Touch: Either-Or

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Today’s “Touch” segment in Loving’s Five Senses examines Tini Bloom and her existential jewelry line, Etten-Eller.

Initially inspired by a friend’s grandfather, a watch repairman, who died an untimely death on his 96th birthday, Cristina Bloom designs pieces that expose vintage pocket watches’ inner mechanisms: etching, gems, gears, and hands – normally hidden from view. Subsequent seasons include diverse materials such as recycled vinyl, African phono-record beads, snake vertebrae, and metal springs. Every single object joins a unique history and life lesson with strong aesthetic appeal.

‘Tis so fitting that Tini should choose a collection name so similar to the title of Søren Kierkegaard’s existential masterpiece, “Enten-Eller” (ed. Danish for “Either-Or”), which explores the aesthetic and ethical stages of human existence by portraying two life views, one consciously hedonistic, and the other based on ethical duty and responsibility. The first part full of Don Juanism, skepticism, and the second part toned down and conciliating, ending with a sermon that is said to be quite excellent.

Etten-Eller speaks to Bloom’s relentless search for depth and meaning in all aspects of her life, inevitably manifesting itself her beautiful design.  Do you need more reasons to love her? We think not.

Beautiful beads.

A stack of golden bars.

An existential masterpiece.


GIFTS: Engrave News

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

If you’ve looked at our site recently, you’ve probably noticed the photo of five Maggie bracelets with “tu es pulchra” (Latin for “you are beautiful”) inscribed on the outside. This set was commissioned by Kim Dunham, a jewelry designer and former resident of Portland, Oregon. In a coincidence that we can only describe as magical, we discovered that Kim’s jewelry store in downtown Portland was located only a few blocks from the Pearl – the former apartment building of Maggie Hunt, Kerrilynn’s aunt and the Maggie bracelet’s namesake.

This particular set of bracelets were gifts to Kim’s four best friends – an eclectic group of women that Kim connected with at different junctures of her life. Despite the group’s varied tastes, careers, and lifestyles, says Kim, “the bracelet looks good on everyone,” and integrates seamlessly with a variety of types of jewelry. Additionally, the crew has always upheld the importance of personal style – even, Kim laughs, during “a time where you would not use ‘fashionable’ and ‘Portland’ in the same sentence. Knowing Maggie’s reputation for extraordinarily discerning taste, she is confident that “Maggie would have loved these girls.”

Kim was immediately attracted to the solidity and permanence of the bracelets – as a former jewelry designer, she was familiar with the “long-lasting” quality of brass. Picking it up, she says, “you kind of instantly connect to the weight of it.” Their telltale clang even “sounds kind of chic.” She appreciated that the bangles were “not fragile objects”—“I liked the idea of being able to pass [them] down,” and having them engraved, she says, “takes it to another level.” As something that will pass a significant message on to future generations, “it’s a charm bracelet in the oddest way.”

Kim’s decision to use a Latin phrase had a variety of motivating factors. “[Latin] is not a language that a lot of people know,” she says, and she liked the idea of the bracelet bearing a semi-covert message. Additionally, Kim “can’t think of a better way to describe the group of girls,” for whom the bracelets are intended—“both inside and out.” It’s a reminder to the group, she continues, “to be beautiful, act beautiful, and see beauty in the world.” In addition, “it’s such a feminine thought—[one that] creates inertia and energy” as observers inquire about the message and become engaged in its meaning.

Now a full-time resident of New York, “The only thing I miss about Portland is this group of girls,” Kim says, and “having the same bracelet keeps me connected to them.”

Katie Finn

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

This week’s lady is Katie Finn, the extraordinary, witty designer behind Elizabeth Street, a line of exquisite accessories that has elicited many an Ooh and Aah from Castor & Pollux customers. Katie got our attention through “pure tenacity,” e-mailing us with a link to her website out of the blue. We were entranced by what we saw – precious and semi-precious stones hugged by unobtrusive gold settings and linked by delicate chains.

Having spent years fabricating pieces for other designers, Katie officially launched Elizabeth Street in 2009, inspired by a mentor who encouraged her to work exclusively in gold. Picking up Elizabeth Street during the summer of 2009, Castor & Pollux was one of the first stores to carry the line, and was “super-instrumental,” according to Katie, in getting the word out about her work.

Katie craves the “meditative” aspect of jewelrymaking, and is “driven by the ability to make everything with her own hands.” She produces every Elizabeth Street piece personally, “start to finish.” We’re very excited to present her uproariously funny answers to our 28 questions.

Photo by John von Pamer

Favorite recipe?
Anything with lobster in it, or hot dogs and ketchup.  Is that lame?

Last great book you read?

Winter drink of choice?
Lagavulin neat or a Michter’s hot toddy.

Your animals—names and breeds?
Currently, I have no pets, but Smilla (my mutt who lives in Florida now) will always be the one that has a total hold over me.

Do you exercise? What do you do, if so?
Yes, I dance around my apartment at four in the morning.  I have a strict schedule that I adhere to after a night of heavy drinking.

Salty or sweet?

Who inspires you and why?
My grandmother, Lady Gloria Dale.  She has impeccable taste, a gorgeous sense of style and is a totally motivated person.  At 88, she’s just started her own line of felted pillows. She’s lived and traveled all over the world and has a wickedly inappropriate sense of humor.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean.  I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico and cannot be landlocked.  I go crazy without access to the ocean.

Favorite city?
I’m still wrapping my head around this.  I fall in love with most places I go so I can’t say a favorite.

Last great vacation?
Years ago I sailed from Charleston, SC around the tip of Florida and across the Gulf to New Orleans.  We anchored off the Dry Tortugas in the dead of night and woke up in a tropical paradise.

Favorite TV show?

Weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Pedicab driver in Savannah, Georgia.  That was probably the funnest job I’ve ever had, too.

Favorite restaurant?
Café Degas in New Orleans.  If you’re ever there, you have to check it out. I love it for the atmosphere as much as the food.

Favorite object in your home?
It’s a toss up between my bathtub and my bed, for obvious reasons.

Favorite piece of clothing?
Right now, it’s my Burberry winter coat. It’s freaking freezing in New York.

Favorite blog or website?
Gawker.com. It cracks me up and keeps me up to speed on current events at the same time.

Something you’re scared of?
The ever-rising cost of gold.

Favorite record?
Pixies, Surfer Rosa.

Favorite pop song?
“Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” by Alicia Keys.

Your ideal day?
It starts at the beach and ends at the Russian bathhouse.

Favorite gift you’ve ever received?
Ancient ivory bracelets from my grandmother.

Favorite flower?

Favorite scent (perfume)?
Jo Malone’s Nectarine Blossom & Honey cologne.

Astrological sign?

What do you do for a living?
I’m a jewelry designer, and occasional consultant for all things everything.

Where do you live?
Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Your lucky number?
Aren’t they all lucky?

What piece of art would you buy if you had absolutely no budget?
It would be a Gerhard Richter—not sure which one, though.

Touch: Hacienda Montaecristo and Mexico

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

This gorgeous necklace from Hacienda Montaecristo was featured in the best of the web guide that InStyle presented this month. We ran out of stock immediately but I am happy to say that they are now in the store – straight from Mexico. Speaking of Mexico, we are going next week for Thanksgiving. No turkey I’m imagining, but lots of tacos which is more than fine by me.
Not sure how much work or blogging will take place from the beach – hope you all have wonderful, happy holidays filled with friends and family.
Lots of love to you all.


Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Pretty, pretty, pretty.

Come by tomorrow, Thursday, May 6th from 6-8 to meet Katie Finn and see all her new beauties. She’s  been busy making lots of gorgeous pieces for us and all the Mother’s out there. It should be a fun evening - 10% off, snacks and good friends.


Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Photos from erinconsidine.com

These glorious necklaces are from Erin Considine – our new fave jewelry designer. She hand dyes her yarns and turns them into fantastic creations that have so much heart and soul. Just like her.  Thanks, Erin! They’re not up on the site yet so you have to come visit us or call if you would like one. That’s a good  way to get you in here to visit, right?!


Monday, February 1st, 2010


Black Diamond Rings

An assortment of tourmaline rings

As a lot of you know, Katie Finn, is an enormously talented jewelry designer that we’ve been showcasing for the past year. Many customers have already started their collections and many more collections will be born this Friday. She sources all her stones from India and then sets them herself in combinations of 14K and 24K gold referencing her Grandmother’s jewelry box. I think she’s great, and I love what she does with  these stones. I’m really looking forward to seeing these new pieces. It should be a fun evening so come by, take a look, meet Katie and have some wine and cheese with us. We look forward to seeing you all!


PS. Don’t forget that Valentine’s is very rapidly approaching – so make your lists and check them off!

TAGGED: Jewelry