Forbes Lifestyle Watches & Jewelry Chris Ploof Designs: Luxury Jewels Embody The Past, Present And Future Kyle Roderick Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. I cover upmarket jewelry, timepieces & ethical, sustainable jewelry. Following May 25, 2023, 04:07pm EDT | Press play to listen to this article! Got it! Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Chris Ploof Designs produces Damascus steel and Mokume Gane luxury jewels that variously embody .
. . [+] steel, gold, palladium and sterling silver, plus gemstones.
Berlian Arts LLC Sure, the world gleams with master jewelers, but those who make important contributions to jewelry history are the ones whose jewels are alive with beauty, distinctive style, superb materials, artisanal finesse, and innovation. Fluent in the various languages of precious metals, gemstones and refined jewelry design, Chris Ploof is one such creator. While the techniques, substances and silhouettes shaping Chris Ploof Designs are rooted in ancient jewelry traditions, all of his creations shimmer with 21 st century artistry.
Ploof recently received first and second place honors for his designs in the Alternative Materials category of IN STORE magazines’s 2023 design awards. Skillfully incorporating various cutting-edge materials and technologies in his creations for all genders, Ploof is expanding the aesthetic and functional powers of jewelry. Precious Damascus Case in point: Ploof’s proprietary Precious Damascus rings .
These embody the beautiful, technically demanding and time-intensive technique known as Damascus steel. As Ploof explains, “The wavy light and dark surface pattern of Damascus steel is made by hammer-welding strips of two different grades of stainless steel and then repeatedly heating, twisting, carving and forging them. ” Originally used for making knife and sword blades, he continues, “Damascus steel was produced in Damascus and elsewhere during medieval times.
” This tapered Damascus steel cuff bracelet in a proprietary glow-in-the-dark finish by Chris Ploof . . .
[+] Designs looks silvery by day. Berlian Arts LLC Precious Damascus rings unite traditional Damascus steel with 21 st century style. To begin with, Ploof incorporates precious metal linings plus contemporary materials and accents into his pieces.
He can also include custom-colored, resilient ceramic inlays, plus oxidized patinas. “I am focused on design innovation as much as I am on technique,” he notes, “and I enjoy doing bespoke pieces for couples who come to us for commitment rings or wedding rings. While one person may choose an 18-karat rose gold ring, their partner may get a ring made with Damascus steel that’s up-cycled from our collection of antique shotgun rifle barrels.
” and then lined with rose gold. MORE FOR YOU Forget Apple Watch Huawei Watch Ultimate Beats Apple To Game Changing New Features DeSantis 2024 Announcement: Blasts Biden And ‘Elites’—But Not Trump—In Talk With Elon Musk ‘#DeSaster’: DeSantis Roasted Over Botched Twitter Campaign Launch—By Trump, Biden And Others Wavy etched patterns in Ploof’s Damascus steel cuff glow like an ocean due to his proprietary Lume . .
. [+] finish , which is invisible in daylight. Berlian Arts LLC The evolution of Damascus steel’s use in medieval tools into a contemporary luxury jewelry material, Ploof ventures, “seems like a natural thing.
Damascus steel packs a lot of visual impact, it’s extremely strong and is suitable for everyday wear. We even make cuff bracelets and watch dials out of Damascus steel, and we also make some Damascus steel rings that are set with diamonds and other gemstones. ” What’s more, Ploof and his team manufacture stainless Damascus steel materials for sale to other jewelers and luxury manufacturers around the world.
The AMIRA Mokume Gane ring from Ploof’s Bridal collection is comprised of 18-karat yellow gold, . . .
[+] 14-karat white gold, sterling silver and diamonds. Chris Ploof Designs Ploof, who is showing in the JCK Design Collective this June 1- 5 at JCK Las Vegas , also makes sleek 18-karat gold and Damascus steel pendants that are embedded with secure near field communication (NFC) chips. Made by medical ID company MYEZEC, each NFC chip in one of Ploof’s pendants stores an individual’s crucial medical data, including blood type, drug allergies, chronic health conditions, etc.
While NFC normally never works with metal, Ploof explains, “There is no metal between the chip where the NFC logo is placed on the pendant, so the technology works quite well. The chip can literally store pages of medical data,” he continues. “It’s quite a thought that a chip built into one of our pendants might just save a life.
And, you’ll look good wearing it until it does. ” Ploof’s Damascus steel Yanone pendant is inspired by the shape of Japanese arrowheads (yanone) and . .
. [+] features an 18-karat yellow gold bail and a blue sapphire Berlian Arts LLC Mokume Gane Another ancient metalworking technique that Ploof specializes in is Mokume Gane. Ploof and a handful of other jewelers are powering its popularity in fine jewelry.
(Globally prominent musicians and artists ranging from Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen to the Jonas Brothers have been photographed wearing Mokume Gane rings and pins. ) The elegant design and graphic beauty of this Mokume Gane ring typify the refined artisanship and . .
. [+] substance of Chris Ploof Designs. Chris Ploof Designs Mokume Gane is a Japanese metalworking technique that, like Damascus steel, was originally used in swords, specifically in the production of decorative sword fittings.
And, like Damascus steel, Mokume Gane is highly labor-intensive and elegantly graphic. The undulating waves in a Mokume Gane jewel resemble natural wood grain. In Mokume Gane, several layers of differently colored precious metals are fused together to form a sandwich of alloys called a “billet.
” This billet is then manipulated in such a way that a pattern resembling wood grain emerges over its surface. Ploof explains the difference between Damascus steel and Mokume Gane thusly: “Damascus Steel refers to material that is made using iron alloys, such as steel and stainless steel, whereas Mokume Gane refers to patterned metals that contain only metal alloys that are free of iron. ” A skilled Mokume Gane artisan can create a range of effects.
Diamond-set Kona Damascus Overlay rings with rose gold and palladium liners plus a Dragonlace . . .
[+] Damascus with 18-karat yellow gold narrow channel Berlian Arts LLC According to Ploof, “Our Mokume Gane rings are handcrafted in the traditional way, and orders take four to six weeks to be delivered. We typically pattern a piece of Mokume Gane while flat and then form it into the finished design. Each ring and wedding band features a comfortably fitting interior.
We create all of our own Mokume Gane for our jewelry, and we also supply the raw material and finished pieces to outside manufacturers and wholesalers. ” The Arcturus Meteorite ring is made with Gibeon Meteorite and 18K yellow gold in a rounded shape. Chris Ploof Designs Meteorite Rings Given that Chris Ploof Designs is known for working with beautiful but challenging jewelry materials, it’s hardly surprising that Ploof combines epically hard meteorite with gold, platinum, and diamonds to create a range of chic meteorite rings.
“We use 4. 5-billion-year-old Gibeon meteorite material,” Ploof explains. “We reject about half of the Gibeon meteorite we purchase because we want to create the best and most beautiful jewels.
Our meteorite rings,” he continues, “are fabricated by hand using a proprietary forging technique that enhances corrosion resistance. ” Ploof’s Glow-In-The-Dark Jewels Besides meteorites, another cosmic collection available from Chris Ploof Designs consists of glow-in-the-dark Damascus steel rings, pendants, and cuff bracelets. These sleek and chic rings are coated with lume powder, mixed with an ultraviolet (UV) light binder.
(The same substance that watchmakers use to illuminate watch hands and faces, lume recharges in UV light and also glows in black light. ) During the day, Ploof’s steel pieces feature the deeply etched, wavy, fine-lined patterns of Damascus steel. After dark, they become psychedelically graphic, glowing as they do in the consumer’s choice of red, green or blue.
(The jewels glow with just one color of lume. ) The first jeweler to create luxury Damascus steel jewelry that glows in the dark, Ploof’s augmenting a venerable metalworking tradition in a festive way. One imagines whether these jewels will become de rigueur on the international, high end rave circuit.
Luxurious Damascus steel and Mokume Gane jewels by Chris Ploof are carried by such upmarket . . .
[+] retailers as New York City’s Greenwich Jewelers and London’s Savvy and Sand. Chris Ploof Designs Whatever happens, Ploof’s place in jewelry history seems assured for another reason. He runs an energy-smart business that benefits him and the earth, plus it’s a role model for other jewelers.
Because Ploof’s 10,000 square foot atelier in Leominster, MA. is completely solar-powered, Ploof generates so much energy that he is able to assign excess to his home and offer free electric vehicle charging to employees. “We just celebrated our one-year anniversary of our solar,” Ploof explained during a FaceTime tour of his premises.
“The solar has been a good investment, I like doing what I can for the environment. The fact that we generate all of our energy appeals to our retail partners and customers, as everyone is increasingly conscious of energy use these days. Many people want to know the back story of a brand before they decide to purchase.
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