The grace and precision of pearl fine jewellery
Take a perfect round black Tahitian or white South Sea pearl, cleverly balance it on the lower curve of a finely-crafted, open-hoop gold earring, finish it off with an engineered precision, and you have a show stopper. The appeal of this simple jewel lies in the unique creativity of its designer, Mizuki Goltz.
The earrings are from Goltz’s latest collection, Beauty of the Sea, from her namesake brand – Mizuki. Each piece in the collection presents three-dimensional qualities that belie their contemporary simplicity. “Refinement” is the word Goltz uses to describe her design philosophy. In her quest for refinement, she manipulates the space within the jewel so that the openness and “absence of material” evoke a fashionable sensibility that is fleeting yet captivating. This ability can be traced back to her Japanese origins and her subsequent training as a sculptor at New York City’s prestigious School of Visual Arts.
Goltz’s background in sculpture gave her insight into the physicality of a piece of work and its interaction with space. “I love the challenge of simplicity as it requires careful articulation to create drama with subtlety,” she says. It is clear that the aesthetics of her designs are rooted in her mixed upbringing. Goltz was born in Tokyo, where she spent her childhood. She moved with her family to New York when she was 10, and a few years ago she moved with her husband to Southern California. “Colliding and filtering these worlds have always defined my approach. I love New York’s constant change and sense of power, and Tokyo’s sense of intimacy in its energy, refinement, and naturalism. While Southern California instils balance and is a place for me to bring my creative visions together.”
For Goltz, there was no defining moment when she fell in love with jewellery. “I always knew I wanted to work with precious metals, diamonds,
pearls to create modern jewellery,” she shares. Since she was a child, she nurtured a jewellery-making hobby, creating wire-wrapped pearl pieces that were popular with her friends and family. Pearls are her passion, a love affair that began when she was still a child in Tokyo. Her design struggle has been to create modern simplicity sans the coldness of minimalism. Baroque pearls became the gems that helped instil “sensual warmth” into her designs.
Goltz launched her first collection in 1996, and in her 20-year design journey she has created fashion-forward collections that have caught the fancy of jewellery lovers all over the world, including celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Oprah Winfrey.
In her latest collection, Fluid Gold, she has introduced shiny gold elements that cap the fluidity of baroque pearls, creating the illusion of the pearls pouring themselves into tiny gold objects. “For me, in jewellery, the pearls are as close to what it means to be a woman. They are not about the cut of the stone, the setting or the polishing of metal. The pearl is about seeing the beauty in front of you and embracing its rawness.”
Her design process begins with this engagement with the pearl, either by sense, desire, or touch. “There are days I spend hours just looking and touching the pearls, an abstract approach but a very necessary one for me.” Wearability is another crucial factor for her, and she is constantly decked in wax models to test their fit and comfort. Although gold is her preferred metal, she loves to use unconventional materials. Leather is a strong favourite: “I’ve always incorporated a leather element to give that spice of something different, fun, and sexy. And it beautifully complements the naturalism of the pearl.