check out their new shop opening next week, and see these filigree beauties (by Mima Pejoska of Meriken Metals) and a few pairs of Titanium Vortex Plugs as well. www.merikenmetals.com

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ANCIENT MODS UPDATE, 1/9/12 - My Precious, Jade (Middle Formative Period, Olmec)

I’ve posted a lot of Gold objects recently, but One Tribe’s recent post made me take another look at the archives of Pre-Columbian ear spools. The value of material is usually related to rarity to a certain extent, but in modern times it seems the disappearance of precious minerals (due to rampant consumption) is becoming the almost exclusive factor in desirability as well:

"Sometimes we get gasps when we quote jade pieces from some of our rarer reserves. This article just hit the news at the end of December and we have been paying attention to this for some time. The demand in Asia for jades is so high that they are scouting the world. A fellow we know recently sold a 300lb nephrite boulder to some folks who exported it back to Asia, and we also know that right now, there are representatives in Guatemala buying up Motagua jadeite for shipment back to the East. The business of jade is much more complex than most people realize, and unfortunately speculation and large scale consumer demand for something will always create tension within the markets and drive up prices. Despite this, we will continue to collect and reserve material for traditional adornments for as long as it’s feasible, because we believe that this material and its rich cultural history in the Americas must not fade away." - Onetribe Organics (via Facebook) www.onetribe.nu

Hopefully people will learn to place value in another thing that is critically rare: the talent of hand-craftsmanship kept alive by companies like Onetribe. Anyway, here’s a link to the article referred to above: http://chinawatch.washingtonpost.com/2011/12/jade-craze-takes-hold.php

First Image:
Pair of Incised Earspools 

Culture - Olmec
Period - Middle Formative Period
Region - Mesoamerica
Location: La Venta, Tabasco, Mexico
Materials - Jade
Dimensions - 6.6 x 6.3cm
Repository - Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City, Mexico
Website - http://www.mna.inah.gob.mx/

Second Image:
Pair of Chuconhueso Guatemalan Jadeite Flowers 

Culture - One Tribe
Period - Early 21st Century
Region - North America
Location - Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A
Website - http://www.onetribe.nu

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Getting ready for APP by letting Mima take filigree to a new level, like with these 1.5” (38mm) beauties. They have free rotating hollow orbs of fine silver filigree floating in the center. We’ll share more this week, so keep watch. www.merikenmetals.com

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Ancient Mods Update, 12-1-11 (#2) - Before the Moustache…

We are continuing with the theme of “Nariguera” today thanks to a beautiful image submitted to BodyArtForms. This nose is wearing the Foppish style pyrex septum moustache by Jesse Templin of Somatic Glass. Note how dramatically this jewelry impacts our perception of the individual by its prominent positioning on the face, which is central to establishing identity. The septum can bear a substantial amount of weight, and its location along the central axis of the body and on the foremost portion of the skull makes it an ideal spot to mount objects that can integrate or transform the perception of those around us.

This was quite evidently exploited by Precolumbian cultures, as can be seen with the three gold artifacts pictured above. These nose ornaments emerged from various cultures that existed in Pre-Columbian South America. Gold working traditions in this area have produced beautiful objects since around 1500 BC. 

Here is as much information on these objects as I can track down at the moment:

Ancient Nose Ornament #1:
Culture - Columbian, Sinú
Date - 5th-10th century
Location - South America, Columbia
Measurements - 1979.206.541: H. 7/8 x W. 4 7/8 in. (2.2 x 12.4 cm); 1979.206.545: H. 1 1/4 x W. 7 1/4 in. (3.2 x 18.4 cm)
Material - Gold
ID Number - 4821, 5411
Style - Zenu
Repository - The Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Website - http://www.metmuseum.org

Ancient Nose Ornament #2:
Culture - Quimbaya, Period V or VI
Date - 200-1500 CE
Measurements - 0.95 cm x 11.11 cm x 0.64 cm (3/8 in. x 4 3/8 in. x 1/4 in.)
Material - Gold
Identification # - PC.B.404
Repository - Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Pre-Columbian Collection, Washington, DC. 
Website - http://museum.doaks.org/Obj22981?sid=802&x=48434

Ancient Nose Ornament #3:
Culture - South American; Columbian
Measurements - 6 7/8 (17.5 cm)
Material - Gold
Identification # - 53497.1
Repository - Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
Website - http://www.famsf.org

 

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Some changes are coming from a bit of reflecting on my first two years of business. Certainly I’ve become more confident at the jewelry bench in fabricating designs by hand consistently and in a wide range of sizes. Mostly, though, I’m angry at myself for letting my ambition overwhelm my ability to complete a few projects on time.

I have learned that:

A: Profit is not my goal. Inspired design is.
B: Mass-manufacturing is not my goal. Expert craftsmanship is.
C: Being the cheapest is not my goal. Constant innovation is.

When I confused those priorities, I found trouble. So I am scaling back to focus on making Meriken as good as I know it can be. I think a few of you have enjoyed my jewelry, and if so, I’m sure you’ll let others know. And if in turn they desire my work, then they’ll get in touch. So I’m going to be patient, stop chasing sales, and let good work go into the world.

I want our relationship to be based on the Art of the identity that you are crafting for yourself, not the anonymity of commerce or the arrogance of profits.

So you’ll see that the website is evolving into a portfolio-style presentation, with base price-points listed, and large images of each piece from our core collections. It includes the tumblr feed that is, in effect, our Open Studio. So if an experiment or prototype catches your eye, you can chat with us about tailoring a piece for you. I am trying to encourage open dialogue before purchase. It is you, and not your money, that is the biggest factor in my success. I have found it’s easier to converse for a minute than to configure a million variables online, so you’ll be able to send me a message from any page of the site. That way we can have all the specs for customization and production time squared away before you send any payments my way.

And because my day job keeps the heat on, but also requires a lot of travel, there will be periods where production has to briefly shut down. Dates will be clearly posted on the site, and I hope to leverage that time outside of the “making process” to conceive of more unique designs. For instance, after I get back from New York, Paris, and Hong Kong this March, we are planning a new release of Osmytza Filigree plugs that I think you’ll find worth the wait. I hope that the occasional forced downtime won’t get in the way too much. Our modifications are a part of who we are, and they’re not going away anytime soon.

Anyway, I just wanted to share these thoughts with you, so you know what’s going on behind the screen. Thanks for reading, and for making it possible to do what we do.

-Ryan Holandes
Owner, Lead-designer of Meriken Metals
1/1/14

www.MerikenMetals.com