A new blueprint for jewelry from Deka Ray. By Ryan Haase
If the slick condos that have sprung up all over the city in the past few years were anywhere near as beautiful as Eugenie Huang's structures, the current $1.6 million average apartment price would seem reasonable—you'd even consider scooping up more than one. With her new jewelry line Deka Ray, Huang has built a collection of elegant accessories that are striking without being showy, smartly spare pieces amid a market of flashy trash. "I appreciate constraint," says Huang. "You can play around with the design, but ultimately the pieces have to relate to your body."
Raised in rural North Carolina in a house designed by her mother, Huang was surrounded by stacks of blueprints, art volumes, music anthologies, and nature. "I once came across a book about Alexander Calder, and fell in love with his jewelry," she says. "We always had spools of wire around the house, so I started to play with it. I would craft earrings as a way to procrastinate on homework." Now working full-time at an architecture firm, many of Huang's ideas are later wrought into buildings. Some of her most inventive sketches, though, happily get cast on a much smaller scale.
For one necklace, pieces of laser-cut wood are roped together to create an angular, mathematically symmetric moth, with shards of phosphorescent Lucite peeking through cutouts. While this design links back to the forests of Huang's youth, other styles, with evocative names like Asteroid Debris and Deathstar, allude to some gorgeously dystopic future. One remarkable shape, a multi-hedral geometric form, could have emerged straight from 3D-rendering software. In 14kt gold, it provides a glinting latticed counterpoint to a strand of pale-blue pearly beads. In oxidized bronze, it clusters around the end of a chain like a cloud of molecules. "I think many of the same things assembled side-by-side looks great," says Huang. On a series of stacking rings, dozens of miniature arrows flock erratically around each band. Separately, each ring is simple and artful, but when stacked on one finger, the effect is grand, recalling trade winds, bird migration, or haphazardly laid herringbones—nature with a little technical support can truly be a beautiful thing.