Local Jeweler Leah Ball Gives Timeless Shapes a Gnarly Edge

Each piece is inspired by the hardened drips and spills the designer saw at the bronze foundry where she apprenticed.

Photograph: Courtesy of Leah Ball

Last Thursday, I—along with 95 percent of the city’s population, or so it seemed—checked out Fête Chicago’s nighttime food and design market. Through the sea of movers and shakers, I stole a glimpse of Chicago-based metalsmith Leah Ball’s tableful of shiny baubles and beelined over for a closer examination.

These curious creations are unlike anything I’ve seen before—bronze beauties crafted by Ball herself, who became enamored with the hardened byproducts of molten metal while apprenticing at a bronze foundry.

The illustrator/sculptor/graphic designer fashions these drippings into a collection of elegant accessories, including my current obsession: these eye-catching gnarled hoops. Brilliant.

$65 at Eskell, 1509 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-486-0830

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