Made With Purpose. Allowed To Age.

Wabi Sabi, Behind The Winning Design.

Let the designs with contrast of a high polish and deep detail, take over...

There are two key aspects to Wabi Sabi, that make it a home run. Maybe not what you'd expect either... 

Whether conscious or not, there has been a shift towards design styles that incorporate a very notable contrast between a minimalist side and a high detailed sculptural element. The combination works beautifully BUT, it's not a sure thing...

Secondly, this is maybe more subtle... I personally have always had an affinity for marrying heritage design motifs that are generally infused with a degree of nostalgia, with a modernised design component. 

Not only in our ring designs, but we do this with our branding material. For example our Custom Ad Creative was brewed from those vintage ciggarette ads that always had very direct messaging. (See below).

What's the relevance to winning design... You may be seeing the reveal here. 

Wabi Sabi, has this exact appeal with a beautiful unity of the very recognisable, generational artwork or The Great Wave and built into a modernised signet.

Utilising true homage and design style.


Asymmetry, is an important aspect to the 'half-half' design style. It can't be just by nature of the split design feature. It needs to have a feeling of balance with the asymmetry. This is what Wabi Sabi does so well. The wave tip coming through onto the clean face along with the sunken leaf on one side, brings a complete feeling to the piece. 



Wabi Sabi had a cult following right from the jump.

The Great Wave has featured in previous comps and we've always wanted to have this as a focal point, however the designs were never quite right. Having such a recognisable element introduced into a modern signet, is a proper asset. 

The ol' WHAT FINGER decision!?

Round signets traditionally love the middle finger. So this will always be a safe call. 

However, with the side detail with the floral sunken piece, this makes for a good flank ring so it is noticeable. Therefore, Wabi Sabi would be right at home on the index. 










What do you currently do for a living/study?

I currently work with Students with Disability at Shalom College and as a Casual Academic Lecturer at Central Queensland University in Bundaberg, where I lecture in diversity.


What was your favourite design (aside from your own, obviously) and who did you think would win?

I thought ‘Free Are The Wicked’ by Sune Nel was going to win… it was also my favourite. I would buy this ring in a heartbeat, as I love the artwork and the concept…. I think we share similar views. However, when it came down to the Top 10, with the transference of the image in mind, I thought the ‘The Collector’ had a good chance at winning.


Let us know another brand that you follow on IG that our followers should check out…

‘Tonimay’ – Designed by Laura Byrne.
‘Dinosaur Designs’ by Louise Olsen / Stephen Ormandy.
‘Erstwilder’ (I love quirky brooches).


Tell us why you decided to enter the Crooked Howlet Design Competition, and how you found out about it? 

“The twisted tree lives out its life. The straight tree ends up as a board”.
Chinese Proverb

 I decided to enter the CHD competition because I was ‘egged on’ by a family member after I suggested out loud, ‘I should enter the comp this year’. …. we have a motto in our family: If you are going to ‘talk the talk’ you need to ‘walk the walk’….so I did. We have both been following CHD on Instagram since October 2020, when I discovered a signet ring for sale, ‘The Mickey Hoyos’, on an online marketplace. It had been sold, but I loved the irony of the pot smoking, surfing Mickey Mouse. I was hooked on Crooked Howlet Designs.


What inspired your design? Talk us through the concept and the process from start to finish.

We have attached Crystelle's breakdown, it's a beautiful read and best done so on the original doc....


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