A natural progression. That’s how jewelry designer Melanie Cuevas described her newest collection of bracelets and neckpieces that she designs under the Cova brand.
For well over a year now, the Inquirer Lifestyle columnist and former magazine editor (Metro and LOOK) has been pursuing her passion for jewelry.
Instead of coming out with a wide range of disparate designs to showcase her creativity, she stuck to silver plated in white, yellow or rose gold. The results are sleek bangles and cuffs with quiet details such as pyramid-shaped studs or hidden clasps. They will appeal to like-minded souls who now wear their Cova pieces with pride.
Wanting to learn more about jewelry, Cuevas took a short course on experimental jewelry at Central Saint Martins in London a few months ago.
“Aside from making jewelry using different materials, I learned what you can and cannot do when it comes to manufacturing the actual pieces,” she said.
Even while she was surrounded by classmates who gamely experimented with resin blocks, metal sheets and ribbons, Cuevas kept to herself and stayed true to her vision.
By the end of the course, she had made a number of pieces including a sculptural ring and a neckpiece of coiled wires.
“When I made that first capsule collection last year, I knew that the pieces would develop and evolve into something new. For example, the studs in the Hive cuff can be found in my pearl earrings.”
One of her cuffs, the Tunnel, now sports a screwlike mechanism for easy use and removal.
She also found a way to incorporate more pearls into her designs. Cuevas now uses Majestic pearls, which are larger and sturdier but are not as expensive as South Sea pearls.
Instead of sitting on a wearer’s earlobes, the oversize pearls are supposed to coyly peek out from behind one’s earlobes.
“I designed the earrings so that they can be worn with different studs. Wearers can swap the pyramid studs with their own diamond studs or with smaller pearl studs,” she said.
Cuevas clearly took ease and flexibility into consideration when she designed the new collection; even her cuffs can be worn singly or mixed and stacked with one’s existing collection of bangles.
Aside from overseeing production of her designs, she takes on custom orders from clients who prefer their pieces to be made of gold instead of
silver, or who want a dusting of diamonds on the clasp of a cuff.
“I’m also developing an exclusive line for Cura V that will hopefully be out before the end of the year,” she revealed.
Cura V is the specialty store at Rockwell Power Plant that offers curated items by Filipino designers and artisans.