Write Your Style Wrongs With Costis Jewelry’s Pencil-Inspired Pieces
Though there’s a plethora of fine jewelry designers, few can truly be described as having a delightfully novel perspective, a boundary-pushing approach to design. Many boast excellent metalworking skills, others utilize the finest gems and stones, and others are incredibly adept at faceting and setting crystals, re-purposing found materials or relying on unusual mediums ranging from buttons to resin and bamboo. But how many can transcend the realm of the beautiful and create something that’s both inspiring in its aesthetic glory and its cleverness? Well, that’s the space in which Grecian designer Costis Chamamtzis excels, his handiwork deserving of being deemed as wearable art. Having honed his skills while studying jewelry and industrial design at the Benvenuto Cellini Institute of Art in Valenza, Italy, Chamamtzis worked for a number of European brands upon his subsequent return to Greece, furthering his expertise. In 1994, he ventured back to Valenza and established the headquarters of his newly launched, eponymous fine jewelry brand Costis. Now, the line is finally making its foray into the United States, having staged its debut at the Couture Show in Las Vegas in early June.
Part of what makes Costis pieces so unique is the kinetic energy they convey — a direct result of Chamamtzis’ belief that “jewelry should feel as alive as the person wearing it,” moving in sync with that leaving and breathing being. And, in a Warhol-esque manner, the jewelry designer taps into the beauty of everyday objects, transforming the often ignored or overlooked into something captivating and utterly stunning. The pencil-inspired pieces shown here are a prime example of the sculptural quality of his work, of his ability to take objects and shift their significance so that they move from ordinary to extraordinary.
Available in yellow or white gold and encrusted with diamonds, green tsavorites, red spinels, or black diamonds, the Costis Pencil Bracelets wraps around the wrist like the coils of a Slinky, their surface slightly tubular, with one end flattened to resemble the eraser-bearing side of a pencil and the other end pointed to mimic the pencil’s sharpened graphite tip. To accentuate the pencil inspiration, each bracelet’s point is adorned by a jewel in a contrasting shade. The pencil bracelet is available in yellow gold with red spinel stones and a black diamond point ($42,800), yellow gold with green tsavorite stones and a black diamond point ($39,100), and white gold with diamonds and a ruby point ($73,000).
If you thought the pencil bracelets were a sign of genius, then you’ll likely be even more impressed by the Costis Pencil Earrings, inspired by the shavings you see when sharpening a pencil. We may never take the time to examine these pencil shavings, since the efficiency-driven times in which we live prompt us to complete this task and discard waste (which, ultimately, would be what we consider shavings to be) promptly, without giving the endeavor a second thought. And yet Costis forces us to rethink what we consider “garbage,” what we so thoughtlessly discard, and to consider the beauty therein.
These deliciously clever earrings feature a round shape, but it’s far from a perfect circle, with a deliberate split along the perimeter which references that moment when we stop twisting a pencil’s barrel inside a sharpener, rupturing that curving strip of wood being peeled away from the pencil cylinder. This moment, when we stop sharpening a pencil is rather abrupt in nature, and the split along these disc-shaped earrings conveys that notion perfectly. Similarly, since pencil shavings tend to be so thin and weightless, they curve and move quite a bit, and these earrings mimic that fluidity through the manipulation of the metal surface, the creation of a spiraling shape and the uneven, almost hilly look of the gold’s surface. The jagged details around the periphery of a pencil shaving are mirrored via tiny gems in slightly conical dome shapes, while its hollow center is interpreted in a whimsical manner via daisy-shaped cut-outs outlined with small gemstones. The pencil earrings are available in yellow gold with red spinel stones and black diamonds ($18,000), yellow gold with green tsavorites and black diamonds ($18,000), and white gold with diamonds and rubies ($32,000).
To find out more about this exciting fine jewelry brand and find a Neiman Marcus store carrying it, visit Costis.com