ART TO WEAR COUTURE CUFFS BY ANDREA GUTIERREZ
When I first discovered Andrea Gutierrez’s designer jewelry - I was immediately drawn to her magnificent cuffs ! I was so taken by the work and completely “wowed” and had to find out more about her ! I’m so glad I did, as I soon learned that Andrea is a found treasure in the sea of fine jewelry designers.
Andrea has been designing luxury good products her entire career, and she is truly a couturière - with her vast and boundless creativity and customization offered to her discerning clientele. Andrea creates the unique, the divine and the “one created especially for the client”. This type of artisanal work is a rarity to find in today’s ever abundance of mass produced “design”. Andrea’s work remains integral - as any true artist - forgoing what is trending, just focused on creating the most exceptional and creative art-to-wear and also elevating “art-to-wear” - an often overused term - to a whole new level !
Andrea has always designed luxury products and the idea of the wearable art cuff emerged from her custom embroidered gemstone pillow creations - when a Malibu client said - “Andrea - I want this on my wrist !” With that - voilà - the couture cuff was born ! Each custom one of a kind cuff takes a minimum 100 hours to complete - some of them upwards of hundreds of hours. They are rarely - if ever sketched - just hundreds of hours of hand work with anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 thousand beads, semi precious stones or found objects. With the exception of less than one percent (99.9%), all of the beads and gemstones used are vintage or antique. Due to their scarcity and rarity, Andrea will sometimes spend days taking apart a vintage handbag to be able to find the exact right bead or color for the cuff she is working on. Even after beading for a full eight to ten hour day, she will take apart the cuff to start again - if it’s not exactly right. This is the part of this behind-the-scenes , painstaking process the client never sees.
Andrea doesn’t have a set pattern - the cuffs are inspired by her mood or color choice of the day. She might be inspired by a texture, color, shape, film, word or feeling - then she gathers all of the materials that speak to the inspiration , draws out the rectangular outline of the cuff and begins – that is the most exciting part for her - as she has no idea what is going to happen – cuff evolves from the inspiration and are dictated and guided by the materials . When we look at the fine up close detail on these handmade wonders, it is akin to looking at an old masters’ mosaic work - something you might discover in a house of worship or a museum .
All cuffs are produced this way, with the exception of a few “themed” cuffs she has created that are specific and tell a story - such as her “breakfast” cuff ( featuring fried eggs and other breakfast treats) and dog portraits (cuff lovers can customize a cuff and wear their fur baby on their wrist!) . See the works in progress below.
When asked about her favorite cuff she said “Once I had a client who gave me carte blanche - I was able to cast an 18k gold clasp, gold beads, incredible Akoya pearls, and designed earrings and a ring for her to wear to her daughters wedding – it was so much fun! All of my cuffs are dream projects, even if they are difficult, challenging me to get the piece just right.”
All cuffs are finished with closures in sterling silver, 14K and 18K, and range in widths from 2 to 5: width or more. Prices range from $3,000 to $12,000, depending on the gemstones and complexity of each piece.
Andrea hopes to have a gallery exhibit of her cuffs in 2020.
Custom orders for cuffs require one to three month lead time. To custom order your own one- of -a - kind masterpiece for your wrist, please contact us.
Learn more about Andrea Gutierrez
Discover Andrea’s fine designer jewelry collection here.
Author’s note : The cuffs featured are just a small sampling of this magnificent work - we narrowed it down to just a few “favorites” - there were so many more to choose from - as always, Andrea offers up the full menus of choices - Faith M.