By Trish McQuillen
I must admit, I love looking and shopping for clothes. I scour magazines, internet sites and store floors to check out the neweststyles and trends of the season. Everything from jackets to boots to scarves, I thoroughly enjoy seeing and recommending pieces to buy and places to shop.But I have an inherent flaw in my seasonal quest….I always forget to buy myself jewelry. Don’t get me wrong, I love jewelry, but it somehow seems to fall off my “to buy” list. Until now.
I just met a local Connecticut jewelry designer who has inspired me to shop, buy and wear more jewelry.Brinker Higgins is the creative talent behind the one-of-a-kind collection of wearable hardware called Belliza Knight Jewelry.Her eclectic style and beauty emanates throughout her collection of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings.She uses a combination of elements and finishes that sets her pieces apart from other jewelry designers. She enjoys hunting for vintage chandelier parts, drawer pulls, bullet casings and horns to create some of her unique pieces. Her philosophy is “to create whimsical, sentimental talismans that evoke a sense of fondness, or a rekindling of an old memory”.
I was fortunate enough to meet with Brinker and discuss her collection as well as view more of her stunning styles.
Trish McQuillen: When did you begin this endeavor?Brinker Higgins: About five years ago when my daughter went off to college. I wish I started earlier, but with children it was a bit too crazy.
TM: Do you make every piece by hand, by yourself?BH: I do. Every piece is unique. I take classes and read books such as Metal Form Folding so that I stay up on the latest techniques. Just today I was at the Silvermine School of Arttaking a silversmithing class. I like to call it “playing.” I’m also playing with words and sayings on metal.
TM: I see this pendant and I need to take a closer look to see the intricacies of its design. What’s the inspiration behind this particular piece?BH: I like to add a bit of history by using vintage findings like this WWII German bullet casing. I’ve cut off the end, flared the edge and added West German (German Democrat Republic) and Czech (Communist People’s Republic of Czechoslovakia) flowers to symbolize the peace that should hopefully replace war.I add an explanation with each piece so that buyers can share in the sentimentality of the design.
TM: Are you driven by trends in the field as well as your own inspirations?BH: I am. Some of this season’s trends are collars and breastplates – especially for the holidays. They make such a dramatic statement even when worn with a simple little black dress. Large statement cuffs and chains with estruscian styled or wax sealed fobs also important accessories to add this holiday season. Especially black diamonds, bright blue onyx, natural geodes and pyrite. And try a few rhinestones, tassels or lariats for a little “bling” at the holidays -it makes your outfit sparkle.
TM: I noticed your internet site is not a shop site. Where can I go to buy your collection?BH: We will have an online store in the near future. I find myself enjoying jewelry making more than website creating! In the meantime, Bling in Darien and Pickets in Fairfield carry many pieces.