Dental grills might seem like a latter-day invention, but they’re actually anything but. Decorative tooth accessories were status symbols as far back as the seventh century B.C., when wealthy women adorned their teeth with thick gold wire. And like most innovations, they’re even more refined today. Among the trade’s most imaginative practitioners: Australian-born, New York–based jeweler Ri Serax, whose outrageous embellishments are worn inside the mouths of rap and R&B artists including Jpegmafia, Princess Nokia, and Vic Mensa. We recently spoke with Serax about the evolution of her practice, and why her work is especially relevant today.
How did you get into designing grills?
I’ve always had an interest in jewelry. But when I moved to America from Australia, in 2017, I had time for a new hobby. I started to learn goldsmithing and taught myself as I went, making some things for friends. In 2018, someone asked me to make a gold tooth. More people kept asking for them, and then people I didn’t know started asking, too. I didn’t advertise my work anywhere. But soon I had a big waitlist of jobs, and making grills evolved into a business.
Your clients are located all over the world. How do you customize pieces for them in the midst of a pandemic?
Traditionally, grills are made by hand. You take an impression of someone’s mouth, make a plaster recreation of it, then design little pieces of jewelry for the teeth. I 3D-print my designs in resin, cast them in metal, and add [precious] stones. This year I started experimenting with doing this digitally. I’ve partnered with dentists, who use much safer equipment to take scans of clients’ mouths. Now, if I have a client in London or Paris, I can find a dentist over there to take a scan for me.
When I put teeth into a 3D-modeling program, I can make anything. That’s why some of the designs are pretty ridiculous. I made one with Pokémon characters on it, others with lots of flower details, and some Monopoly-themed ones with a little Monopoly man. It’s just a matter of understanding the nuances of how to shape a design to the teeth, what’s going to look nice, and how to not obstruct the mouth.
What are the grills made of?
They’re usually made from 14-karat or 18-karat gold, or any medically safe metal. Sometimes people ask for silver, but I tend to not do much of that because it tarnishes. Gold at 14 karats or more is high-quality—it’s safe, and it’s going to last and look beautiful forever.
Why are people drawn to gold teeth and grills, particularly right now?
It primarily comes from people wanting a fashion accessory, but there’s another thing to think about: These pieces are solid gold. They’re a commodity. Last year, when Covid-19 started, [the price of] gold shot up a lot—so if you own gold, it’s really increasing in value. People see the material as an investment, and my clients are thinking that way: “I’ll create a piece to hold my assets.”
While fashion brands often design their garments based on fleeting trends, twin brothers and athletes Nick and Steve TidVollebak, with a more certain future in mind: one that involves environmental threats and the continued exploration of space, an
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2014 may have been the year of the booty, but it took me six cold and less-than-sterile more (plus 2020’s lockdown) to get mine into the warm seat of a Toto Washlet C200, my top pick in this rotund—or rather, well-rounded—assortment of bidet toilet-seat attachments—and love-letter the for
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Before fast fashion became the norm, children typically learned how to make their own clothes, often from their parents Almaborealis, a line of D.I.Y. sewing kits that teach kids the value of creating garments that last.
A Digital Museum Tells Time-Honored Stories of the Indian Subcontinent Through Everyday Objects and Family Heirlooms
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Those who have come to embrace CBD—short for cannabidiol, a chemical abundant in the cannabis plant that, unlike its sibEpidiolex, to treat rare seizure disorders; the majority of scientific studies on the chemical have been conducted on animals.) T$16 billion by 2025, fueled by users who report relief from afflictions including anxiety, depression, and stress. So it seems only natural
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A Fashion Designer Transforms Deadstock Textiles and Upcycled Sleeping Bags Into Wearable Life-Saving Shelters
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“I don’t just look at stones. I need to touch them, and feel the life inside them,” says Lucia Silvestri, who sources geBulgari and serves as its creative director. “There’s sensuality in the energy of gems born in the depths of the earth.” Such v most exquisite pieces designed by the Roman jeweler to date. (Some 200 other items will be added to the collection later
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Kintsugi, the time-honored Japanese practice of using powdered precious metals to repair broken ceramics, has steadily gained poKintsugi: The Poetic Mend (Bloomsbury). In it, she interviews kintsugi masters, details various techniques, and considers potential grounds for the custom’s development. Here, Kemske discusskintsugi’s origins and why it resonates so strongly with people today.
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Since ancient times, people have looked to the sun, moon, and stars to create a sense of rhythm and order in their livesLittle Lange 1 Moon Phase watch elevates the poetic movement with a copper-flecked, midnight-blue silver dial that shimmers like the night sky, a
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The Proustian madeleine cookie is an oft-cited example of how our memories are intertwined with the senses. But just as Worn Stories, the new Netflix docuseries based on artist and writer Emily Spivack’s New York Times–bestselling book.
Vietnamese-American Stylist Beverly Nguyen Pays Tribute to Her Family and Friends With a New Pop-Up Shop
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Imagine shopping a trove of objects that are at once elegant and ethically made—no post-purchase consumer guilt necessarGoodee, an online marketplace of homewares and clothing that make a positive impact on people and the planet. Founded by Montrundulating Pakurigo baskets handwoven by artisans in Ghana from locally sourced vetiver grass, vegan seaweed soap that cleverly uses coriander seeds and peppercorns as exfoliants, and the sought-after Goodee Hoodie, recently released in three new colors (dusty rose, Egyptian blue, and alabaster) and made from Egyptian cotton by the Kotn. There’s also a handsome German Douglas pine daybed from Danish B Corp Skagerak, topped with Kvadrat upholstery, and a Japanese windmill palm fiber “corner brush” designed to dust the undustable. Feel like decking the halls? Try these multihued Jipi Baubles tree ornaments, handmade from Jipijapa palm tree leaves by Colombian artisans in the Andes. For those on our gift lists, including the
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Bicycling has seen a welcome boom in recent months, as the pandemic has made restless city dwellers wary of both public transportation and gyms, and in nAngell, designed by Ora-Ïto and currently available for pre-order, may be the most stylish and affordable e-bike option we’ve inflatable prototype) can tend to look a bit goofy, the Mate City eBike combines performance and style for the more serious cyclist seeking a longer-term investment. The Danish company also pthis high-performance model with fashion brand Moncler). If neither space nor budget are an issue, look to the Dutch bike-maker VanMoof’s S3, a top-of-the-line offering that boasts a near-silent electric mechanism and a distinctive frame that conceals the batt
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Textile artist Sasha Duerr centers her work around plant-based dyes with the curiosity of a dedicated alchemist, growingNatural Palettes: Inspiration from Plant-Based Color (Princeton Architectural Press), presents an antidote to the exacting industry-standard Pantone swatch—one that’s defin
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Seed pots, much like baking staples such as yeast and flour, have been in higher demand in quarantine times, as many peohelpful little molds from Manufactum make the task a bit smoother and more consistent. The two-part presses are made from solid-waxed beechwood, and are as
After a string of announcements from the organizers of Milan’s Salone del Mobile that the largest annual event for the dJamie Wolfond, who made a name early in his career for his pleasing, utilitarian designs as the founder of Good Thing, chooses to see
Perhaps your new WFH commute includes spending more time in the garage or backyard; maybe your temporary “workspace” is Sasawashi’s room shoes, available from one of our all-time favorite shops in New York City, Nalata Nalata, are made from a soft, natural mix of paper and plant fibers that are a Platonic balance of comfort and durability. ForBuilding Block just launched a fancy upgrade to the standard terry-cloth house slipper, updated in smooth leather, and roomy enough that you won’t need to fuss over mixing up your left foot from your right.velvet Venetian slippers from Le Monde Beryl (pictured), inspired by the footwear worn by gondoliers. Available in mule, slipper, and heeled variations, they might
As gym closures continue (that is to say, most everywhere), the age of home fitness has arrived, and with it, a spate of online classes to match. Popular fitness studios like Sky Ting and Modo Yoga have recently transitioned to hosting live sessions online (as has Ashtanga yoga teacher Eddie Stern, who was just a guest on our At a Distance podcast), while apps such as Nike Training Club are temporarily offering free access. We’re also fans of the newsletter TheWorkout.Today, which sends a fresh routine to your inbox each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, along with a self-reflection exercise toGorilla Mat, and some good ol’ motivation.
For a few weeks now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been recommending that Americans wear clot
The prospect of starting a home garden might conjure some Thoreauvian notion of going “back to the land” or returning tothe Edn smart garden; another we recommend—an especially aesthetically pleasing option—is the SproutsIO system. There’s also a user-friendly mobile app for this new reality: Made by a team of British developers, Garden Plan Pro offers an update to the classic Farmers’ Almanac, with a detailed glossary of plants and flowers along with their peak seasonal ranges and the ideal plantings to pair tSimCity rolled into one. Siri, let’s get gardening.
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So you’ve made it through your Netflix queue while scrolling through your Instagram feed, wondering why you spent all thTiger King—it’s probably time to step away from the screen (any of them). May we suggest: an idle afternoon with a jigsaw puzzle, social media fixation on this purely analog activity has been building for some time, embraced for its slow and methodical meditative nature
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From Eileen Gray and Frank Lloyd Wright to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Frank Gehry, there’s a long history of famous arArchitectmade sells a range of such objects by some of the country’s most celebrated architects and designers. These include a range objets by more contemporary talents, including wooden animal figurines by Bjarke Ingels (a panda) and Nikolaj Klitgaard (an owl). The collection of sculptural items are imminently giftable and ageless, made
Flying long distances does a number on our bodies—something that wellness expert Snow Shimazu, founder of the holistic tAir Beautiful, knows all too well. We can credit the grogginess and exhaustion of jet lag to the disruption of our circadian rhythms,Four Seasons New York Downtown spa) works with clients to provide a range of speciality massage and lymphatic cleansing services, but there are also many
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Artists, chefs, and scientists have long found creative inspiration in mushrooms, and for a variety of reasons. Prized fAdam Fuss—who creates photograms by placing spores on light-sensitive paper and letting them bloom in contact to create an abstra“Mushrooms: The Art, Design, and Future of Fungi,” organized by Francesca Gavin, examines the widespread influence of the humble organism, featuring the work of 40 artistMushroom Book of recipes and observations, artworks by Cy Twombly, and a series of events including a pop-up dinner by chef Skye Gyng
Designer Juliana Huang spent much of her childhood in Taiwan, before moving to Los Angeles after high school. Living halThe Wax Apple—affectionately named after her favorite fruit native to Taiwan—she’s able to share a little piece of her culture with a
When British editor Penny Martin and the creators of BUTT and Fantastic Man launched The Gentlewoman, in 2010, it boldly introduced a new type of “women’s magazine.” Redefining notions of female aspiration and personal sThe Gentlewoman features candid profiles and in-depth interviews with figures across the age, cultural, and professional spectrum—everymini-magazine. Measuring less than 3.5 inches tall, and nearly as thick as it is wide, it’s designed to fit in the palm of your hand,The Gentlewoman’s cover stories to date, including those printed in its earliest (and now rare and sought-after) issues. At once undersIrma Boom fan in your life. With its sleek white cover, it makes for a playful foil to the everyman’s little black book.