Sometimes jewelery needn’t be all that original to stand-out, it just needs to take a concept and quite simply do it better than anyone else. There are plenty of designers who claim a lack of finish as pirate-esque old-world character, but for me there is no-one who quite captures this brief period of history with as much aplomb as Atelier Shima.
A fairly recent entrant to the cluttered silver scene Atelier Shima has really managed to find a really unique style with his most recent Pirates Collection which far transcends his prior excruciatingly well executed but slightly unoriginal tribal inspired collection. Highlights for me are the Black Bart ring (top left) which has one 18k gold leaf and one of pink silver perched in his hat and the Nine Lives Ring (bottom right).
I think Shima strikes a great balance between detail and restraint in his work, so designs are impressive but simple to take in. He also seems to reject bunging in stones for the sake of it – which for me is the single easiest way to make a ring look cheap. For now his collection remains small, but I think we can expect great things from this brand (as well as a Tokyo stockist…)
And I could not resist posting this one-off ring made for a client who was clearly a fan of Disney’s pirates…
If this was anything but a Disney design I would be all over it, but at the very least I know who to come to if I wanted an octopus ring – I have yet to find anything that quite captures the essence of one, outside of a Netsuke that is.
In conclusion, Pirates are and always will be cool and no-one quite does them justice like the self-proclaimed King: Atelier Shima. But if you want to call my ignorance on that please leave me a message.