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DESIGN
Verameat Jewelry
by Max Gold
on 16 March 2009
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Using recycled silver and 25 karat gold, Vera Balyura's fanciful rings, earrings and necklaces bring out the child within. Vera's story starts with her own childhood in the Ukraine, where she worked as an apprentice to her grandfather, a woodcarver, before leaving in search of the extraordinary. During her travels, she experimented with being a cowgirl and a model until two years ago when she founded her line Verameat in the West Village.

Riffing on the idea of a charm as a symbol, Verameat baubles have a sculptural presence that push the limits more than, say, a bird or heart. Vera believes in power through proximity, an idea not fully grasped until you find a ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex eating a piece of fried chicken wrapped around your finger. Or try walking around with a Knight In Shining Armor bumping against your heart.

Her playful manipulations include maritime adventurers made from a chunk of eco-friendly recycled silver and rogue spacemen fashioned out of solid gold. And though her pieces are whimsical, they also have an attention to detail (inherited from Vera's grandmother, a surgeon) that has made fans that include the likes of Michel Gondry, Amy Sedaris and Miranda July.

The current crop is available from the Verameat site and at select stores.

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