Christine J. Brandt's shapely oversized rings and necklace pendants put her right in line with current cutting-edge jewelry designers, but her use of nature, both for raw materials and inspiration, sets her apart beautifully. Creating her pieces from a log cabin in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, Brandt fashions her jewelry from exotic woods, raw crystals, and stones, each piece hand-carved and finished with natural oils (she never uses stains or varnishes). The result is larger-than-life architectural and sculptural designs that manage to sustain an accessible, organic feel, calling to mind volcanic eruptions and driftwood. Nature, for Brandt, always dominates design. As she says herself, "I let the piece have its way."