about demi sel jewelry

demi sel, french for "slightly salted", combines natural forms with noble materials to create hand-crafted pieces of jewelry that have a rich sensuality and a distinct sensibility.

like all objects with a soul and a well-worn patina, the quiet mystery of the oyster shell has long enchanted those with an eye for hidden beauty: covered in algae and weather-beaten from the ocean’s mystical forces, it reveals inside a delectable energy, and sometimes even a pearl.

demi sel founder lucy ford keohane calls upon an array of sources for inspiration: the lines and forms of early nineteenth century design and the scent of saltwater au bord de la mer. with a careful consideration for intricate forms and functional objects, the result is sculptural jewelry that pairs well with a white button-down and a pair of jeans or a simple black silk gown.

founded in manhattan, the origins of demi sel date back to a weekend lucy took to the portside town of trouville, france with friends in 2016. with a baguette and a bottle of chablis in tow, they stopped by the marché aux poissons for seafood fresh from the atlantic. enchanted by the grotesque beauty of the oyster shell, its textured ridges coupled with a delicate smoothness, she selected a few shells to bring back to paris to make into earrings. after a soak in white vinegar and a tender scrub to remove the algae, lucy painted the shells gold and affixed posts to its bellied underside, and demi sel was born.

in april 2022, lucy launched demi sel with "the olympia", a collection of 18 karat gold plate jewelry cast from an oyster shell. a second collection, "the volute", was released in october 2022, featuring casts of a whelk shell that resemble the spiral scrolls on ionic columns. the pieces are hand-casted in manhattan using a lost-cast waxing technique to capture the dynamic form of the shells. 

lucy now lives in new york city and works in 20th century design at sotheby’s. prior to joining sotheby’s, lucy worked in the arts in paris for five years. she goes back often for her favorite delicacy: beurre demi sel.