Can’t manage a designer overhaul on your wardrobe this season? How about just one piece that will add spark to even the simplest of ensembles? Cue Christine J. Brandt, whose creations are more wearable art than they are jewelry. Brandt’s necklaces, rings, and cuffs have been featured in more than sixty magazines and were chosen as the accessories for Charlotte Ronson’s collection at New York Fashion Week last Spring. It’s not hard to see why. Each piece is painstakingly crafted from unvarnished, hand-oiled wood and semi-precious stones and minerals that “are not cut, polished or dyed.” In other words, they’re in as close to their natural state as possible.
Brandt was a sculptor for ten years before she tried her hand at making jewelry, so it makes sense that the materials she chooses are an integral part of the process. She seems to revel in using obscure woods like Aboynaburl, Cocobolo, and Purpleheart, and her arsenal of minerals and stones such as Urazote, Cleophane, and Chalcedony totals more than sixty.
$2,500-$5,000 a pop might seem a bit pricey for so-called semi-precious jewelry, but the process, from pairing the right wood to the right stone to the finished piece itself, is so time consuming that Brandt is only able to produce four rings a month if she works nonstop. And in the end you’ll have one of the most unique objets d’art that money can buy and you can wear.