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Gia Bahm's Bullet Beauties

The New York City-based designer turns raw stones into mystical weapons.

Superman may have been faster than a speeding bullet, but he was no match against the negative effects of green Kryptonite. Faced with the disabling mineral, Kal-El became just like the rest of us mere mortals. As geeky Clark Kent, he became tongue-tied around his beloved Lois. Maybe if he had one of Gia Bahm’s crystal pendants around his neck, he might have been able to channel his superhero powers to his normal-day life. Luckily, Bahm has enough charms to share.

It was a matter of the heart, which led Bahm to begin her line. Her friend wanted to find a crystal to mend a broken heart and after they visited a store in New York, Bahm was mesmerized. She launched Unearthen last year. Each one of her unique raw crystal pendants comes in an empty bullet casing, creating a visually striking combination that is both powerful and whimsical on the eyes. The crystals vary in color, shape and size and contain different properties believed to heal and bring supernatural powers to the person who wears it.

This season, Bahm teamed up with Los Angeles surfer-cum-designer Alexandra Cassaniti for a limited-edition pendant made from an inch-long hand-blown glass piece filled with recycled oil. She is also experimenting with different crystal combinations, such as aqua aura quartz, which is enhanced with gold and produces a bright iridescent blue color. When it comes to choosing the right pendant, Bahm says, “Trust those instincts.”

Dazed Digital: Why should people wear crystals?
Gia Bahm: People should wear crystals as reminders. Everyone has something they need to work on. I think carrying a memento helps manifest change inside of you.

DD: What inspires you?
GB: Road trips. Tumbleweeds. Playing cards. I would love nothing more than to own a kiln.

DD: Where do you find the crystals for your line?
GB: I find gems and minerals from all over. Many only grow in one place. The Herkimer diamond is only found in Herkimer, New York. A crystal called Zincite only grew in chimneys in Poland at one time and hasn’t reappeared again. There’s also a huge conference in Arizona called the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show that I go to once a year.

DD: What was it like collaborating with your old roommate, Alex?
GB: Alex is amazing. She has the smartest ideas and when she came to me with the idea to do something with a vial of oil, it just made so much sense for the both of us. We ended up making a necklace that is a small blown glass vial that contains a few drops of thick, blackish brown oil. Right now we are using recycled motor oil and reclaimed metal.

DD: I heard you are working on a watch for next fall. Can you tell us a little more about that?
GB: The watch came about last November when I was brainstorming and I discovered the watch section at a bookstore and fell in love. The watch involves a clear special kind of crystal called apophyllite that naturally forms in a pyramid. It covers the face of the watch so, you peer through the crystal to read the fractured time. It’s pretty trippy.