Susan Suh “Freedom & Hope” Jewelry Collection
I have six butterfly tattoos, each corresponding to a pivotal moment in my life. For me, each tat represents a period of metamorphosis — whether it was a fortuitous, celebratory time or a trying, character-building stage. These inked designs, then, feel like a map of my life, a colorful journey through my ongoing self-development. By tattooing these butterflies on my skin, then, I basically asserted that these experiences are as much a fabric of my being as my flesh and blood. And, of course, butterflies have fascinated humans since the dawn of civilization. To some, they symbolize freedom and light. To others, they allude to rebirth. In ancient Greece, butterflies were believed to be the souls of our beloved ancestors, fluttering above our heads and watching over us.
They hold a special place in the literary canon and in ancient mythology – regardless of the culture in question.
When designing her Freedom & Hope collection, Tribeca-based jewelry designer Susan Suh tapped into both the symbolic and literal beauty of these winged creatures. For Suh, the predominant themes affiliated with butterflies were freedom and self-empowerment. By utilizing 18k gold, sterling silver and rhodium to create jewelry pieces inspired by the shape of butterfly wings, she was symbolically offering women their own set of wings, encouraging them to follow their own dreams and take flight. According to Suh, in order to live her own dream, she had to shed the fears weighing her down, hence becoming light enough to soar like a magnificent butterfly.
The collection, then, includes numerous earrings shaped like a variety of butterfly wings . Take, for example, the Wings with Stem Earrings (pictured second from top in 18k gold), which feature thin, solid, undulating strips that lead to carefully molded, cut-out forewing and hindwing silhouettes filled with tiny strips mimicking wing scales. The Petal Wing Earrings (pictured at top in sterling silver), meanwhile, feature more of an elongated teardrop shape, mirroring the form of rose petals, and the cut-outs therein are more sparse and hence create an airier feel. They're my personal favorites, with their feminine grace and the dash of color added by the single amethyst crystal adorning each of the earrings.
In addition to the array of wing-inspired earrings, the collection features brooches, necklaces and bracelets, all featuring interesting cut-outs that pay homage to the most beautiful of insects. Talk about a collection that will give you butterflies!
Susan Suh Sterling Silver Petal Wing Earrings, $295; Susan Suh Wings With Stem Earrings in 18k gold; price available upon request; and Susan Suh 8 Wings Bracelet in 18k yellow gold, price available upon request. Visit SusanSuh.com