The jewelry artists in this collection have taken two distinctly different but equally successful paths: some incorporate unexpected materials like fiber with familiar metals; others reinvent silver and gold with unique surface techniques. The result? A dazzling selection of bold yet eminently wearable jewelry pieces.
Manhattan-based Emanuela Duca explored dance, painting and sculpture until she hit on the perfect marriage of movement and sculpture: jewelry. For her latest collection, Duca carefully sculpts each piece in wax, then casts it in silver. Her highly textured surfaces evoke the ancient ruins of Rome, her birthplace.
Patricia Tschetter has two goals for her jewelry: “to be distinctively contemporary and to be accessible.” The Dallas, Texas, artist mixes oxidized silver, 22kt gold and white-gold granulation with minimalist shapes, architectural structures and non-traditional materials to push the boundaries of ornamentation.
Self-taught jeweler Gabriel Ofiesh chooses materials like high-karat gold, gems and small diamonds to craft signature works like his interactive “Orbit” series in his Charlottesville, Va., studio. Many of his pieces are designed to move with the body: “Orbit Beads” revolve freely around a concave surface bead in rings and pendants.
Every neckpiece and brooch Myung Urso creates is a conversation piece. Her materials include everything from cotton, ink, gold leaf, sterling silver and lacquer to acrylic paint and paper. Her choice of materials is no accident; Urso launched her career as a fiber artist in South Korea, eventually opening her own gallery in Seoul. In 2006, she moved to Rochester, N.Y., to pursue her interest in creating jewelry.
Yasuko Azuma Jewelry
Yasuko Azuma draws on her experiences as a fashion designer in her native Japan and as a dancer in her new home in New York City to inspire the intricate details of her 18kt-gold jewelry collection. She launched her studio in 2003 with her husband Richard Ito after mastering her “Diamond Dust” texture, which she describes as an attempt to capture the glittering light on “an icy cold day in winter.”
After 20 years of nomadic life in Latin America, Beverly Tadeu got the urge to put down solid roots. From her Bethesda, Md., studio, Tadeu explores the concept of being “rooted” through her series of carefully forged and formed 18kt gold and oxidized silver patterns. “The interlacing wires require countless tiny solder points,” she says, which lends each piece strength and durability.
Rebecca Myers Collection
Rebecca Myers mixes seemingly contradictory techniques and materials to achieve gorgeous results in eye-catching jewelry from her Baltimore, Md., studio. She pairs high-karat gold, oxidized silver, diamonds and colored stones with abrasive finishes and patinas to reflect the spontaneity she finds in nature.
Alberian & Aulde
“Our goal is to create jewelry that moves and flows to enhance a woman’s own graceful form,” explains Warren Alberian. “We are creating for a woman who appreciates a more subdued elegance,” adds Mary Aulde. The Weehawken, N.J.-based husband-and-wife team’s delicate aesthetic combines matte-finished 18kt gold with richly colored gemstones, diamonds, sapphires and glass enameling.
Victoria Moore turns the traditional use of steel on its ear. What is usually an unforgiving, masculine metal becomes soft and feminine in her hands. To make each earring, bracelet and necklace pop, the Rochester, N.Y., artist adds hints of 18kt yellow gold and diamonds to layers of forged steel and iron.
Although Sana Doumet initially trained as a sculptor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, it wasn’t until she tried sculpture on a smaller scale that she fell in love. Her resulting jewelry collections mix sterling silver, 18kt and 22kt gold with diamonds and pearls. “My love for the medium allows me to overcome the stiffness of the metal,” Doumet says from her Clearwater, Fla., studio.
Jayne Redman Jewelry
Jayne Redman takes cues from nature when designing her jewelry. She looks to the linear quality of flower stems and the fullness of buds, and always melds mechanics with design. Redman begins each piece by meticulously cutting flat metal shapes, combining them until they transform into small-scale sculpture. The Maine native launched her own Portland studio in 1982.
It’s easy to know if you’re looking at a signature Dana David piece: designer Dana Melnick adds a trademark star to every bangle, ring, pendant and earring she handcrafts. A former graphic designer and creative director, Melnick started designing her own jewelry when she was unable to find pieces she could relate to on a personal level. Melnick works with her husband David in Middletown, N.J.
The Artist Online
Velina A. Glass achieves a silk-like texture in her cast-resin bangles by adhering to a painstaking process in her Ellicott City, Md., studio. She blends the colors in the resin through seven castings, and then sands each bangle for two hours. Color is also extraordinarily important to Glass’s work; she takes cues from African and Caribbean fabrics.
Christy Decker translates her love of henna designs into sterling silver jewelry one flowing flower, leaf and swirl at a time. The designs “symbolize the transformations we encounter through life,” the almost-20-year jewelry veteran explains from her Seattle, Wash., studio. “They are tangible talismans to help us stay strong.”
Klara Borbas is a potter-turned-sculptor-turned-jeweler who trekked from her native Hungary to New York City in 1995. It was only in 2007 that she started working on a small scale to produce brooches. In 2008, the Effort, Pa., artist built a new aesthetic with a complete line of necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
Happy Art Studio
Tami Rodrig took a cue from her own jewelry when she named her Lexington, Mass., business Happy Art Studio—a bright rainbow of colors leaps out from the paint captured in her resin and sterling silver collages. Fanciful owls, birds, leaves and flowers appear in earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
Although Sofia Masri’s background is in fine art and fashion design, it was her desire to create accessories in porcelain that led to her current jewelry collection. Today, Masri travels, remembers cities she once called home, and spends hours in antique shops to find inspiration for the patterns in the necklaces, earrings and pins she creates in her Highland Park, Ill., studio.