Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Old Meets New as East Meets West - Fei Liu Kingfisher Earrings



It's not every day that I get the opportunity to meet an award-winning fine jewelry designer. It's even more rare that I hold a pair of priceless earrings in my hands like the Kingfisher Earrings (pictured above) designed by Fei Liu. These earrings are particularly special because of how and why they've been made - hearing the story about them left me with my jaw dropped open and the designer actually giggling at my reaction... That's how different they are! The blue floral pieces in the center of these earrings are antique Chinese hair pins made using a technique that is now lost. Fei Liu created the cage design with a slot for these pins to give them a new function and a more modern way to wear them. They're not only absolutely beautiful, but they're also a fascinating marriage between old and new, East and West.

So, what's so special about these earrings? Well, for starters, the Kingfisher hair pins are around 300 years old and may have belonged to a Chinese concubine. Made of gilt silver with cut glass and Kingfisher feathers inlaid strand by strand with glue, this type of jewelry was usually reserved for royals and the highest ranking socialites in ancient China. Because Kingfisher jewelry was so popular, the population of Kingfishers declined rapidly and in the the 1940's during the Chinese revolution, the practice was outlawed to prevent extinction leaving the technique attempted by many, but replicated exactly by nobody and lost as far as anyone knows.

The cage of the earrings is made from platinum which can be worn alone or with the hair pins included. The turquoise stones on the outside of the cage were specially sourced to match the color of the hair pins perfectly. Though they look as though they'd weigh a ton, they're incredibly light and completely wearable, not to mention incredibly beautiful and special.

Fei Liu is Chinese, yet studied the art of making jewelry in Birmingham. You can definitely see the fusion of his Eastern heritage with his Western training in beautiful pieces he creates. Speaking of beautiful pieces, while we're at it, get a look at this...


This cuff is another beautiful piece by Fei Liu made of black and white diamonds. I won't even talk about how much this retails for... But what I will say is that it's roughly the same as a house in a small economically challenged town. Stunning isn't it?

Fei Liu's work is sold all over the world and online. Pieces are available in many different price ranges, so don't be shy about having a look. However, even if you're not in the market for fine jewelry, pop by Fei Liu's website for a bit of window shopping. You won't be sorry!


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2 comments

  1. Such beautiful earrings! I would be far to worried about damaging or losing them to wear them. Love to see new things made from old though.

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    1. I know what you mean! I was totally afraid to touch them. I think they belong in a museum - so beautiful though! x

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