Here, Now:

Melanie Georgacopoulos

Who: Athens-born, London-based fine jeweler Melanie Georgacopoulos.

What: Pearls: reimagined and recontextualized. Sliced in half, drilled with holes, faceted, arranged in rows. In lustrous white or opalescent peacock, set against 18k white and yellow gold and hung from thin chains. Legendary pearl cultivators Tasaki supply the raw materials.

Where: A love for ancient Greek jewelry and silversmith training have their roots in Athens. Sculpture studies at Edinborough College of Art and a Master’s in jewelry from the Royal College of Art follow, leading to Georgacopoulos’ current home base of London. Collaborations with the Kobe-based Tasaki necessitate trips to Japan.

When: One pearl can take up to 18 months to grow. Incorporated into one of Georgacopoulos’ pieces, it can stay relevant forever. When approached with her contemporary sensibility, the organic, traditional qualities of the pearl enter the domain of sculpture and high fashion.

Why: Subtlety and elegance are at once timeless and constantly evolving concepts. Treat an ancient material with a modern eye, and the tension is intriguing.