"Celadon is my favorite color," says Christopher Walling. "Much of my house on Block Island is done in celadon." Maybe that's why this New York designer frequently favors muted blues and greens and subdued hues in his otherwise bold jewelry. Often fashioned from "aquatic" materials—pearls, opals, coral, blue amber—his creations reflect his love of the sea.
The 53-year-old Walling, who's been making jewelry since he was eight and selling it since he was 16, admits that "it's a shock to no longer be the child prodigy but one of the grand old men of jewelry." As such he enjoys working directly with clients at his studio in Rockefeller Center and boutiques in Aspen and Palm Beach: "Gems are the lens through which I can see who the person really is. It's a wonderful experience for both of us, like finding a great waltzing partner."
Clockwise from top left: freshwater and conch pearl brooch with diamonds ($28,000); coin pearl necklace with aquamarine and diamonds ($38,500); rubellite ring with rubies in platinum and gold ($25,000); pearl and gemstone necklace ($68,000); opalized clam pin with yellow sapphire, emerald, and diamond ($5,000); keshi pearl drop earrings with peridot and diamonds ($20,000). Information: 212-581-7700.