Life is a Piece of VRVO Jewellery – Meet Cape Town Jeweller York Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn And Be Prepared To Be Blown Away.

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Pendant from the Vocare Collection

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Moon Rings – yellow, white or rose gold?

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Man at Work: York Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn in his studio

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Moon pendant: handcrafted to mimic the moon’s texture, this pendant was designed to reflect the immortality symbolised by both the moon and the serpent

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Only for the brave: crystal pendant from the Flexible Collection

Image Credit VRVO. Photography: Sebastian Resch. Model: Jasmin Zelenko
Knuckle Duster from the Count On Me Collection

 

Enter the world and the workshop of York Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn and step into an otherworldy sphere where the concept of body adornments takes on an altogether different meaning. In fact, here nothing is quite what it seems. It’s a dimension where, curiously, you step back in time – and at the same time you’re propelled light years into the future.

Are these pieces in truth post-apocalyptic treasure fit to adorn a shaven-head, desert-dwelling Furiosa in Mad Max Fury Road? One can’t help but wonder if Tolkien’s famous Ring was actually forged in this very workshop! It’s here, in this Lost World where fragile Beauty and her brute of a Beast meet a tribe of Middle Earth Vikings and one can just speculate on the travel banter exchanged! The moral of the story? There’s a deliciously dark twist to this tale. The ending? Well, that depends on which of the pieces you dare to wear.

I’m hard pushed to think of many other African jewellery designers who’re able to, with such ease, penetrate and perfectly capture the raw and brutally beautiful essence of their immediate environment as aptly as York Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn can. With a penchant for pushing the boundaries of the unexpected, unearthing the bold and the delving deep into the untamed side of life whilst rewriting the rules of conventional aesthetics, this maker’s unmistakable handwriting is engraved within each of his hand-crafted pieces.

Navigating York Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn’s universe is a curious experience. It’s a place where weathered bone and horn strung from heavy chains and regal tiaras embellished with quills rub shoulders with energising crystal pendants on raw leather thongs and silver coins beaten to resemble the surface of the moon. Here exotic leather is juxtaposed with sleek metal, rough texture pressed against the soft human body … Welcome to this stranger-than-fiction art that conveniently happens to also be wearable jewellery. These are pieces that are as brutal as they’re exquisite, creations that challenge society’s conventional ideas of what body adornments could be in a world where free-thinking is the norm.

Make no mistake, this isn’t jewellery for the faint-hearted. These are bolder than bold lifestyle statements, they’re for the confident (and for those who want to possess that inner confidence.) They’re stuff for free spirits who are on a quest to venture where others fear to go, for whom journeying into the unknown is not just a challenge, it’s a destiny. And I suspect you can conquer far-flung universes armed with a combination of the double Leopard Claw Ring and Selenite Crystal on its raw leather thong, or the Cobra Vertebra Bracelet and Moon Pendant with Emerald on a silver chain. Just imagine what you can achieve adorned with the Shark Tooth Pendant around your neck, the Chunky Celestial Bracelet on your wrist and the Monolitic Cosmism Ring on your finger … Just imagine.

York Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn harvests celestial energy from the universe and its galaxies, the sun, the moon, the earth & its earthlings and uses these as reference points for inspiration. Each carefully crafted piece that journeys out of his workshop evokes a certain mood and a deep sense of mystery. A bit like interpreting the ink blots of the famous Rorschach Test it’s up to each wearer on how best to make their chosen piece(s) their own, how to integrate them into their individualistic lifestyle and put their own fingerprint on them. And once you’re under the spell of VRVO, believe me, you’re compelled to keep adding to your collection of this brand’s addictive body art.

A true visionary and forward-thinking designer, York Van Rheede Van Oudtshoorn uses locally sourced metals, precious & semi-precious stones and raw materials to create these pieces of passion. And while on the topic of passion, an engagement ring or wedding band designed by VRVO is bound to not only create the most special of bonds but fuel passion in a way that few other creations would, with its striking symbolism, inimitable uniqueness and captivating boldness.

These potent pieces – from a designer who’s perpetually questioning and reinventing society’s ideas of beauty and perfection – keep reminding their wearer that life is indeed a piece of VRVO jewellery: full of contrasts – the rough and the smooth sitting side by side, the sensual and the seductive blending with the bold and, like life to those in the know, never, ever boring. And like life, sometimes flawed and yet unashamedly beautiful.

VRVO compels you to walk on the wild side. I’m in, no question. Are you?

Image Credit VRVO. Photography Luke Kisis
Sleek bar-of-gold statement Rings from the Moon Collection

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How do you like your armour? Silver skull ring, Silver Square Textured Signet, Silver Skull Bracelet, Silver Box Chain Bracelet, Silver Stacking Cuffs and Silver Snake Bracelet

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Celestial Pendants from the Moon Collection

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Chained necklace: a bold beauty statement

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Crystal Pendants for every celestial being

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The call of the wild: Leopard Tooth Pendant on a leather thong

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Wear nothing but silver!

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Whether polished or matte oxidised, the VRVO Skull bracelet will not go unnoticed

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The VRVO balancer centers the wearer, giving stability by earthing its wearer with its tapering teardrop shape

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Crystals

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Simplicity: pendant from the Western Edition Collection

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Horn Neck Piece from the Moon Collection

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Bolder than bold: Block Ring

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The inimitable VRVO Stacking Cuff – just keep adding!

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VRVO for life’s journey

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Armed with snakes & skulls

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Why wear only one when you can have five?

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Nose Ring – only for those who dare to wear it

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Be subtly bold with this delicate coin pendant

Image Credit VRVO. Photography: Sebastian Resch. Model: Jasmin Zelenko
Chain from the Count On Me Collection

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Image Credit VRVO. Photography: Sebastian Resch. Model: Jasmin Zelenko
Bracelet from the Count On Me Collection

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Layers of messages: Text-U Textured Ring in silver

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In the balance: pendants from the Western Edition Collection

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Pendant on a heavy chain from the Moon Collection

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Rings from the Moon Collection

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Sword available on a leather or hand-made silver chain – the choice is yours

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Pendant from the Vocare Collection

 

Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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