In the publishing industry, we see all kinds of swag created for books, from enamel pins to tote bags, art, custom teas, and more. But Cassandra Khaw, author of Nothing but Blackened Teeth (October 19, Nightfire) wanted to do something different to celebrate their book. This necklace was designed by Sofia Ajram, founder of Sofia Akia jewelry in collaboration with Khaw. We chatted with both of them to find out more about the process!
What were the initial conversations about this piece like? Who approached who? How long did the collaboration take?
Cassandra Khaw: I approached Sofia. I’ve admired her work for the longest time. There’s a delicacy to her pieces, a fantastical quality like something thieved from fairy tales. Even the ones without any overt spec elements just seem… like something otherworldly princes should wear. (Don’t get me started on things like the Medusa ring. Like offerings from a different, better world.)
Sofia Ajram: Cass approached me. She wanted to commission a pendant based on her work to surprise everyone during the release, and I was so thrilled with the idea. Cass knew right away she wanted the Ohaguro-bettari—the featureless face, grinning with black teeth. Right away she shared the stunning cover art for Nothing But Blackened Teeth. That blew me away and made the perfect starting place. I think we started discussing it in July of last year, and it took several months of iterations before we had the fi
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