There are certain things I feel very strongly about in this world; gold is objectively the best material, bicycles are dangerous creatures who can never be trusted, and paprika must always be kept in the fridge. As the daughter of a good Hungarian girl, I have a plethora of carefully marked paprikas in the door of my fridge (there are eight varieties). I use them in just about every recipe - especially those that call for none at all. Though even I can admit paprika is often best in heavy stews, or dishes that take hours to bake: things that I would hate to cook once the temperature hits the mid 80s.

So right around the time I switch from hot coffee to cold brew, I start using all that paprika for liptauer. Mountains of liptauer. It’s the perfect thing in the summer heat - a mound of cheese and spice that works as an easy appetizer, picnic snack, late night munchie. My grandmother made it as an elegant starter for summer events, and usually mine starts out that way too: carefully presented with lovely ice cold veggies to dip in it. But if there’s anything left after my friends have gone, it becomes the perfect fridge snack, eaten straight from the bowl with whatever shard of bread I have lying around.

I think you’ll like this too, so I wanted to share the recipe. Though anyone who’s watched me cook knows I’m not much for measuring. When it comes to spices, I’m as interested in the mix of colors as I am in the specifics of their flavors. I suspect I’m not alone in my aversion to the measuring cup… so if you want to give this one a go, I have faith that you can work it out.

Ingredients:

one cup or so of farmers cheese

a few good scoops of sweet paprika (csemege paprika if you can find it)

one tablespoon of caraway seeds, crushed

a scoop of capers

a good handful of chives

a few sprigs of parsley

one tablespoon(ish) of dijon mustard

your best salt

To serve:

the prettiest radishes you can find

Chop up the chives, parsley, and capers. Mix all ingredients together! If it’s not a bright pinky orange, add more paprika until it is. Slice up your radishes, sprinkle the whole lot with salt, and serve alongside an ice cold wine.

Slaveya StarkovComment
On Cirrus and Stratus and Bove

I can’t help but see oversize jewels when I look at Carol Bove’s work.

Her work made me think about a design where my main role is the arrangement of parts, rather than a sculpting of the whole. So I set about looking for my own bits of material, to make something that felt poetic and unexpected.  Baroque pearls, irregular salt and pepper diamonds, a length of chain, a cup that reflects unexpected views, a tiny piece of scaffold.

The key, though, are the pearls themselves. Their name alone is like an incantation. Baroque Keshi South Sea Pearls. They are a mistake, really. The explanation takes a moment. South Sea Pearls are famous for a reason. They are more lustrous, more subtly hued than any other pearl. They are made by an oversized species of mollusk, the Pinctada Maxima, which will grow a single pearl at a time in the waters of South East Asia and Northwestern Australia. When farmed, a single nucleus is placed inside the oyster to form a pearl. This is usually a small piece of shell, which yields consistent round pearls. Keshi pearls, however, grow without a nucleus. These pearls grow in wild, freeform shapes, not determined by any industrial process. The better they get at farming perfect round pearls, the rarer these “mistakes” become. And the more precious to me. 

I see in these pearls little visions of nature, of cloud formations, of waves. I wanted to create a structure that would show them off, in all their strange glory.

 Carol Bove, Cuneiforms 2011

Carol Bove, Cuneiforms 2011

 Carol Bove, Ascelpius, 2013

Carol Bove, Ascelpius, 2013

I never intended to remake my grandmother’s bracelet. But it got stuck in my mind. In my memory, she was always wearing it. It is solid, a bit weighty. I can picture the simple, squared off links framed against her skin. It is the kind of jewelry that is comforting to remember, comforting to wear. It is the base for everything else.

I went in search of a chain just like it, but hit a dead end. Factory chain will just never look quite like the real thing. So we started out making a link or two. First pulling the wire to just the right shape, then twisting them to elongated links. Each one is just slightly different from the last. They have the imprint of the maker, each one.

I suspect I will never take off my Aurora jewels. It’s the perfect ring, the perfect hoops, the bracelet I end up sleeping in because it just belongs on my wrist always. They feel like a memory made new.

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For all the jewelry that refuses to sit still while being photographed, luckily we have video.

I’ve been thinking about these Convex/Concave rings recently, and I seem not to be the only one. A sudden flurry of people have been choosing these rings to mark important moments in their lives: weddings and proposals and babies and sometimes multiple babies (which requires multiple rings). Which makes me happy for lots of obvious reasons, but also because of something a bit less obvious.

One piece of advice I hear over and over is that people only want what is new. This means I’m supposed to make a new collection a few times a year. I’m supposed to retire the old designs as soon as possible and move on…

I’m beginning to suspect that this is the kind of advice I should just ignore. It’s not that I don’t love the new. I do. It’s the reason I began this company: I had an urge to create. But the things I want to make are not the kinds of things that I want to move on from and forget. I want them to be lasting. 

It’s helpful that I work with materials that last. That gold is not going anywhere. Take a look at some ancient gold and you can see, it just starts looking better.

But mostly it’s the design that I want to last. I try to make rings that I can imagine being worn in a thousand years, that your grandchildren would take out of their box and put right on. And I want it to be a design that you will wear forever, because it feels right and is like a part of you.

So when people come to me and say they want to buy a convex ring for this year’s celebration and are planning on a concave ring for next year’s, I feel like I’ve done something right. Because these rings won’t be about the new for you. They will be about something worth celebrating, and worth remembering. And they should stack up right alongside your accumulation of happy moments.

Beginnings..

Tilda Biehn fine jewelry was founded in 2014 by designer Andrea Lipsky-Karasz. Known for strong, architectural shapes and impeccable craftsmanship, these elegant, modern designs have led women of all ages to begin their Tilda Biehn collections.

Andrea takes inspiration from her creative lineage. The adventurous spirit of her great grandmother Tilda Biehn - a dancer and artist in 19th century Budapest - still resonates through the generations. Tilda’s daughter left Hungary to live in Bolivia, Thailand and Turkey before finally settling in Paris. She became an accomplished jeweler, drawing on the rich jewelry traditions she encountered around the world to inform her own more modernist works. As a child, Andrea played at her grandmother’s jewelry bench, never imagining that she would one day inherit those same tools and use them to create her own designs.

After studying to become a writer, Andrea found that the allure of the jewelry bench was too strong. A Brooklyn native, she worked as a jeweler in New York before moving to Michigan and founding her own line. She takes pride in continuing her family’s tradition by creating works that reflect sculptural traditions from around the world, translated into comfortable and wearable works of art.