Thompson’s latest collection—called, simply, Haiku—reflects the kind of minimal, but vividly impressionistic, aesthetic that she admires in the work of ancient poets. Haiku glows with delicate floral shapes in white and rose gold, dainty pendants embedded with pink tourmaline and rings with brightly colored stones and hand-textured bands adorned with tiny, high-polished Japanese chrysanthemums. But the collection goes beyond pretty. “It’s not interesting for me to just make a flower,” Thompson says. “I want my work to have an interesting sense of proportion that becomes a kind of conceptual hook.”
Thompson’s less concerned with perfect balance than with nuanced, unexpected rhythm, so that when someone looks at her jewelry, “the eye doesn’t just go back and forth, like a tennis match.” In one piece from the Haiku collection—a double-flower pendant in white gold, studded with tiny diamonds and a five-millimeter aquamarine—the side-by-side flowers are two different sizes. Even in a pair of Ellie Thompson earrings, the two pieces are rarely mirror images of each other. Anything rote, expected or without room for imaginative interpretation is not something Thompson wants to talk about, and to her, wearing jewelry is very much like having a conversation: “When I make jewelry, I’m talking,” she says. “And when someone wears it, they’re listening, but also saying something—the jewelry is now speaking for them.” (Jennifer Berg)
Ellie Thompson, 8 South Michigan, Suite 2203, (312)263-2264, ellieco.com.