Feast your eyes: Nadine Ghosn brings cutlery-inspired jewellery to the table
Nadine Ghosn’s Youtensils jewellery collection brings a playfulness to the functional forms of the humble fork, spoon and disposable straw
Everyday items take on a precious significance in the hands of jewellery designer Nadine Ghosn, who brings a mischievousness to eating and drinking accessories in her new collection, Youtensils. A spoon dipped in diamond-encrusted Nutella, gold straws that wind their way around the wrist, and a name spelt in alphabet-soup letters comprise a playful take on the quotidian, all in Ghosn’s signature tongue-in-cheek style.
‘I am attracted to the things that we may not notice or honour daily that help us to live a better life – the hidden, the unrecognised,’ says Ghosn. ‘I didn’t come from a conventional jewellery background. When I first shared that I wanted to explore jewellery, I was led to two limiting beliefs: that the competition is fierce, and that I would fail. I had nothing to lose and everything to prove.
‘For my first collection, I was instinctively drawn to elevating the ordinary, the overlooked – the things that fascinated me and guided me on my path to find my voice. What I like is to launch an idea and then invite clients to co-create by making it their own – hence the collection title Youtensils. Clients can choose the colour of gold, the pieces of food that harbour important memories: wedding cake, milk, green peas, alphabet soup. This allows the collection to grow personal to the wearer. My mission is to make the ordinary, extraordinary. The universality of the pieces intrigues me – as they transcend place, culture, language.’
Nadine Ghosn Youtensils
Although the pieces appear simple in their execution, they belie a complexity in their need to imbue an offbeat sensibility with flawless functionality. ‘I am a perfectionist with regards to design, detail and practicality,’ Ghosn adds. ‘This collection challenged – and rewarded – me in new ways.
‘For the straw, the smallest details had to be carefully studied. The bend required sandblasting alongside hand-polishing all of the tiny, internal ridges to create distinction. But then we also needed to protect the polished uniform finished body while sandblasting. So we were constantly balancing considerations while iterating. The bends throughout the straw are of varying size and volume and even had to be carefully pressure-tested to ensure the cuff would not snap or shift along the wrist.
‘For the fork we tirelessly revisited securing closures, unifying the gold transitions, and polishing the negative spaces in the design. Every clasp, every closure, every small detail is handmade. For the Nutella spoon, our challenge was in finding 12cts of 400 evenly coloured stones of varying sizes. We then meticulously mapped each stone to create a fluid form, evoking the original texture we all know and love.’
Youtensils, Ghosn’s sixth collection, follows previous takes on elevating the ordinary, including jewellery interpretations of the hamburger, the bicycle chain, and the pencil. ‘I like finding the unconventional in the conventional, bringing together unlikely allies – 18ct gold and everyday objects – to illicit fun, wonder and surprise. This surprise and wonder awakens the child in us all – and delivers the purest joy and curiosity that can be carried into our daily life.
‘There’s also something especially fulfilling about nodding to the zeitgeist. For example, plastic straws are now being banned because of their eco-footprint. Although this shape speaks to most of us today, it will one day become obsolete, remembered as a marker of our time.’
Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.
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