Burning Torch Launches East Asia-Inspired Fine Jewelry Line Craven Iteri
In the fifteen years since its launch, Los Angeles-based fashion brand Burning Torch has earned a reputation for its progressive aesthetic, its commitment to the environment (vintage threads are routinely upcycled and reinvented), and its ability to convey an appreciation for different cultures, a view of the modern woman as a global citizen. All of these attributes have been harnessed and transferred to the brand’s newest endeavor, the fine jewelry line Craven Iteri. Though, in the English lexicon, the the word “craven” means cowardly or timid, there’s nothing shy or trepidatious about these jewelry pieces, which were inspired by Burning Torch founder Karyn Craven’s voyages to east Asia — more specifically, her travels to Burma, Thailand, Bali and Sulawesi.
Traditional Balinese jewelry-making techniques and references to cultural artifacts abound in the collection. The Craven Iteri Ancient Scroll Necklace ($770 at BurningTorchInc.com), for instance, was inspired by a cylinder seal from Sulawesi. Used in ancient civilizations all over the world, cylinder seals were usually made of limestone, soapstone, clay, wood, or jade and were carved or engraved to feature symbols, writing, or intricate patterns. Some historians claim these cylinder seals were usually hollow and threaded through a string then worn around the neck. This vintage-looking silver necklace, then, pays homage to that principle, with intricate carvings covering its entire surface and black leather cord attached to either end of the cylindrical pendant.
Similarly, the Craven Iteri Cosmos Cluster Bangle ($475 at BurningTorchInc.com), pictured sixth above, was fashioned using the traditional metal working techniques of the Bugis people, who migrated from Southern China or Taiwan and settled in Sulawesi around 2500 BC. Measuring 19 inches in total length, this adjustable sterling silver bangle features intricate granulation, with tiny rose gold discs soldered onto the base silver metal, a technique associated with Balinese jewelry. Similarly, the scroll motifs adorning the silver bangle are clearly rooted in traditional Indonesian jewelry.
The Craven Iteri Honeycomb Earrings ($745 at BurningTorchInc.com), shown next to last above, pay homage to the Pyu civilization that settled in the Myanmar (Burma) region in the 2nd Century BC. The Pyu were a deeply religious people — in fact, their calendar was based on the Buddhist calendar — and they often fashioned beads out of agate, glass, chalcedony, carnelian, jade, and gold, etching these beads and then using them as spiritual offerings. These 22k gold vermeil drop earrings, then, feature two “beads” — a square-ish one and a larger, spherical one — connected by a cluster of gray and black diamonds, each “bead” featuring all-over etchings of swirling shapes .
Even the gemstones used throughout the collection nod to the beauty of East Asia. For instance, although white opals are typically associated with Australia, they’re also abundant in Indonesia. These milky white stones, with their magical iridescent quality, appear in pieces like the Craven Iteri Paragon Opal Ring ($1460 at BurningTorchInc.com), pictured last above, which consists of one teardrop-shaped opal with a celestial blue tone and a flattened smooth surface, with thin strips of silver and gold metal crossing over the gemstone’s surface, a two-toned pair of metallic strips running across the wider base of the ring and two additional metallic strips creating an “X” shape along the top of the stone. These gemstones also appear in the Craven Iteri Paragon Citrine Opal Ring ($4800 at BurningTorchInc.com), pictured fourth from top, which has a base of sterling silver and, at its center, a vertical row of round citrines and opals, each rimmed by 14K gold.
Both the Craven Iteri Gold Dust Bracelet ($780 at BurningTorchInc.com), shown second above, and the Craven Iteri Gold Dust Necklace ($1200 at BurningTorchInc.com), pictured fifth here were crafted out of 22k gold vermeil squares hammered to create level planes that would lay flat against the skin. The Gold Dust Bracelet also features aqua marine stones shaped like tiny seed beads, their hues varying in intensity, to create a very luxurious but Bohemian look.
Last, but certainly not least, one of the standout pieces in the collection is the Craven Iteri Chainmail Necklace ($2400 at BurningTorchInc.com), which features antiqued silver beads with pyramid-like faceted edges, each dangling from an oval-shaped link. The statement piece drapes down the neck in a V-shaped formation, creating a chainmail look that’s not quite as severe as the medieval-inspired designs we’ve seen in the past.
To discover the entire collection, visit the Burning Torch website!