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M.I.S.S. on the Scene: Hand Jobs (The Nail and Jewelry Show)


The main display and credits

If you’re looking for Hand Jobs, come to the Bay Area.  The all-female art show highlights collaborations between nail artists and jewelry designers, and shows the world that our hands are the perfect canvas- and inspiration- for art.  A light baby pink hue accented the space where nail sets and the ring inspirations looked like they were almost floating off of the walls.  This is the real definition of nail art, ladies.  You could go up to each set, examine the intricate details, without having to ask, “Hey, can I see your nails?”   On top of all that, live art was going on, with pop-up tables to paint the patrons.  From the Nail Jerks to Nail Swag, there were plenty of hand jobs to go around.

Roll Call!

The collection is housed at 24k Studios, the gallery name alone foretelling the gold mine of jewels and tip sets held within.  The name of the show, on the other hand, could easily be mistaken for something else- we were in San Francisco after all.  But because SF is an epicenter of creativity, especially in the nail game, we all know what kind of hand jobs to expect from this line up.

The opening reception was sponsored in part by Bay Area based Floss Gloss, a bossy polish brand with colors that don’t mess around.  But it would not be right for other nail bosses to be left out, so you can find hand job representation from all over the globe.

Floss Gloss x Hand Jobs

Nancy Mc and The Illustrated Nail both represent London in the show.  Nancy Mc’s Banana Milkshake nails, and the Plastic Jewels rings made by jeweler Dha Mee Hahn, made me go bananas.  I absolutely LOVE bananas, and this bunch of hand painted nails had so much appeal.  Her other set, Vintage Wasps, inspired Hahn to create a honeycomb bee-hive of a ring, both of which were generating quite a buzz that night!

Nancy Mc’s “Banana Milkshake”

Nancy Mc’s “Vintage Wasps” – Ring by Dha Mee Hahn

Sophie Harris-Greenslade of The Illustrated Nail strayed from illustration in her sets.  For Jaklitsch Tips, the silver points were pierced with miniature rings resembling the ring made by Laura Jaklitsch, one of her collaborating jewelers.  Her other partner,  Whittney Klann, drew inspiration from The Illustrated Nail.  The ring, Valentina Tereshkova, First Woman in Space, actually had a laserjet decal image of Valentina on porcelain.  The muse nails, titled Black Magic, featured pointed tips that were shadowed with a black glossy Dior Vernis Lacquer, giving the nails some serious definition minus the sharp edge.  Definitely nails that are worthy of being the first in space!

“Black Magic” by the Illustrated Nail

There was another face among the jewelry, also from Whittney Klann.  Dolly Parton can be found glazed across another ring, drawing the inspiration for the Haus of Lacquer.  Steph Berry named her set Jolene after Miss Parton’s signature song, and also featured a forged signature on the middle fingers.  The studded thumbs added even more to the tips.

Haus of Lacquer’s “Jolene”

Project Nude, Haus of Lacquer’s other set, featured abstract geo-patterns painted with precision.  The sterling silver spiked Stegosaurus Ring, by Jane Herro, and the black-on-nude colorway of the nails would be something I would rock on the daily.  Too bad Haus of Lacquer is based out of Vancouver, because I want to sit in her seat!

Haus of Lacquer’s “Project Nude”

Britney TOKYO was also in the house, both on the walls and in the flesh.  Her name screams Japan, and so do her nails.  The Clumsy Cat set  inspired Elizabeth Woll to create a trio of bowtie rings, and their kitty-bow combo might as well be the next Hello Kitty.

“The Clumsy Cat” by Britney TOKYO

For the Desert Rose set, Britney TOKYO adorned opaque nails with translucent roses and hand-linked chain clusters to resemble the circular cages on the sterling silver Infusion Series rings by Leah Meleski.  Britney had more chain action going on in the main display case, which featured a mega-collection of sets from the artists.  Her Life-Form nails not only had extra-long chains chained together from different nails, but also hand-painted chemical chains, hence the name.

“Desert Rose” by Britney TOKYO

Real life forms were used in the collab by NY’s Fleury Rose and Angie Crabtree.  Crabtree’s ring, Marry Me: Green is the New Bling, was green indeed, with bright green moss as the crowning jewel.  Fleury Rose added another element by adding crushed seashell’s to the tips and green flocking to look like mini landscapes on the Gone to Seed tips.

Fleury Rose’s “Gone to seed”

Jewelry designer Elizabeth Woll also played off of the played-out diamond rings with Diamond Abrasives Are This Girl’s Best Friend.  Chicago’s Astrowifey titled her Swarovski-speckled nails Diamond Hunter to match the diamond abrasive pad on the ring.  Astrowifey had plenty of other sets in the display case, including an Ode to Tabatha McGurr, Married to the MOB’s blog star.

“Diamond Hunter” by Astrowifey

Nail Swag swagged out her nails with crystal too, but she chose to use silver druzy gemstones, which resulted in nails that might as well be pieces of jewelry!  The Systems ring, by Yuri Tozuka, looked like an elaborate underground tunnel system, perhaps giving inspiration for Natalie Nichole, the hands behind Nail Swag, to use the stones.  Those gems seem to be a favorite medium of hers because in the front case, there were a few sets decked out with them.

“Silver Druzzy” by Nail Swag

Natalie was also on deck to swag out some nails at the event.  Traveling from LA to the Bay to do a live nail art installation is a true artist right there!  If I had two sets of hands, she would have swagged my tips out too.

Nail Swag doin’ her thing

There were plenty of people at the opening who came prepared with nails done.  Britney TOKYO also came up from LA with her Givenchy-inspired studded tips, complete with a massive cougar head.  Ali from Top Coat, an online nail artist appointment service, came through with a custom branded ring and studded 3D’s.  Accent nails were also in the house.  Check out the subtle spiked ring finger!  The fellas weren’t left out either, as the Nail Jerks posted a George Washington on this guy’s thumb.

Nails Did at Hand Jobs

Yes, I know, that’s a lot of hand jobs to handle, but even though it was a ground-breaking showcase, and hopefully not nail-breaking, the best part for me was getting my own hand job from the Nail Jerks.

Nail Jerks X MISS

I sat down for my appointment with M.I.S.S.’s own Lila Robles.  I’m no first timer with her, so I got my usual: the Nail Jerks Freestyle.  Basically, she does whatever she wants, and this time she was about her money, all the way from the table top to the nail tip.

How much is that Nail Jerks in the window?

First of all, she had the money spot.  Right when you walk up to the studio, her set up lit up the window.  The neon “Nail Jerks” florescent sign gave the streets a little hint of what was going on inside 24k.  Just like her extra-long My Name is Rocky Swarovski and rhinestone tips on display, Nail Jerks was going big.   Lila took the Rock Ring by Jane Herro, a rather small and delicate sterling silver faceted piece, and balanced it out by going bold.

“My Name is Rocky” by Nail Jerks

Second, Nail Jerks didn’t stop at showcasing some amazing nail art, both live and on display.  She was about her business by promoting a sale on her coveted nail file necklace.  She’s no stranger to nail and jewelry collabs, as the functional necklaces are a project between Nail Jerks x Cubannie Links.  I definitely had to cop one, as did a few other ladies who knew that they were saving money buying directly from the artist.

Nail Jerks doin’ work!

Lila hinted that she would be doing some money nails on me, and when she busted out her little bucket of green, I knew she was serious.  Ten dollars worth of one-dollar bills were precisely cut to pieces, leaving no scraps behind.  Parts of the bill I never even acknowledged were saved for some future nail art, and as Lila scrounged through her stash, she emerged with a few pieces of flora.

By the Nail Jerks

I was thinking the obvious dollar-dollar bills, but after a couple of coats of Floss Gloss’s Bikini Coral, the crazy orange color further proved that these were far from typical.  She glued on a few studs on my accent ring fingers, along with the leafy design from the dollar.  A couple of shiny gems later and the job was done.

Nails galore!

Of all the nails, the crowning piece would have to be by the Nail Jerks.  Centered within the main case, Yo St. Francis take care of my Dog B was like the holy altar of the display, with a dangling rosary of the patron saint for animals used as a reminder of beloved dog that she had to give away.  Not only are nails painted for fashion, they can also be decorated and used to protect in prayer.

Nails can chip, break, crack, and fade when you wear them, but when they are displayed as art pieces in a gallery, then you can really get an appreciation for the work that goes into each set.  I have my eye on a few of the hand jobs from the show, but if I copped them, I don’t think I’d floss them….these pieces are collector’s items.  To get your own hand jobs, contact the artists or 24k Studios.

Selected works can be viewed by personal appointment through February 17th.

Image layouts by C-Rocka.

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