The Incredible Jewelry of Hyungzee Choi

19 Dec

The Incredible Jewelry of Hyungzee Choi

Sterling Silver Kinetic Bicycle Chain Brooch

I'm jaded when it comes to jewelry. While I like pretty much everything when it's done well, in my (too many!) years as a collector, historian, and teacher I have seen a lot and it takes a lot to truly wow me. But when Hyungzee Choi walked into my classroom a couple of years ago with her incredible jewelry, I was blown away. I realized instantly that here was a true talent, a real visionary in the jewelry world, and one of the sweetest and most humble artists I've ever met. Part wearable art, part technical masterpiece, and endlessly fascinating, Hyungzee's jewelry is born of a love of machinery and study in industrial design. Korean-born and trained in both ID and metalwork, Hyungzee's pieces center around machinic forms in sterling silver accented with interesting mixed-media like ruby glass rods used in semi-conductors, computer chips, stainless steel rods, and ball bearings. She says: "…I experienced working with many materials…as well as with studies on how machines work and how to develop them into designs…With this, I focused on experimenting how to include a kinetic factor, based on mechanical research…".

This technologically-rich aesthetic combined with a true understanding of how machines work makes for an interesting take on jewelry, certainly. My favorite piece is her giant gyroscope pendant, below. Part wearable art, part toy (!), but endlessly fascinating, and aptly titled "Orbit," it oscillates just like the real thing.

But not all of Hyungzee's jewelry is as far-out. This necklace is very wearable: made of hinged sterling silver plaques, it's finished with a body piercing Barbell style clasp:


Or how about these brooches? Framed in sterling silver, the translucent computer elements inside glow like jewels:


I could go on and on, but I'll let you check out more of Hyungzee's jewelry at her website,

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