Alec Soth, GUP magazine



Brandon Juhasz, paper!


I am actually quite asthmatic. On days when it acts up, I don’t let the cat come too close. When Yosef gets to sit beside me, he will want me to push my chair to where it touches his. This is his instructive look.


One of the early things we did. Canvas art, “One day we will have our perfect journey”.


Color changing stones.


Nature’s game.


Every time I mention I believe things are changing, eyes light up. It does not matter who I am speaking to, be they entrepreneurs with a track record, a young interracial couple about to marry, and the many flurry of faces we meet through our business.

The millennials are very different from those of us born in the ’70s and ’80s. I thought it could be youth, but I doubt it is that simple. Youth is wasted on naiveté, but for a reason.

The fact that anything goes and yet nothing will do is an attitude that comes with instant knowledge and a dominant left-brained world. More and more people, I feel, believe that loneliness is a weakness. They may not say so, they may even be supportive, but our collective actions towards one another tells me people are irrational and say one thing and can’t help but be something else.

The ways we grew up cannot be undone. The ways we cannot grow up cannot be undone.

Singapore is changing. The complex duality of Singaporean-ness and freedom-to-be is seen most in these millennials, the rest of us who refuse to believe (that Singapore is changing) or sorta believe can only watch and sometimes, pretend involvement.

It is taking so long, because I am old. But that doesn’t mean I don’t keep treating people right, in fact treat them better than I know how to treat myself. How many of you can say that?

I can, so I remain easily confused by the actions of those unlike me (meaning I am always confused), and still I believe things are changing.


The ‘attic’ of the house at the back is finally rented out. I knew it’s a lady from the day I saw the lights left on till very late. I know she’s afraid. I know she likes fresh air. Before she moved in, the previous tenant never opened the windows. We never thought someone could have stayed in there, thinking always it’s just light shone from below.

Last night I saw her pacing about, at her back were fairy lights. In this photo I can see a wind chime, a Singapore flag, a pot of plant.


The Gestalt Sun




“The Lenox Lounge is a gem inside and out. I didn’t go to hear music, just sat at the bar after work, surrounded by affable working stiffs who, like me, needed a stiff drink. Unfortunately a mild beer is the most I can handle these days, but at the happy hour price of $3 a bottle, it hit the spot well within budget. The crowd was congenial without being nosy or noisy, and after a stressful work day, nothing could have been better. But the city’s changing and the Lenox Lounge with it, and I have a bad feeling that it’s going to turn all fancy-pants, and not be the kind of place it’s OK to sit and drink a $3 beer for an hour in the company of regular people.”

RIP Lenox Lounge, 1942 – 2012


The stone above is a red sunstone. In the city it makes you think of lemon lime and bitters; in the country, the setting sun on the hay. Behold the colors of this ring.

This sunstone is completely natural, with no treatment, and had gone straight from the mine to the lapidarist and then to us. It is red stripe with straw yellow, very clear and cut very well that the whole stone is saturated with color!

Given this is our first sunstone ring, it is no surprise we want to have it like a sun – a gestalt sun! The diamonds are bezel set in two, stepped rows, the gold and diamond applied in equal parts. The idea is to pattern the brilliance of the white (diamond) and yellow (gold) so the warm red of the sunstone can form without being compromised. A ‘halo’ setting not controlled well results in nothing but a cocktail ring.

A few years ago tanzanite was not the big deal it is now.  Looks like the sunstone is set to become a hot stone.

We are working with stones more intimately now and restoring old jewellery on the side.

The universe has many secrets. Sometimes, a stone is not just a stone. A neon light not just a light.

We are also watching a lot of Trailer Park Boys. I have even bought subscription on SwearNet!


Red Sunstone Gold Ring

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Spiderweb Turquoise




This is spiderweb turquoise, a rare, dark stone with great but subtle beauty. The rough was mined in the ’70s.

We cut two uncommon cabs from one great piece, a baguette roll top and a pyramid.

The problem with capturing the beauty of stones (opaque stones) is that while the photos look tastier when magnified, the natural eye is not able to pick up its subtlety. Without the aid of the artificial eye, we are lost to its secrets.

In reality, the stones are just larger than pebbles. The grey blue turquoise is amidst very fine black spiderweb matrix. The sentiment is like looking into the sky from beneath a tight spiderweb.

You can really stare a long time at these stones.

How we want to remember it forever, in surreal memory, which explains the throw of photos.

Now, on to the task of armoring these two in their right outfits. They’ll be something else then.

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Mary Oliver Reads “Wild Geese”


“You do not have to be good. / You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. / You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves. / Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. / Meanwhile the world goes on. / Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain / are moving across the landscapes, / over the prairies and the deep trees, / the mountains and the rivers. / Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, / are heading home again. / Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, / the world offers itself to your imagination, / calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting— / over and over announcing your place / in the family of things.”

Part of the “Listening to the World” program. You can read the article.


Boat rings and puzzles



The continuing magic of the Enduring Diamond Stack Ring.


The major and the minor.


Crowning the moon.


Puzzle pieces.



Work-in-progress, grrr, grrrr, where’re my legs???


I have a guideline for buying navette rings, or Revival type styles. Even though the latter is not popular in Singapore, where revival jewellery is seen as old-fashioned, or just “too much” in a day’s work…

Truth be told, my guideline is the Olsen girls. If I cannot imagine the ring on any of Ashley Olsen’s fingers, or the pair of earrings on Mary-Kate’s ears, I cannot find a reason to buy it. I could plaster a dozen photos of the way the sisters wear jewellery here but I refrain (unless you say I should so I don’t appear starstruck). It is embarrassing at my age.

Seeing how fast the social media paradigm is changing our style landscape, perhaps in five or ten years, Singaporean women will realize revival jewellery is not ‘ethnic’ or oldie. They will be able to tell the difference between “too much” and personal style. Or personal style and store-bought style.

A little birdie told us that the shopping paradigm of the future is one of DIY or customizable offerings, and this will be a big wave across both everyday and luxury shopping. The success of Pandora is just the beginning. The brands that last will be the brands that know how to show people how to be personal. We will look at one another and immediately be drawn to the other’s difference (the easiest way I can think to describe this is like when you are in Harajuku), as opposed to convenient labels and… pigeonholes.

Soul is a very lovely thing. It is probably the only thing lovelier than youth. Because all of us (can) have it, and have it for a long time.

Will Aimee Mann’s style ever grow old?

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