My Neighbor and
The co-op where I live, Seward Park, is a beehive of creative activity. Living here, we have designers, artists, curators, photographers, architects, actors and we have Natalie Frigo, a wonderful jeweler.
Natalie lives in the next-door apartment to ours, and I can peer out my living room window and see a slice of her studio, and usually, reclining in the sun, Pork Chop, one of her three cats. Sometimes one of the other two cats, Evel Knievel or Vito, is in the coveted window spot, and I wave. Who would be dumb enough to wave at a cat, I ask you?
Anyway, Natalie has her work bench on the other side of my studio wall, and I can hear the scratchy sound of her tools as she works. A few minutes ago, I even heard her sneeze. It's not bothersome, mind you. In fact, it's nice to realize that as you labor, another creative spirit is a few feet await, albeit, behind a thick, concrete wall.
This past Saturday, I stopped by Natalie's pop-up shop on East 4th Street in the East Village. It was a freezing cold day, but my spirits brightened upon entering the shop to see her unique and artful pieces.
Natalie Frigo at work in her studio.
Natalie sculpts her pieces by hand. She uses the
ancient practices of metalsmithing and "cire perdue"
or lost-wax casting.
Inspiration comes from early metallurgy, textiles, nature,
and architectural forms.
Natalie Frigo in her pop-up shop.
On the left, Long Dagger and Lucite.
Natalie uses only recycled metals and conflict-free stones. For example,
she does not use
stones that have been mined in
unsafe or illegal conditions.
I love that she uses the vintage Lucite.
The very idea of it is so charming.
On the right: a bracelet of recycled brass and vintage
Japanese glass pearls.
Right, a necklace of recycled vinyl beads (of all things)
and jasper. What, were you diving in the dumpster after
our neighbor's kitchen renovation for the vinyl?
Chain with rock crystal.
Pictured, earrings with birds with AAA quality
fresh water pearls
and talon arm cuffs.
Natalie's pieces have appeared in most of the
major fashion magazines such as Vogue,
Elle, Marie Claire and Glamour.
Here is Jennifer Lawrence modeling
Natalie's Playing Cat ring
in a Vogue photo shoot.
I believe her rapscallion cat, Vito, was
the model for this ring.
Natalie and her assistant, Andrea, take a miso-soup break
at the pop-up.
Andrea models Natalie's Elongated Rectangle with Pearls.
I rather fancied this piece
of vermeil gold and labradorite.
Natalie has begun to add color as in this hand-enameled
Snake Garnet ring.
All of her jewelry is made in New York City.
Saber Tooth Cat with
light-green sapphire eyes.
A recycled brass cuff inspired by the
stained glass windows of
Frank Lloyd Wright
The brass donut, inspired by
the Donut Plant, a destination situated mere
feet from our building and visited by hordes
of Japanese tourists.
(Just kidding, Nat.)
And this delightful bunch of kids serenaded me with
"Raindrops keep falling on my head"
as I left Natalie's shop.
Please do take a look at Natalie's website here.
Her next Pop Up Shop is
Sat, December 21 from noon to 7 pm
Sun, December 22 from noon to 5
75 East 4th Street
(between 2nd & Bowery)
New York City