High Society Collection was founded by Erin Rose Gardner, a studio artist based in Portland, Oregon. Her work includes sterling silver and brass puzzle rings made up of four unique, interconnected bands, which can be worn individually or together in a configuration – a contemporary twist on the traditional puzzle ring.
Erin studied metalsmithing and jewellery at the University of Oregon and was awarded a US-wide fellowship at graduation in 2007 – a recognition of her emerging talent. During her studies Erin was inspired by a ring she’d been given by a boyfriend at 16, and that she’d worn for five years before the relationship ended. The piece had almost become part of her, and she was conscious of the bare space it had occupied, so made other rings to replace it.
While working with the ring she was surprised by the number of friends and family who recognised the design, saying they knew someone who owned the same ring. Erin was intrigued by this mass-produced ring which held such important emotional significance for her; and the idea that behind every ring is a personal story. “I think of jewellery as an ever-evolving thing,” she says.
Erin started looking at the characteristics of other standardised jewellery to which sentiment is attached. Visiting pawn shops, and searching through family and friends’ jewellery collections, she adapted generic rings, moulding them and casting solder copies.
The Fellowship award was a monetary one, and this allowed Erin to travel to Birmingham, UK and Guangdong Province in China where she visited factories and examined jewellery as an industrially produced commodity. This research into art versus consumer based jewellery has inspired her to “produce idea-based jewellery that is accessible to a broad audience”.
Erin meticulously handcrafts each piece with a hammer and anvil in her studio in Oregon. She then fabricates, casts, solders, saws, files, sizes and polishes until each piece is perfect. High Society Puzzle Rings are beautiful and fun. Erin designed and made her own wedding ring last year – an 18K gold version of her special puzzle ring.
Half Studio 54, half classic Hollywood, these deco-inspired, large statement earrings lend drama and glitz to your look. They move beautifully, are flattering, and add a warm gold glow that’s alluring and sensual. A pair adds interest to a minimalist look, or go bold and wear one singly. Handcrafted by the talented and cerebral Erin Rose Gardner in Portland, Oregon.
24k gold-dipped brass, sterling silver or gold-filled ear posts
Width 3.81cm, drop 6.35cm
Elegant and beautiful, this ring has a hidden secret – it’s a puzzle too. The four separate rings can be worn in different configurations for fresh looks, but all fit inside the circle in only one way. Endlessly fascinating, and great to play and fiddle with, it’s a unique piece of statement jewellery. Makes a perfect engagement ring or a gift for a special occasion. Handmade in Oregon.
Brass, sterling silver
UK ring size K, M, O or Q, US size 5, 6, 7 or 8
Ultra-modern, these slim, rectangular bars hang behind the lobe, secured in place with a small stud in front – an unusual twist on the standard earring. These fashion-forward pieces draw attention in the most low-key way and add subtle fascination to any look. Inventive and chic, they’re handcrafted by the talented and cerebral Erin Rose Gardner in Portland, Oregon.
24k gold-dipped brass, sterling silver ear post
Ball 5mm, drop 4.8cm