Layered Shoko-Leaf Earrings
18k Yellow Gold / 18k Rose Gold / Platinum / Rhodolite Garnet / Diamond
As usual, The Shoko Leaf participates in a narrative of design ideas that spans years of experimentation, but it also has a story of its own: a meeting of artistry with serendipity. Shoko was one of Tony's last students, and she stayed briefly with his family some years ago. One of the many objects she encountered in the Aladdin's cave that is Tony's studio was a life cast of his face. She asked Tony to make a cast of her face, too. He did. Then, noticing a big, lettuce-like leaf he had collected from a native plant, he realized the cast and the leaf fit together perfectly. Working on the prototype in intaglio—a classical technique for the modeling of details—he made it appear as though the face emerges naturally from the structure of the leaf. According to Tony, she wanted to take the cast home with her, but "Shoko leaves" (get it?) before claiming it.