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August 18, 2009

Natural Beauty

Picture 13   Imagine diamonds so pretty you could almost faint...that were sustainably obtained and had little or no environmental impact. Diamonds in the raw. That's the way Todd Reed likes his diamonds. And after seeing them, so do I. Picture 14 Now before you go getting all bleary eyed thinking I've gone green, I haven't. (Unless of course you count the fact these pixels are recycled every day and no humans or plants were harmed in the process. But I'm getting off topic now.) I just hadn't seen pieces like Todd's before. They remind me of an exhibit I saw on the ancient civilization of Ur. The very first civilization known to man. Once we got beyond the velvet ropes and crowds, we were able to step up the the protected glass cases to see the adornments and jewels created by these Sumerians. Picture 12You might be tempted to think that what we saw was primitive at best. Truly, we were impressed. Ornate headpieces sat alongside heavily jeweled necklaces. (If you think those Vegas showgirls wear heavy headpieces, you should see some of the findings in the Ur exhibit. You'll start thanking your lucky stars your neck doesn't have to hold us such strain - even if the muscles were holding up solid gold.)

Todd's pieces are very reminiscent of these Sumerian works of art. Straightforward, elegant, natural, but completely and deliberately composed. he seems to recognize the natural beauty of the stones and the metal - without feeling the need to polish and buff them into perfection.

The structure and arrangement of his pieces are entirely modern. Bold geometric shapes, oversize stones. They are positively breathtaking. But his attitude towards his craft is equally mesmerizing:

My work using raw diamond cubes and other natural diamond shapes...

It started as a way to question society about the idea of perceived value. In particular how value and perceived value relate to ideas of beauty or perfection that have become norms of society.

There are certain ad campaigns, such as, "She'll like you at a half carat, but she'll love you at a carat.", that prompted me to make this line of jewelry. This would be a line of jewelry that really did use the most perfect diamond in the world, the actual raw diamond. Uncut. Unpolished. Natural, perfect geometry. That was around 1994 when this idea really started to take off.

I am a self-taught goldsmith and metalsmith, and very much enjoy the hard work that goes into each piece. I have been extremely fortunate in that my work has won many international awards, and is frequently included in books, trade publications, and consumer magazines. My work can be seen at the finest shows and exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world. My work continues to grow as I grow, and I am still inspired by most everything. Beauty and nature are endless inspiration.

Maybe you don't have to be buffed and polished into a smoother more plastic version of yourself. Maybe the real you, imbalances and all, are where the real beauty is hidden. Maybe "artful arrangement" as Todd Reed has mastered is the better aproach. Allow your own bold beauty to shine through as the masterpiece you were created to be.

What the beautiful people are saying...

Seriously, you need to wipe the drool off my laptop. I am in LOVE!!! Does he have a website?

I first came across rough diamonds in some designs of Solange Azagury-Partridge. Check her out. You're going to love her.

Something to say, gorgeous?

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