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Building Jewelry to Code

Laurie Kahle

Many jewelers cite architecture as an inspiration, but designers Christopher Roule and Keith Mitchell literally apply structural engineering principles to create their Mitchell Roule collection, which launched at Bergdorf Goodman last spring. Among their muses is Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller, who conceived the geodesic dome. Gems—from pale-pink morganite to window-cleaner blue Paraíba tourmaline—are set in delicate frameworks woven from fine threads of 18-karat gold. “With all the structure, it’s a nice contrast to introduce the organic quality of the gemstones,” says Roule, who believes the intricate forms enhance the allure of the natural stones. Some pieces are essentially sculptural wire cages filled with loose rubies, emeralds, or white sapphires totaling up to 20 carats. “People are intrigued first with the patterns we use to build the cages, and then they discover the stones moving around inside,” says Mitchell, a Nashville, Tennessee, native. Produced in uptown New York City workshops, Mitchell Roule ($3,000 to $59,000) is available at Bergdorf Goodman. (www.bergdorfgoodman.com)

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