Just as a great painting is enhanced by the perfect frame, your natural beauty can be complemented by fine jewelry. Handcrafted in New York by accomplished artists Graham Tabor and Miguel Villalobos, the 1-100 collection features wearable sculptural silver and leather accessories. Each piece is a masterpiece designed to make you shine.
While rhapsodizing over the distinctive earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings showcased on Fab tomorrow, we asked the two modern masters to tell us more about the methods behind their magic.
Why are you drawn to making jewelry?
Jewelry is like creating wearable sculpture. You can still create it in a very direct, hands-on way. We personally touch all the pieces and materials that go into the process and the work, and that is really important for us.
Another element that really matters to us is that it’s possible to make everything here in New York. The entire process is either done in our Manhattan studio or a short distance away. Nothing is sent overseas to a factory, which allows a lot more freedom in the process.
What does jewelry mean to you in terms of personal adornment?
Jewelry is like a modern talisman. Someone will often wear the same piece of jewelry every day for three months. In this way it becomes very intimate—part of the personal ritual we go through every morning. It taps into our tribal nature as humans and forms a part of the way we identify ourselves.
Why do you like working with silver?
We want our pieces to be timeless. They are modern and push boundaries, but they are not about being for the right season or being last season. We look at it as creating classics of the future. It’s really common for someone to buy a piece we made 3 years ago and mix it with a piece we made 3 months ago.
There is an intrinsic value to silver as a precious metal, which reinforces this idea of timelessness. It’s is also a material that can be worked in a very intimate and organic way. We make pieces straight in the material and experiment with it directly in our studio. We don’t have to wait 3 weeks for samples to come back forged by a foreign hand. The intimacy that it allows us really informs our designs and the pieces we create.
Can you describe your process, from initial idea to the execution?
Our process is very open and can take all different forms. It can start with points as diverse as tying knots in rope and using it as a base to sculpt in wax, or melting silver directly and experimenting with how it flows.
We’re very inspired by materials. We always do a lot of mood research spending time at the libraries at the Met or MOMA and searching for new materials that excite us, but the work is really defined by what happens when we start working with the materials and touching them with our own hands.
What is the theme for the collection on Fab?
All of the pieces in the series on Fab involve removing things from the normal context or reinterpreting and abstracting them to create something new.
There are several ways this evolves in the selection. One is the dialectic between trying to achieve perfection and embracing the natural rawness and organic shapes natural to the human hand, and what happens when these two collide. Another concept at play in some of the pieces is experimenting with modularity and seeing how far a restricted set of small uniform units can be expanded and re-interpreted to create dramatic shapes. Finally there are pieces that use nautical knots as the basis, which are broken apart, fused to other knots, and re-interpreted.
See more striking sculptural adornments in Friday’s 1-100 event.