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Harpy, Medusa, and Minos rings by KIL N.Y.C. (Photo: Little Wolf Collective)
NEW YORK – Mythology has influenced art for centuries, especially in ancient Greece and Rome. Animals and symbols created powerful messages in fine art and sculpture, as well as for wearable works of art, i.e. jewelry. Konstantinos I. Leoussis with roots in Aegina, Attica, Greece, reintroduces ancient mythological creatures into modern forms in his latest designs in the new Teras Collection which displays Leoussis’ passion for history and tradition while playing on a love of mythology and monsters.
Konstantinos I. Leoussis, KIL N.Y.C. Founder and Designer, spoke with The National Herald about the collection: “I created Teras to bring imaginary creatures into our world. Each scale is lovingly hand carved, and precious stones are meticulously selected to bring the Minotaur, The Chimera, and The Argus from the pages of old times and into the world of modern jewelry. Our pieces are designed for world-explorers, history lovers, and those who would like to add a bit of eccentricity to their jewelry box.”
Stories of ancient Greek gods and monsters were designed not only to entertain, but to educate, highlighting the constancy of human nature and offering a glimpse into the past, the morals and culture of the ancients that still speak to us today. Though the stories date back thousands of years, mythology continues to inspire us.
Leoussis shared some of the highlights of the Teras Collection: The Minotaur, part man and part bull, has been hand carved into a Minos ring and pendant, which feature the head of a bull, with horns embodying the strength and dominance of both the Minotaur and its wearer. The Argus, God of Surveillance, was a giant known for having eyes all over his body, to watch and protect those around him. Vibrant and mystical, the KIL N.Y.C. Argus medallion, cuff, and studs display those same eyes, resembling a guardian and protector.
On the darker side, both the Chimera and Medusa were considered monsters in mythology. A fire-breathing female creature, the Chimera has the head of a lion, body of a goat, and tail of a serpent. KIL N.Y.C. designed the Chimera hoops earrings, cuff, and ring to embody the spirit of the dauntless creature, with its intricate design and flashy serpent tail. The ring and cuff have matte and mirror finishes available upon request to enhance the look. In addition, Medusa, traditionally a monster from Greek mythology, has become a symbol of modern feminism— a femme fatale who rages against the stigmatization of female sexuality. Medusa has the face of a women and poisonous snakes for hair, a signature look inspiring both the Medusa ring and pendant. Each item displays her infamous head in art jewelry, the perfect gift for a modern feminist.
KIL N.Y.C.’s beautiful Harpy pendant, cuff, and ring capture the half human, half bird features of the mystical creature from classical mythology. Her wings are displayed to assert strength and the ability to fly, symbolizing the spirit of the wind. The Lernian Pendant depicts the ferocious and immortal serpentine water creature. Displaying its monstrous multiple heads, the pendant imbues unwavering strength and power for the wearer.
KIL N.Y.C.’s Arrows of Hercules pendant promotes healing; the arrows were gifts from Apollo, used in many feats. Lastly, the Teras Collection’s Scaly Serpent Hook is a gorgeous depiction of a serpent, formed into a shaped hook with the snake as a symbol of a guardian spirit.
Each KIL N.Y.C. piece is made to order, allowing customers to choose their desired metal and options for gemstone accents. Also available are reclaimed and recycled precious metal options including sterling silver, 14K and 18K gold. From design to fabrication, each piece is made in New York City, with all polishing and shipping done locally. To reduce waste, KIL N.Y.C. uses recycled paper materials for shipping, and is carbon negative.
Jeweler Konstantinos Leoussis created KIL N.Y.C. in 2018, to showcase his love of old-world techniques and motifs. KIL N.Y.C. puts an edgy and modern spin on sentimental jewelry, creating styles that are both easily wearable and instant heirlooms.
When asked how long the Teras Collection took from idea to realization, Leoussis told TNH: “It took from August 2020 until July 2021. I had many ideas and needed time to practice my carvings, get inspired, and more.”
Of the upcoming projects for KIL N.Y.C., Leoussis said: “We are working on a ton of new collaborations with artists and a celebrity as well as a spring/summer collection.”
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