2008 Designer Showcase at Forbes
Jewelry artist Leila Tai will be one of the featured fine jewelers at the 2008 Designer Showcase to be launched at The Forbes Galleries in New York City by the National Jewelry Institute.
The exhibit, which will run from April 25 to June 28, will celebrate works of individuality by approximately 25 designers.
Several of Tai's pieces to be exhibited are part of her most recent collection called "Spring," which utilizes the plique-à-jour technique. The technique is a style of enameling in which enamels are fused into the openings of a metal filigree network with no backing, producing an effect that resembles stained glass.
"Each piece is one-of-a-kind, and many offer built-in movement and flexibility," Tai said in a media release. "Aside from the fact that I enjoy the long and focused creation process, this technique gives a realistic edge to my pieces. Creating jewelry as art objects that can be worn is my way of paying tribute to life and all creation."
Tai was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, and studied art education at the American University of Beirut. She furthered her studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, receiving her master of fine arts degree in metal work. She has also studied with jewelry designers such as the late Donald Clafflin, who was associated with both Tiffany and Bulgari, and Robert Kulicke and Jean Stark, from whom she learned much of her plique-à-jour, cloisonné and granulation techniques.
After several years in the fine-jewelry industry with Gemveto and Van Cleef and Arpels, Tai worked as a full-time designer in the fashion industry, with firms such as Trifari and Monet, and also consulted for Liz Claiborne, among other fashion houses.
She has won numerous industry awards for her own jewelry designs, including the 2007 Niche Awards, an award for work of "exceptional merit" from The Enamelist Society in 2005 and the prestigious Diamonds Today Award in 1995.
Tai has also taught courses at the American University, Parson's School of Design, the Pratt Institute and the Revere Academy. She currently teaches jewelry design and rendering at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Pratt Institute.