Earlier this week we took a journey to a ceramics studio in Portugal. Today, let’s take quick trip over to Spain. Why not? There we will find a one-of-a-kind jeweler that many others will not ever cross paths with. Have I piqued your interest yet? Part of the allure of Luz Camino’s remarkable handmade bejeweled pieces, is that you won’t find them in any old department store. In fact, despite being in the collections of the Museum of Art and Design and the Victoria & Albert, Camino is surprisingly modest about her work, making most of her sales by word of mouth. She does appear at a Bergdorf Goodman trunk show once a year, but outside of that, she only creates about 12-14 one-of-a-kind pieces each year! Nothing is mass-produced, so getting your hands on one of these pieces, or even just seeing them in person is extremely rare. Makes it all that more intriguing, doesn’t it?
Taking inspiration from her garden in Navarra, Spain, Luz Camino works with all types of semi- and precious stones and metals to create remarkably life-life recreations that look like they’ve been plucked straight from the garden. “I like to use materials of absolutely no value to create something of great value,” she says of her work.
Camino began studying metalworking and jewelry making later in her life, taking courses in Madrid, and becoming the first woman in Spain to earn the title of Sacador de Fuego, or metalsmith. And although her expert use of a specific technique has lauded her the “Queen of Plique-à-Jour,” she incorporates many techniques into her craft, resulting in beautiful, naturalistic objets.
Using many different, and often obscure, metals and stones gives Camino the opportunity to widen the scope of what each material can be. Like any great sculptor, she sees the work within the stone before she even starts carving.
But as much as she is connected to nature, she also finds inspiration all around here, which is evident in her stunning gold and bedazzled pencil shavings, which look almost as if they could be swept away from a desk, even though they are solid gold; and her duster earnings, which Camino says were inspired by a gnarled tangle of french fries she encountered. It’s not every day that you ask a haute jewelry designer for her inspiration, and get french fries as an answer! But that is part of the charm, taking the everyday, the natural, the mundane, and turning it into something amazing.