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Under the Sea with Hazel Cox

Hazel Cox

Hazel Cox

IT'S BEEN FAR too long since we had a Hazel Cox party. Happily, this week she is holding a reception and trunk show of her latest work. The jewelry artist is one of the bigger names on the Portland accessory scene, and though it's been a while since she was involved in anything you could put on your calendar, she has remained a popular presence in some of Portland's finer establishments, including Lille Boutique, Una, Souchi, and OKO Gallery. The latter, a hive of studio spaces with a gallery and shop featuring finds from around the world, is the setting for this debut, which promises to inspire fans to enter into her latest nature-based obsession: deep-sea creatures.

Inspired by her discovery of Ernst Haeckel, a turn-of-the-20th-century biologist who published detailed illustrations of sea life, Cox's starting place with many of her new shapes are manta rays and kelp. "He actually did make some sculptures, and rings were made based on his drawings," she notes. Additionally, Cox carries on with her longtime influence from Native culture—specifically, the Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest. "I have kind of a gripe with people that are doing that, because most of the stuff is Southwest Native, and we don't live in the Southwest. We should be proud of where we live and celebrate the Native culture."

Cox never uses any pre-made pieces, and here she's continuing her multi-metal endeavors, pairing bronze, silver, steel, and copper with fibers like silk and waxed linen. She's also been making pinky rings out of pennies, prompting research into the copper content of the coins over different eras (later editions contain more zinc, which she says "rolls out really beautifully. If you look really, really close you can still see the ghost of [the engraved] image." It's not the first time she's worked with currency, having made chains out of paper bills: "I just love destroying money, I guess."

Also look for even more use of color in the collection of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings, as well as a few pieces she hopes will be picked up by men, like the penny rings and a variety of bracelets she's made in men's sizes. In addition to the brand-new pieces, she's also made a fantastic update to her popular fan earrings, and created huge, dramatic pairs.

Cox also has some new developments afoot, including a revamp of her website and the debut of a forthcoming online shop. She's also contemplating entering the world of bridal, creating netted headpieces inspired by ship nets, with the possibility of another, bridal-specific show down the road. Until then, get ready for some deep-sea diving. OLO Gallery, 2774 NW Thurman, Fri April 13, 5-9 pm, Sat April 14, 11 am-6 pm

THIS WEEK'S STYLE EVENTS

New shop Cloth and Canvas celebrates its grand opening today, featuring locally made products, including from in-house designer Julia GaRey. She'll be having a sample sale of her coat designs, along with art by Keely Rademacher, storewide markdowns, and refreshments. Cloth and Canvas, 4225 NE Fremont, Thurs April 12, 5-9 pm

Mabel & Zora celebrates its sixth anniversary, with 20 percent off separates, a wine tasting hosted by the Cellar Door, featured Jo Malone fragrances, personal styling tips from Gina Crowder, and skincare lessons from Patty Odenberg, Mabel & Zora, 748 NW 11th, Fri April 13, 3-7 pm

Northeast vintage hotspot for boots and bags Half Pint celebrates its one-year anniversary with treats, drinks, and 15 percent off storewide. Half Pint, 5400 NE 30th, #106, Sat April 14, 11 am-6 pm

It claims to be the biggest clothing swap in the Northwest, and who are you to argue? A benefit for the second annual Alley 33 summer fashion show, the Alley 33 Fashion Swap includes goods for men, women, and plus sizes—plus booze! Secret Society, 116 NE Russell, Sun April 15, noon-4 pm, $5 and at least one small bag of clothes, all ages

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