His Majesty

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Seth Carlson's ibex brooch

By Tina Snyder

If there’s one positive thing to come from the pandemic, it’s the extra time it has given jewelry designers to experiment. That was the case with Seth Carlson. The Philadelphia-based designer spent many lockdown hours exploring the possibilities of adding carbon fiber and zirconia ceramic to his precious metal work. A series of realistic, wildlife-inspired brooches resulted, one of which is the beautifully detailed silver, 18k gold, and carbon fiber ibex featured here.

“I was interested in using these materials in place of horns, claws, bones, and teeth in these wearable sculptures,” says Carlson. “For the ibex, forged carbon fiber stands in for the characteristically impressive horns that arch over the backs of their heads.”

Carlson was attracted to the alternative materials because they are resilient and heat resistant. Their hardness—akin to sapphire—makes them challenging to form.

Seth Carlson

Seth Michael Studio • Philadelphia

“I had to get back into doing lapidary work,” says Carlson. “For the ibex, I used small diamond burs to cut the horns, then finished and polished them with a succession of fine grit sandpaper and silicone wheels.”