Double-take for double-sidedWhen Auckland jeweller Kirsten Turnbull discovered that she had a creative streak, she started looking for ways of making her products look professional. School craft fair aesthetics have their place in the world, but the goal was to move beyond that. After some extensive searching, Kirsten came across Ponoko and two years later she is still using the service to laser cut the bases for all her Cheek Pinchy jewelry.
Now instead of hand cutting balsa wood and then sanding and staining it, Kirsten opts for laser cut beech and bamboo which produce a cleaner finish and are generally much more durable and solid materials than the lightweight balsa. The shift to digifabbing has allowed the artist to extend her range to include necklaces, earrings, rings, cufflinks as well as the initial selection of brooches.At first glance, the jewelry pieces are a window into what could be termed as contemporary vintage elegance. The simple geometric shapes are adorned with nostalgic images taken from vintage books, often children’s (apparently no children are harmed in this exercise). These visually rich publications are what inspires Kirsten’s range, and she is always on the lookout for more.
The assembly process, as with most jewelry, requires patience. Kirsten adheres the selected images to the plywood bases and applies several glaze coats before attaching the findings.
One of the elements that differentiates Cheek Pinchy designs from many others, is the laser engraved design detail on the back of each piece. The patterns are intended to add another level of interest when the jewellery swings around.