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features

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features

VOLUME 13 ISSUE 3

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52

68

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86

94

103

the Cover

eat

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only way to rock and roll

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in a jam

WRITER MIRAH LIM TODD

From breadfruit to banana can bubble a pot

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY HARD ROCK HOTEL AND

WRITER ROSEMARY PARKINSON

CASINO PUNTA CANA

PHOTOGRAPHER ROSEMARY PARKINSON

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into the unknown

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a toast to rum

create

Republic

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living on the edge

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nakazzi, unmasked

Photography courtesy

Saint Lucian villa sits on northern bluff

Jamaican artist sculpts mermaids and angels

hard rock hotel and casino

WRITER KATHERINE ATKINSON

WRITER LAURA LIN HUTCHINSON

PHOTOGRAPHER DANIELLE DEVAUX

PHOTOGRAPHER COLIN REID

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new kind of island living

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for the woman within

Mexican hotel stands on water

Jamaica’s Appleton rum is symbol of excellence

Couple creates Jamaica house of contrasts

Jewellery designer captures soul of women

WRITER HELEN PIPINS

WRITER CAROLINE MOSES

WRITER LEISHA CHEN YOUNG

WRITER NIKOLA LASHLEY

PHOTOGRAPHERS Courtesy Hotelito

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY Appleton Estate

PHOTOGRAPHER PAUL STOPPI

PHOTOGRAPHERs STEPHEN CHONG, jewel Walwyn

Desconocido & AGUSTIN ELIZALDE/ESTUDIO POMELO

Jamaica Rum

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no worries

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fancy that

St John villa inspired by African song

Clothes off to enjoy this fruit

WRITER SHARON MILLAR

WRITER ROBERT OLIVER

PHOTOGRAPHER STEVE SIMONSEN

music memorabilia at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Dominican

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play

live

Beach Boys picture is part of

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nature’s theatre

WRITER CELINE BARNARD

PHOTOGRAPHER JULIE WEBSTER CHALBAUD

 

Barbados garden thrives in 350-year-old setting

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writer NIKOLA LASHLEY PhotographY Stephan Chong, Jewel Walwyn

for the woman within Jamaican artist creates “portraits’’ of women in precious stones and crystals

In a four-bedroom house in the suburbs of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, there’s a Jamaican-born artist-jeweller with two desks and a gift for translating personalities.

For her, the thrill of designing jewellery lies in the telling of stories. Nichola DePass-Chong is a child of the Caribbean; her design style and overarching theme of ND Chong Jewels is anchored in the landscapes of Jamaica and the strength of its people, particularly its women. For the women who spark her imagination and leave the most lasting impression, Chong designs jewellery named after them, using semi-precious

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Jewel Walwyn

natural stones, beads and crystals.

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F or the women who spark her imagination and leave the most lasting impression , C hong designs jewellery named after them, using semi-precious natural stones, beads and crystals

This bead is black with a bit of a white striping and that detail represented the journalist’s quirky side. The red coral beads showed her vibrancy and the black

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Categorised under the four elements of air, fire,

onyx was her strength. In ancient Hawaii, the oil from

water and earth, her jewellery collection reads like a

the nut was used in lamps and the symbolism of

personal roll call, dedicated to the character of women

illumination was appropriate to Chong’s interpretation

she’s met, and the friends she has made along the

of the resilience and strength she sensed during her

way: Celia, Monica, Tammy, Christine, Donna, Rachel,

chance meeting with Novia.

Charmaine, Amy, Nikki, Brenda and Suzanne.

“When I sent the necklace to Novia as a gift she

Chong explains, “I’ll meet someone for the first

opened it at work and tried it on at home and

time or even women that I already know and I’ll be

emailed me at one o’clock in the morning to say it

talking to them for just a few minutes, usually they

was beautiful and ‘how did you manage to capture

don’t know that while I’m listening to them, I’m also

my personality and I don’t even know you.’ ”

feeling their energy and really listening to the tonality

Chong explains the creative process is a blend of

of their voice. From that I put a piece together based

disciplines which informs both her jewellery designs

on what I feel from the energy of the individual.”

and her work as an interior designer. “It’s actually a

The whole world is her muse but Chong is drawn

tough balance–on one side of my office I have a desk

to the heart qualities of women, those with a sense

for ND Chong Jewels and on the other side I have one

of innerness that is positive and unguarded. “When

for ND Chong Design. I’m more of a bohemian, but

I met Novia McDonald-Whyte (journalist at the

I’m a very unusual person because usually a bohemian

Jamaican Observer) at the opening of the Spanish

is someone who is free flowing, free moving but I’m

Court Hotel in Jamaica, she just completely inspired

also extremely linear in thought. I’m about great

me. We just spoke for a few minutes, I don’t know

attention to detail and also very technical at the

what it was, but I came back and I made the piece [a

same time, even in my drawings you can see that

necklace] using a Hawaiian nut called the kukui.’’

happening.”

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Chong studied art and design at the Miami

journey home has played a vital role in my life and my

International

Caribbean background has influenced my work 100

University

of

Art

and

Design,

graduating cum laude. As an interior designer, she

per cent.”

has collaborated with fellow Jamaican and notable

When Chong was a teenager, it was Celia, a fiery

designer Alison Antrobus on the extension of the

and bold childhood friend, who inspired her love

Miami-based restaurant Prime One Twelve.

affair with jewellery. Chong named her first collection

At age seven Nichola Chong emigrated to the

for Celia. “I’ve always admired and had a fascination

States with her family but recalls her parents’ desire

with jewellery from about the age of 15. I started

to keep her and her brother deeply rooted to their

playing around with ideas and different elements.

Jamaican heritage. “My parents made sure that as

In the early days, they were very crude and unusual

children when we moved here, that we would always

little pieces and over the years I began to fine-tune

understand where we came from and that we should

my designs. Everything, anything that I see and

always hold on to our Caribbean values. We’d end

experience, informs what I do on some level. I wish

up back at home in Jamaica every summer and that

everybody could live like this because it’s always been so much fun.” Chong does not entertain the idea of mass production for big stores or boutiques. She prefers to showcase her work on her website or by appointment, or occasionally in private exhibitions. Her unconventional approach to design, as well as business, has always been the route to her success.

S he prefers to showcase her work on her website or by appointment, or occasionally in private exhibitions . H er unconventional approach to design, as well as business , has always been the route to her success

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“At a recent show, a much older Russian man came in, he spotted a piece and fell in love with it for his wife. It was a necklace named after my Auntie Daph, Daphne King, a beautiful, elegant woman,

Chong weighed his request and followed her

warm hearted and always superbly dressed, made

instincts as she has always done. “I looked at him

from agate, a white crystal formation with a deep

and said, ‘I will sell it to you for the price that you

rosy taupe colouring, very unusual, with fresh water

asked,’ and I gave it to him.’’

pearls and pink opal. I watched them both as he

As he was walking out, he looked at Chong and

made a fuss over her trying it on. It was amazing,

taught her a life lesson about trust and faith. He said,

he looked at her and said, ‘You’re beautiful.’ It’s that

“Every time you sell a piece, make sure you open

kind of soulful, loving exchange between a man and a

another bag ready to go, ready to sell and at the end

woman that’s missing from life today. He turned to me

of the day you’ll be surprised.’’

and looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘You have

He looked at Chong and smiled. “It was just the

to sell this to me at the price I want to pay for it.’ ’’

trust that was in his eyes and on his face and I said,

“ E verything , anything that I see and experience , informs what I do on some level. I wish everybody could live like this because it’ s always been so much fun ”

wow, and, of course, he was right. At the end of the day, everything was gone.” M

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