People, Object History

(Under)Statement Pieces:
Modern Jewelry from Gabriela Artigas and Tom Wood

A carefully chosen piece of jewelry can transcend mere adornment to become part of the wearer: a signature. At once distinctive and subtle, these enduring pieces suggest self-knowledge. The jewelry collections of Gabriela Artigas and Tom Wood, while designed on opposite sides of the globe, embody these traits through a shared engagement with aesthetics, materials, and processes that translates into timeless forms.

“Our jewelry is architectural, linear, geometric, clean, and very polished. There are no embellishments,” says Los Angeles-based Gabriela Artigas, who creates the namesake collection in animated, symbiotic collaboration with her sister, Teresita. “Since we were young we were exposed to art and architecture. My mother and father had a very clean and modern aesthetic, so that has always been part of our lives.”

Growing up in Mexico City, the Artigas sisters were also profoundly influenced by the legacy of their grandfather, modernist architect Francisco Artigas. His influence is apparent in the decisive curves of a ring, the spare and controlled gesture of a gold cuff, but the Gabriela Artigas collection combines strength with delicacy. Explains Teresita, “We want to make something that you can wear every day that really makes you feel more feminine.”

Modern signet rings from Tom Wood: pictured from left, Cushion Ring, Mini Cushion Ring, Oval Ring.

A more androgynous edge comes through in the designs of Tom Wood, named for the alter ego of Norwegian designer Mona Jensen. “He rides his café racer, drinks whiskey, and plays the guitar,” she says of the darkly mysterious character. “Tom has traveled the world and knows lots of people. He is loyal and has earned his respect.”

Oslo-based Jensen founded Tom Wood in 2013, taking inspiration from elements of Scandinavian culture and translating them into the simultaneously soft and strong medium of sterling silver. Among her favorite forms is the signet ring. Once used to seal documents with the embossed stamp of a royal coat of arms or family crest, it is made modern—and ripe for personalization—through Jensen’s knack for memorable understatement and pleasing proportions.

“My designs tend to be modern and graphic with a strong focus on the material and craftsmanship,” she explains. “I find historical jewelry interesting, but I also find inspiration in things I wear myself—classics are the best.”

“A signet ring is a classic menswear piece,” says designer Mona Jensen. “Tom Wood signet rings are made for both men and women, with a unique inner shape that wraps softly around the finger.”

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Explore another chapter in The Stories:
Scandinavian Design: Uniting Beauty and Function