How to speak the language of jewelry

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“KEPERA”
Sterling Silver Coin Purse (2022)

This story is part of Image Issue 10, “Clarity,” a living document of how LA shines in its own way. Read the full issue here.

Everything can be translated into jewelry. Everything has a jewelry language. Four years ago, my aunt gave me this metal handbag. Very heavy. And I started looking in vintage stores for all-metal handbags. Mexico has a lot of them. Some seem to be from the 50s, 60s or even 70s. Every time I see one I buy it because I’m so drawn to them.

I’m super into fashion. I’m a general clothing collector — vintage and accessories. Collecting these metal handbags gave me the idea that I wanted to make my own: sculptures that were wearable but could still exist as fashion items. I started reusing handbags and adding different elements, just like having fun with them.

Georgina Treviño, “KEPERRA”, sterling silver handbag (2022)

I did a residency in January, in North Carolina. And I started making a brass purse. I feel like this new one is an extension of that one, but this time I’m exploring a more precious material: sterling silver. All of my jewelry is an extension of myself and my thoughts. I’m very attracted to Mexican typography, the kind you find on tortillerias or the little shops I see on the street. There are a lot of sticky elements. In a way, I’m highlighting the designs I see in Mexico, especially the ones that some people look at and think, “Oh, that’s ugly.” But I see the beauty in that. I think it’s wonderful.

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Styling/Direction: Georgina Treviño; Photography: Max Alo; Styling Assistant: Marissa Channing; Hair: Jocelyn Vega; Makeup: Maya Sruoch; Production Assistant: Erica Joan; Location: Studio ALIAS Pro

So for this handbag, I added images of things I see on the street. I also use jewelry pieces of jewelry that I have already made. It’s kind of like this collage of jewelry elements. The use of silver is also important because it is a precious metal. Silver has also been used since ancient times to balance your life or protect against negativity, bring calm. Then there’s the object itself – you can literally see through the bag. There is transparency there. Subtle things are important to me. The use of the material is as important as the subject.

Clarity, to me, is my process. It’s the honesty that I bring to my work.

Georgina Treviño poses with a silver handbag.
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Georgina Treviño is a contemporary artist and jewelry maker from Tijuana based in San Diego. In 2004, she earned a BA in Applied Design with a major in Jewelry and Metallurgy from San Diego State University.

His work has been part of several national and international exhibitions, including Racine Art Museum and Schmuck 2015 in Munich. Current 2021-22 exhibitions include Design Fair, Museum of Art and Design, Puerto Rico, curated by Embajada Gallery; Dream Machine, Jewelry Week in New York; Salon Cosa, Mexico; and Small Acts organized by Craft Desert. In 2020, Treviño’s “F—the Police” brooch was acquired by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York as part of its permanent collection.

Treviño’s practice has been featured in publications such as The Times, Vogue, Purple, Elle, Allure, Marie Claire, the Fader, Paper and Playboy. She has worked directly with celebrities like Bad Bunny, Rosalía, Lady Gaga, Karol G, 2 Chainz, Bella Hadid, Summer Walker, Lizzo, Doja Cat and Kali Uchis, as well as brands like Nike, elf Cosmetics, Fenty, Guess and Spotify. for custom work requests and collaborations.

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