How You Like Them Berries?

There’s nothing worse than seeing a movie that takes place in your world, and the details are all wrong. Speaking of food, for instance, there’s that terrible Catherine Zeta Jones movie, No Reservations, where she plays a chef and works wearing a spotless white chef’s coat in a clean, quiet kitchen so big you could pitch a tent in the middle, the reaction to which anyone who has ever worked in a professional kitchen might be: In your dreams! When I saw the movie It’s Complicated, on the other hand, I could tell by the way both the kitchen and the food looked that they’d hired a serious food person to take care of those details. (As it turned out, they’d hired my friend, the veteran, brilliant-genius food stylist, Susan Spungen). But it was when I saw the earrings that Meryl Streep wore that I really knew they were serious about getting it right.

The earrings were simple drop pearls from the jewelry designer, Ted Muehling. Even though there is so little to them: a delicate earwire made of 14k gold, from which dangles a pretty straightforward pearl–no big deal–still, there is something so special about them. I have a pair and am amazed by how many compliments such a simple thing can elicit. But what made them remarkable in the movie is that Meryl Streep’s character owned a food store a la Joan’s on Third, and in real life, food people are obsessed with Ted Muehling.


Maybe the reason for this obsession is because, like people who are into food, the earrings are inspired by things in nature–many of which are actual foods. Among the shapes, there are “berries,” “rice,” “melons,” “snails,” “fish,” and “acorns.” Not that anyone is going to eat an acorn, or a “pine cone,” another Ted Muehling option. But we can certainly appreciate their organically beautiful shapes, especially when they’re turned out in pink gold. And just like a good chef can coax so much magic out of a carrot, Ted Muehling’s creations allow us to see the beauty in objects we might otherwise overlook, such as “fly wings” “gnats,” “eye bugs,” “moth wings,” and “moths”.  I hope to have the whole natural habitat of earrings one day. And I’d have a hard time not forgiving anyone who extended this particular olive branch to me.  Not that I can be bought…

Note: These photos were “borrowed” from the Ted Meuhling website. (Aren’t they lovely?)

In Los Angeles, you can buy Ted Muehling at the gallery-like jewelry store, arp. In New York, at theTed Muehling store. The rest of you will find a way! How could you not?


2 thoughts on “How You Like Them Berries?

  1. Love Ted Muehling. A boss once gave me a pair for Christmas, and they are now the only earrings I ever wear. Nothing is prettier or simpler, so why would I change?

  2. I saw someone with a pair when I was working in SF over 25 years ago. You could tell that she didn’t want to give up her source. I found out and when I eloped in NY a few years later, that was my wedding gift, ie treasured them ever since and had added a few pairs over the years.
    It’s Complicated is one of favorite movies and I’m disappointed in myself that I didn’t catch her earrings!

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