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Movement: Mobiles and Kinetic Jewellery

Today marks the closing of the first week of the 2021 Holiday Countdown! The first week was dedicated to gifts for the body and spirit and, as such, we shared an extensive variety of gifts ranging from decorative wearable pieces to soulful talismanic objects, all intended to elevate the existences of those on your holiday gift lists. Now, we want to share a final, personal decoration in addition to offering you a glimpse into the focus of next week. Today is all about movement!

If you've been a member of the ARCANISA community for some time, you may recall that last year's Gift Guide included a collection of 'sound' gifts so we felt it was only appropriate that this year we continue with our sensory selection by sharing some sight-stimulating pieces.

When one thinks of kinetic sculptures, the first mental image to emerge is likely one of mobiles. Suspended marionettes, the floating elements submit to and follow ambient motion from brushes of wind passing by to the pendulatic pull of the Earth's rotation; the mobiles themselves curl and glide as they embrace the ever awaited motility. Motion is a key element of mobiles but this eager energetic potential also serves an inspiration for the aesthetic pieces that make up the physical mobile itself. Small spheres of luminous colored glass drip from the tips of outstretched structural hands formed by glistening golden rods, like planetary orbs supported by arcs of weeping willow branches as they journey through the space around them. Silhouettes of bicycles tour endlessly through time, journeying across unseen roads. Whiskers of wire mimic windblown grasses as they shiver above the ground. Telescopic golden nets form the scales of celestial fish who spiral together as schools that ripple through the air. Whether set atop surfaces or dangled from vacant ceilings, mobiles transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary performance spaces, conducting a mesmerizing and arresting orchestra of motion.

If your loved ones would prefer to take their exploration of energy with them, offer them a token of motion in the form of kinetic jewellery. The rarity of motion-based designs in the world of jewellery art remains inexplicable to us. When wearing jewellery pieces, we inherently carry them with us through the motions of life: with each of our steps, an earring discovers new heights as it bounces and swings from its post, necklaces extend into the unknown as they pull away from our bodies toward the earth when we bend, even rings paint trails through the air as they encircle and follow our fingers as we tap away on our keyboards and phones. To disregard this intrinsic relationship with motion by creating stationary pieces, rigidly rejecting the forces of our movements, one foregoes an opportunity to shine light on the dynamic and aesthetic connection between jewellery and wearer. But the following designers not only appreciate this kinetic symbiosis, they stylistically embrace it by designing wearable sculptures that rely on and come to life with any touch of energy.

Not unlike their home decor mobile counterparts, these Ebb and Flow mobile earrings by Hyworks LA are phenomenal works of suspended sculpture. Fragile blown glass bubbles drop from the asymmetric gold wire arcs dangling from the earring posts. Made of vapory hollow glass, a smoked sphere encircles the end of the shorter side while a long transparent teardrop drips off the longer side. The result is a truly ethereal mobile that turns and sways beside your cheeks.

While the glass drops on the Ebb and Flow earrings are affixed to their wires, the small rods in the Kinetic Earring from Rebecca Kitching, each one capped by tiny metal globes, float within the negative space of a supportive trellis. With enviable geometry, the trellis is an arrangement of abutting rectangles, a brick-bonded, cobblestone grid of hollow frames. Prevented from slipping through their frames by the globe caps, the rods are still able to move within the hollows, sliding back and forth within their framed enclosures until, captured by gravity, one side extends further through the opening, falling toward earth only until the globe meets the face of the frame and ends the rods' descent. There is a visual strength in these delicate earrings. The caging frame, the captivity of rods, and the density of geometry all contribute to pieces that are deeply impactful in the very best way.

Another pair of earrings with strong visual impact can be found in the Ann-Arbor, Michigan workshop of artist Kristine Bolhuis. Skeletal constellations, the Everyday Geo Earrings are breathtaking. Tibial lines of Argentinain silver connect with pins at their widened epiphyseal ends to create points of jointed articulations. These eyed connections appear stiff and fixed but the articulations are actually nimble and flexible allowing for sculptural movement to occur should one invite the motile earrings to dance by shifting the bone-like metal lines.

These next earrings dance without being touched. Artist Arthur Hash of Providence, Rhode Island fabricates SQUARES Disco Earrings as rectangular steel canvasses that hold rows of shimmering square sequins. The 6x8 grid of sequin-like tabs creates a contemporary, ceaseless advent calendar with each tab acting as a door. The tabs billow as the wearer moves, reflecting the surrounding light, offering a delicate whisper of wind-blown movement, and swinging open at the hand of this motion to offer a teasing peak of the world behind. The earrings are simultaneous playful and effortless modern disco balls that anyone would feel lucky to receive this holiday.

A vintage but equally breathtaking earring alternative, these Articulated Fish Earrings fabricated by Taxco Silversmiths at Los Castillo and now offered by Hannahbella Rose, are, simply put, crushingly cool. Screw back, solid silver earrings catch delicate silver fish with relief formed eyes, trails of ring-like loops along the spines, and plated scale tails that spread to wide forked tail fins. With mouths open to the sky and rows of articulating scales, these fish will gently swim beside you and become character-rich companions to accompany you on your journeys.

Should your journey take you through the fields of the Oxfordshire countryside, swap your marine accessories for these staggeringly beautiful Firecracker Earrings from artist Sarah Pulvertaft. Inspired by the kinetic makers of the 1960s, Pulvertaft hangs bell like squares from a long elegant beam to create a dense bouquet of mobile ornaments. The angles of the revolving, gold plated silver cubes offer a dizzying composition of light with abyssal corners and gleaming faces that transform and realign as the wearer turns. Pulvertaft also offers a series of brooches on which stalagmitic gold cubes shiver between rows of square, silver beads threaded on parallel rods, representing the enlivened dapples of sunlight that leave holy footprints as they wander through and illuminate the whispering tufts of grass in the English fields. We love to envision these earrings as mobiles of this captured sunlight, surrounding us with warmth even on the dreariest English days.

Finally, we find these folded Blossom Earrings from Xinia Guan. ​ Born and raised in Inner Mongolia, China, Guan earned dual B.A. degrees in Literature and Economics from Inner Mongolia University before receiving an M.F.A. in jewelry from Savannah College of Art and Design in the United States (1). And these ingenious blossoms exemplify Guan's diverse cannon of knowledge. Jewellery forms the foundation of these pieces, but the literary and economic notes sing loudly within the symphonic composition of the design. Economics imparts the tone of order. The repetition of geometric equations that are cut into the silver sheets to reveal folds in the petals, the plots of scattered anthers connected by linear segments of filaments to their origin at the center of each flower, the mathematical balance and proportionality of every element, all combine to create a unique map of a blossom. And Guan's literary background is itself evident in the poetic caesuras on each petal verse, the assonant swarm of 'o' shaped anthers and the eloquent recounting of these beautiful natural forms. The Blossom Earrings will shower you with poetry as they dangle and sway beside you.

Whether you choose to offer your loved ones mobiles for their homes or kinetic jewellery to accentuate their styles, these gifts will certainly move your loved ones with their beauty, grace, and intrinsic motion.

And don't forget to explore the full 2021 Holiday Gift Guide for even more moving gift ideas.



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