Object Lesson: Into the Woods

heather_koch_rings_olThough they've been sawed, shaped, and smoothed, Heather Kosch's designs seem to have organically grown into existence. Her bracelets and necklaces curve and twist like a tree's roots, and her rings have the sound beauty of an ancient trunk. Swirls and stripes of inlaid brass, gold, and copper accent the uncommon shapes inspired by sacred geometry and by the visions of different designers who have commissioned her to accessorize their collections.
For designer Mary Ping's Fall '05 collection, the Brooklyn-based Kosch was given free reign to do as she pleased, choosing rosewood as her material and the deconstruction of everyday objects as her inspiration. For Costello Tagliapietra's spring '07 collection, the bearded duo directed Kosch to Aubrey Beardsley and Halston, resulting in flowery Art Nouveau pieces that she says "seem like the shells of what they maybe once were." But as Kosch's designs have grown in new directions, they remain rooted in her core pieces—shapely rings with an exotic sensibility that branch out beyond everyday trends.
Using a range of lush woods like zebra, rose, cocobolo, lace, yellow heart, and purple heart, Kosch says she's always on the hunt for "reclaimed and sawed off extras that have anomalies in them—little spots where the grain went askew." Her rings accentuate these minor quirks, often bringing together different grains and color tones; interwoven metals finally lend a subtle imperial touch. Some are rounded, some square, and some a little bit of both, but all of Kosch's rings have an organic resonance that's both artful and wearable. As Kosch puts it, "I view my pieces more as artwork—something more than a fleeting idea that is only in vogue for one season."

Heather Kosch's rings start at $150, available at www.koschnyc.com.
Heather Kosch's organic designs offer a new kind of tough love.
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