Artist Profile: Belle Brooke Barer

Barer’s Closed Circle earrings incorporate cognac diamonds.

Bold earrings, necklaces and bracelets hand-forged in sterling silver and gold with unique circles of negative space are the trademark of jewelry designer Belle Brooke Barer (www.bellebrooke.net). Her jewelry making objective is complex: “I try to represent intellectual principles of balance and harmony through the design of the object.” Yet with her elegant statement pieces, which frequently incorporate gems and diamonds, she manages to do just that.

Originally a photographer, Barer’s artistic eye gravitated from the world around her to that of jewelry making while attending Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. Her studies at Pitzer concentrated on a variety of studio arts mediums, but it was a summer job that led her to her true calling. After graduating and moving north to the San Francisco Bay area, she began her jewelry studies at The Crucible in Berkeley, Calif., and later attended the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco where she received her professional certification. In 2006, Belle Brooke Designs Inc. was born.

Barer’s mesmerizing jewelry is created in either sterling silver or 18 karat gold and sprinkled sparingly with semi-precious and precious stones. Tiny tubes are hand placed and soldered in singular batches to create the effervescent circular patterns that define her signature Metropolis collection. This method ensures that each piece is always unique. Her pieces are made from 100% recycled precious metals and ethically mined stones, and acquire their character through the process of hand fabrication.

When Barer isn’t creating in her Taos, N.M., studio or tending to her 6-month-old baby, she looks for fresh inspiration in the Southwestern landscape outside of her window, including Native American motifs which will be evident in her future work. But in the end, she keeps one goal in mind: “I want to make beautiful objects for people to appreciate and enjoy, keep the craft alive and pass it on to the next generation to do the same. As humans we have the ability to create unlike any other species and I think that we need to continue to make things by hand.”