There is an Eat, Pray, Love kind of backstory to Holly Dyment’s imaginative jewelry. After several creative careers including graphic design, faux finishing and interior decorating, the Canadian decided she needed a change. “I used to put pictures of rings all over my refrigerator,” explains Holly. “I have always loved jewelry and I thought that’s what I am going to do next.” The multi-talented designer knew exactly where she was going to make her treasures.
“Around fourteen years ago, after reading an autobiography of a yogi, I went to India thinking I would find enlightenment, but what I found was shopping, fabric, food and jewelry,” she delightfully remembers. “I knew the master craftsmen in Jaipur could execute the enamel I wanted in my jewels—they have a history of traditional vitreous enamel dating back to the Maharajah period—and I could spend time in the nation I find so beautiful.”
Since launching her jewelry line in 2012, Holly spends two months a year in India working side-by-side with her manufacturing team. She often travels to Italy, Spain and across Europe on inspiration journeys with her Italian boyfriend. (I told you there was love in the story.) Toronto is her home base of operations.
Your asymmetrical earrings for the Gemfields x Muse collaboration are one of the most wanted jewels of the season. They have been featured all over social media and in several major fashion magazines including ELLE and Marie Claire. Tell me about them.
The inspiration was my mother’s Victorian earrings that had a point shaped motif dangling from the bottom. They made me want to design glamorous earrings that wiggled a lot. After doing some drawings with my crayons, I thought a pair of pendant earrings would be too ordinary and decided to make them asymmetrical with a stud on one side.
Once I filled out the colors on the pendant earring with a peridot, a pink sapphire and black enamel on gold, I did a drawing for the oval shape ruby I wanted in the center. I took the drawing to the Gemfields office in India. They are located close to my jeweler which was great. They cut the 3.5-carat ruby for me to fit in the design.
I surrounded the ruby with tiny pink tourmalines for a slight contrast to the red. It is the most Victorian motif in the earring, but the rich red of the Gemfields ruby adds a contemporary spin. I carried the Gemfields ruby color over to the 1.2-carat baguette for the stud earring. I also did a rendition of the earrings with different semiprecious stones and a Gemfields emerald in the center and for the stud.
The enamel Portrait Rings are your signature design. Who is in the portraits you created for your Gemfields x Muse rings?
The portraits started in the beginning of the collection because I wanted to do little paintings. It stems from my background in the arts. They were also inspired by cameos and the miniature paintings in jewelry of royalty as well as lovers’ eyes. For the themes, I do special commissions of people and animals and elements from art history.
The Gemfields x Muse rings are based on the portraits in Greek terra cotta black and red vases. I accented the hair in the blue enamel one—which is lapis blue, Pantone’s color of the year—with diamonds and marquise and round Gemfields emeralds. The red one has Gemfields rubies in the same shapes. The gems add a sculptural quality and texture to the designs.
The little marquise shape rings have sweet as well as slightly sinister themes highlighted by bright Gemfields stones. What is the inspiration behind these designs?
I came up with the idea when I found a little vintage ring with a man painted on it a year or so ago in Portugal. I thought it was adorable and it inspired the designs. I did the snake because, I like things that are macabre, a touch of evil.
The hearts are stepping away from what I normally do. Maybe it’s because I am in love. There is also an Alice in Wonderland, Queen of Hearts, component to the design. It’s like the saying, ‘It’s in the cards.’ That was absolutely in my head.
The tiny Gemfields emeralds and rubies on the snake and heart rings add colorful flashes of light. They make a surprising accent.
Gemfields is the world’s leading supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones. Tell me what this means to you?
I really like the ethical mining. I am vegetarian. I worry about things. I meditate on the world and always hope things get better.
For more information on the Holly Dyment asymmetrical earrings from the Gemfields x Muse collection contact info@
Created in partnership with Gemfields, this post is one of a series of stories about designers who participated in the Gemfields x Muse collaboration.
Gemfields is the world’s leading supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones, specializing in emeralds from Zambia and rubies from Mozambique.
Muse is the fine jewelry industry’s premier showroom for emerging and established talent.