So what is travel-inspired design? Well, for me, it is the artistic sum of my experiences & impressions of a destination. Simply put, it is my representation of the art, architecture & culture of a place in the form of jewelry design.
Scroll down+ to see a detailed look into the creative process using Porte d’Italia (doors of Italy) as our case study in Travel-Inspired Design.
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Travel-inspired design is a fancier way of what I like to call “designing while walking around,” albeit walking around with intent. When I began to explore Paris in the late 90s, I found myself being influenced by the many different and unique details I saw all around me. The buildings, the bridges and lampposts, and most certainly the great cathedrals and churches—nearly every surface is embellished by rich and intricate detail. Soon I began to incorporate some of what I saw into my jewelry designs.
Buildings that are five feet apart in space may be separated by five hundred years in time. Taking all of this in, I began to sketch out new ideas for jewelry designs, using concepts and motifs I had never before considered. My first designs came out of visits to Paris, but soon I discovered central Italy as a vital source of new inspiration, its warm, rustic nature providing a natural contrast to the refined elegance of Paris.
Thus began a very interesting shift in the direction of Christian Caine Design. All of our current fashion collections can trace their origins to a specific destination somewhere in the world. Even as I continue to work primarily in France and Italy, new areas of inspiration include Iceland, London, and Barcelona.
Being open to the possibilities of new locations offers opportunities to explore different styles and techniques, and so I embrace the new. What I have learned over the last two decades, or so, is that this is who I am as a designer, and this is what gives Christian Caine its unique identity.—Christopher
If you want to know more about the creation of this design, Porte d’Italia, click the link below to reveal its story.
Decorative, wrought-iron transoms are common throughout central Italy where the summers are very hot and humid. Once I started noticing them I became fascinated by the variety of styles used in their creation. I especially liked this one I discovered near the Pitti Palace, not only for its design, but for its deeply textured patina that can only come from long exposure to the elements.—Christopher
Central and southern Italy are very hot in the summer. In the days before air conditioning, transom windows were commonly installed above street-level doors which allowed cooling breezes in, but kept intruders out. The variation of designs seems endless and there may be a few new “Porte” designs yet to come.
Although the basic form is a direct translation of the transom’s original lines into a smaller size, I wanted to convey as much of the original texture as possible. I also needed to provide a means for attaching the new design to a chain, earring wires, and a ring shank. I started working on the details during an afternoon break at a café.
With the design already established, the new piece went into production almost immediately upon my return to the Shepherdstown Showroom. Modeling the design in CAD allowed for meant the first silver versions went through the final polishing and stone-setting steps within weeks of getting home.
All Porte d’Italia pendants are highly detailed and textured. The bail is made of hand-twisted 14k rose gold. Each gemstone version of the pendant measures approximately one inch across.
Our Porte d’Italia comes in diamond and colored gemstone versions. Diamond pendants are offered in the standard 1″ size and a smaller, 3/4″ size, and are available in an all 14k rose gold option.
The ring versions of Porte d’Italia features a unique by-pass shank design, and each features the same level of detail and texture as the larger pendants.
The 18-inch chain’s simple toggle closure is ornamented by a 14k rose gold quatrefoil element, our signature touch on this exclusive item.
Through the month of November, pre-order any of our Travel-Inspired Designs at 30% off and be guaranteed delivery before Christmas. Use the code 30years at checkout to receive the discount.
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