Jewelry Inspired by Architectural Details (NYTimes)

In high school, Rebecca Schiffman was embarrassed about living on the Upper East Side, which she considered uncool. But now she embraces the neighborhood, writing a blog about it called the U.E.S. Journal, and living in the same apartment on 88th Street where she grew up.

Ms. Schiffman, a 29-year-old singer-songwriter and jewelry designer, has lately started making sterling silver jewelry inspired by local buildings and their architectural details. Her first, a pendant ($175), was based on a stone carving at 1021 Park Avenue. “I saw this shield with a flower on it and I thought, ‘That would be a really cool necklace,’ ” Ms. Schiffman said recently, sitting in a booth at a Viand Coffee Shop on Madison Avenue.

She is drawn to prewar buildings, she said, because newer ones seem to lack “anything that gives them a little whimsical detail.” A frieze of rabbits jumping across the façade of 1040 Park Avenue, a white-glove building dating to 1924, inspired her Racing Hare Brooch ($430); a geometric flower carving at 19 East 88th Street became a pair of cufflinks ($365).

So far, Ms. Schiffman has designed 10 pieces based on 5 buildings. Eventually, she said, she wants to use a detail even closer to home: a group of mysterious carved-stone heads above the entrance to her building. “I would make a really weird, big cocktail ring,” she said.

Information: rebeccaschiffmanjewelry.com.

By STEVEN KURUTZ

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/01/garden/rebecca-schiffmans-jewelry-inspired-by-architectural-details.html?ref=architecture

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