Yesterday I was in New York City for a couple of meetings and, as I usually do, I made a point of stopping by Love Adorned. The store has an incredible collection of jewelry thoughtfully curated by the owner, Lori. As I was gazing at the unique, beautiful designs I made a mental wish list that I am sharing here. Also, I must note, this is the shortened version (even so, I still have two pieces by Fraser Hamilton on the list, I'm obsessed). I also decided to share my favorites pieces from their collection of vintage jewelry in a separate post. If you are ever near one of their locations (NYC, Amagansett or Santa Monica), I highly recommend stopping by, or of course, you can shop their website.
Sophie Hughes has a new, limited-edition collection that I love! It's called 4x4 and only 16 pieces of each design will be produced. The collection is inspired by "the crescent motif found in ancient art that continues to travel throughout time and across cultures."
What I love most about Sophie's jewelry is that she handcrafts each piece in her Boston showroom using traditional metalsmithing techniques - vintage hammers, anvils and torches. Having seen many of these techniques in action while I worked at Todd Reed, I am always enchanted and impressed by the process. Sophie is one talented lady!
My favorite designs from the collection are below, see more on her website!
After my very first COUTURE show I added an Imogen Belfield ring to my collection. I was drawn to her rough aesthtic paired with bright yellow gold. Imogen is a Bristish designer who is a part of Stephen Webster's group of designers called the Rock Vault. I love seeing a collection evolve and Imogen's latest designs are better than ever. I wasn't the only person to notice because she also won a COUTURE Design Award for 'Best in Gold'!
The winning piece is part of Imogen's new Amazonian Collection. She describes it as "fiery, brave and spirited."
She continued, "the central shape in the collection is a spear-head form in which the combination of strength in symbolism and delicacy in the use of materials creates a dramatic fusion of brutality with beauty making it an irresistible force."
Can't wait to see what's next from Imogen! See more of her designs here.
Roman, the designer behind Santi Rom, is part of my curated group of designers exhibiting at JA New York. His collection is incredible. It's very modern but also has a vintage feel. Get to know a bit about Roman below!
I started my journey in art school, which was ages ago, but had no real interested in metalsmithing. Then, in 2002, I was living in New York and decided to refresh my knowledge with a small jewelry class. From there it became a hobby but became a real focus when I moved to LA in 2009.
My process always starts in my head - thinking of a type of woman I find inspirational and her life. I imagine her clothes, career & hobbies, and her spirit. From there I see what and how she adorns herself. Physically I will sketch ideas and usually make a rough out of silver. Sometimes from here I will mold and cast pieces. Stone layout usually starts with paper models of the piece or when the actual piece is close to completion. If I’m dead set on a size and shape of stone I will make the proper measurements. Sometimes I’ll have an idea of a piece and have it all follow a particular stone I have purchased.
Woman first and foremost. I have always loved and surrounded myself with confident woman. Nothing is more gratifying for me then to see her walk through life strong, attractive, and making a strong visual impact.
When I asked Roman what he does other than jewelry, he responded by saying, "I spend most of my time imagining - completely lost in my head. Sometimes reality is a bit to pedestrian for my taste." Roman also likes music, visiting museums, spending time with friends and eating.
Currently listening to: Warpaint, Lush, Bjork and the new Abra album is on constant rotation.
Another designer I fell in love with last week at COUTURE was Neha Dani. Honestly, she was not on my radar heading into the show but after hearing her story and seeing her designs in person, I became a fan. Neha's statement earrings are incredible and I will be dreaming about them for weeks, maybe years, to come.
I am mostly inspired by different aspects of nature, from its contours and forms to its ever-changing colors, blooms and silhouettes. Cadence [the rhodium collection] was special as it originates from the depths of the sea, inspired from aquatic plants. I have tried to capture their rhythmic movements as they sway in tune with the flowing water.
As I observe nature very closely, it almost feels like every leaf or flower has a soul and life of its own. The ever changing form each one takes as they bloom and eventually shrink is unique; it's like bringing out their personalities. I like to present this unique character through my creations.
My creative process starts with my thoughts. As my work is 3D, I draw very little. I work on my thoughts and inspirations mentally and usually start with a rough sketch, moving on to making clay models or soft wax models and eventually hand carving the wax model for casting it into gold. Each piece iscarved in wax by hand and detailed over and over until I am satisfied with its form or shape and expression. Once the model is frozen it's turned into gold and embedded with diamonds and gemstones.
See more designs from Neha Dani here, my favorites are below.
There is much too much hate in the world and that becomes more apparent as mass shootings become more common. I do believe that by practicing peace and being a good, positive person, things can change. Things need to change.
My escape from the endless headlines about senseless violence is always music (and jewelry). Elisa Solomon agrees. She put together a playlist of her favorite classic rock songs. I also chose some of my favorite designs from Elisa's collection. Also, do not miss her in my curated collection of designers at JA New York!
Listen here, photos below, enjoy! XO
- Riders on the Storm by The Doors
- Dream On by Aerosmith
- Tiny Dancer by Elton John
- The Joker by Steve Miller Band
- Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
- Hey Jude by The Beatles
- American Pie by Don McLean
- Star Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendrix
- Rock and Roll All Nite by Kiss
- Renegade by Styx
Sometimes I emotionally connect to a designer's collection. It's truly the best feeling. In Vegas at the COUTURE show, I met Jamie Joseph and fell in love - with her, her husband, her brand and her designs. These people are laid back and so cool. I am planning a trip to Seattle because it's a city I've been meaning to visit and I need to see their studio.
I connected most with Jamie's Golden Joinery collection. Throughout her 20 years of making jewelry, there have been quite a few stone casualties. Rather than having her husband and stone-cutter re-cut the stones, she decided to fix them with the best materials possible - gold and diamonds. The idea of using gold to fix what's broken felt like a more profound concept to me than just mending broken stones. Currently I have someone very close to me struggling with depression and addiction. The only way to mend a problem like that, someone who is seemingly broken, is with love, truth and a second chance. Perhaps I am reading too much into a design, but that's what I love so much about jewelry - the deeper meaning, whether determined by the designer or the wearer. Every piece of jewelry has a story.
Below are some gorgeous one-of-a-kind pieces, follow Jamie on Instagram to see more.
One of the brands I met and became a fan of last week is Roule & Co. The designers behind the line are Christopher and Laurin, a passionate couple who have been designing for over two decades. I can't say enough about these two and their amazing vision as well as their positive spirit.
Roule & Co's collection is unique and colorful. They create shaker jewelry that contains upwards of 175 carats of loose gemstones. Christopher and Laurin thoughtfully choose and place the stones within the wire cages. Roule & Co's elegant geometric designs are wearable, well-made and so innovative. I could keep saying good things, but I will leave you with photos of my favorite designs and a request that if you have the chance to see these designs in person, please do - you won't be disappointed!
WOW, last week was insane and amazing and I'm tired but so excited to tell you about so many amazing designers. This summary of the trends I noticed at the COUTURE show has taken me hours to write because I saw so much incredible jewelry. In the next few weeks I will be sharing designers I met at the show that must be on your radar!
Enameling is an art that has been around for centuries, but it's still popular. Many designers are using enamel in a very innovative way.
Some of these could also be considered bolo ties - either way, I like this trend.
Hoops are a staple in any jewelry collection, now you have some very unique options.
Rings to Stack
Ring stacks are in and have been in, but now designers are thinking about rings that fit together in unique ways to take your stacking game to the next level.
Or in the case of the above earrings, 7-in-1. Fine jewelry is a big investment, so designs that can be converted or worn several ways adds value. I'm excited by these thoughtful designs.
Design elements from the 1920s were used in many collections, but in a very interesting and modern way. I love how designs are being inspired by the Art Deco era.
Only a few more days until the COUTURE show in Las Vegas, so here's my last pre-show post. Below are even more designs that I am looking forward to seeing in person. I am sure I will also be discovering new designs and designers throughout the week, so stay tuned for a post-show recap. This time of year feels like Christmas to me! Also, special thanks to my dear friend, Morgan, for showing me the amazing Lydia Courteille jellyfish earrings.
Follow my jewelry journey on Instagram and I'll see you SOON, Vegas!
Less than one week until the biggest and most sparkly week in jewelry takes place in Las Vegas. I have been exploring all of the designers exhibiting and have been lucky enough to get some previews of collections that will be debuting. Below are designs that I will be making a point to see next week, but I am also looking forward to discovering new designers! And don't worry, I will definitely be sharing my findings.
See you soon, Vegas!
(Click the photos below for more info on each design)
Ruth Tomlinson is an incredible designer and maker. Her pieces are organic, yet refined and so beautiful. Each design is a miniature work of art. I actually had a Skype call with Ruth this morning and it was amazing to hear her talk about her work. She is passionate about the raw materials as well as the craft. Get to know more about Ruth below!
Age 12! I used beads and Fimo modelling clay. By 14 I had four local stockists and travelled around doing craft fairs. I have sold my jewellery ever since. I discovered my passion at an early age.
I am very much a designer maker in that I explore my ideas through the materials I use. I am interested in pushing the boundaries of the materials I use and taking it to new places. We are currently doing lots of wax working and I am really enjoying the fluidity and texture this brings to the metal, almost back to its natural state.
Inspiration for the collections comes from all aspects of my life, from a fleeting glance of a woman wearing amazing jewellery while traveling in India to the first spring blossom on a tree.
My favorite piece is one I kept for myself - the 2 ctw raw diamond ring with grey diamonds. I love this ring because of the raw and perfect beauty nature creates, that diamond came straight from the earth and is the most beautiful form, holding an incredible light inside. This piece was created in 2006 and was the start of our fine jewellery journey. It is an understated beauty and this is what the brand is all about.
y favourite artists would be from some bygone era maybe a Dutch still life by Jan Van Huysum or a Rembrandt . Design wise I love contemporary design, one of my favourite designers in the world is my partner Gareth Neal, but I am slightly bias.
Other than jewelry: Traveling. Most recently I visited the Andaman Islands, just off the coast of India. I found inspiration diving and snorkeling, looking into another world beneath the sea. I also love Nature, walking, gardening and yoga on my lunch breaks. And eating good food with people I love.
Currently listening to: We have lots on vinyl in the house and its mostly the folk and world music I seem to go to. One of my top favourites at the moment is Crosby, Stills and Nash, they bring out my inner hippy!
Some of my favorite designs below, see more on Ruth's website! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter TODAY - she is having a sample sale and details will come via email tomorrow morning.
Salt + Stone is another one of the designers in my curated section of JA New York. Jackie, the designer behind the line, creates very refined, nature inspired pieces. I especially love her Gumdrop collection, but also, her Reef Ring is on my wish list. Get to know Jackie below!
My love affair with jewelry started after a trip to Brazil in 2007. Five years out of college and I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. After a few days in this tiny beach town called Buzios, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I could pursue my creative passions and I could make it into a business. I was inspired by the town's incredible vibrancy, creative energy and positive spirit. When I got home I quit my job and enrolled in jewelry school. The rest is history.
With each project it varies, but sketch work is always a part of the creative process. I love to draw and I utilize my technical design degree from GIA regularly to communicate ideas to my clients. Stone shopping is always my favorite part of the creative journey. Just yesterday I was collaborating with my gemstone dealer drooling over moonstones and opals. She also is very creative and we are experimenting with a new finish on the stones to provide an interesting take on a traditional aesthetic. I love collaborating with my customers and vendors alike. Jewelry is never built in a vacuum.
Love. In all of it's forms. I got started in bridal by accident when an ex-boyfriend had me design an engagement ring for his beloved. It's a perfect fit for my disposition. I'm a hopeless romantic and my life is guided by this magical force. I like playing with the idea that the big bang was just a giant heartbreak and we're all tied together in this evolution of love.
If I had to choose a favorite piece I'd pick the Gladiator Bracelet. It was one of the first pieces I've ever made. It's hinged and has beautiful movement. It's probably one of the more complicated pieces I've created, but I enjoyed the challenge. I figured if I could make this happen than I could build anything. It gave me confidence.
Favorite artists and designers: Melissa Joy Manning is by far one of my favorites. I've followed her trajectory since her early days and she is just a wonderful person. I admire the simplicity of her work and that it is all hand-crafted in the United States. I've also been inspired by the talent and encouragement given by Sharon Kazzam, Todd Reed, Sarah Graham and Erica Courtney. They are all part of a jewelry tribe that believes in sharing, collaborating and helping each other. True artists.
Other than jewelry: I love the great outdoors. You'll often find me hiking, bike riding or skiing in my free time. I always feel re-energized and inspired after reconnecting with nature.
Currently listening to: Hymn for the Weekend by Coldplay. Amazing song and I find the video powerful.
See more designs on Salt + Stone's website!
I've been getting asked, since starting my own business, that includes looking at jewelry all of the time, if my love for it has diminished at all. It hasn't. My heart truly flutters when I get to share a designer I love. Today I am excited to introduce you to Katie Carder Jewelry, formally Moira K. Lime. She is one of my designers at JA New York and just did a complete re-brand. Get to know Katie below!
I grew up in an artistic family and was always encouraged to be creative and use my own two hands to make things. I loved drawing, painting, making beaded jewelry and woven friendship bracelets. I was also exposed to vintage and antique jewelry at a young age thanks my Uncle who sold antique's. Whenever we went to his house for family dinners he would get out his trays of rings and let me play dress up. I was also lucky enough to attend a high school with a great art department that offered jewelry making classes which is where I ultimately fell in love with manipulating metal. I guess you could say it was the perfect storm that guided me to my love for jewelry and jewelry making.
After high school I studied at Indiana University where I double majored in Art History and Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design. After I graduated I worked as a production/design assistant for two jewelers in Chicago and in 2006 I started Moira K. Lime Jewelry.
I got married last October to the man of my dreams and changed my last name from Lime to Carder. When I took my husband's last name I knew it was time to update my brand name. As a designer and maker of fine jewelry, my personal and professional life continue to impact my work. Katie Carder Fine Jewelry is the product of my life.
My process is very intuitive and my designs often grow and change from previous designs and ideas. Sometimes I sketch first and other times I just begin to create and allow the process to guide me. I hand fabricate everything in my studio from start to finish using traditional metalsmithing techniques, recycled metals and reclaimed and ethically sourced gems. Soldering is my favorite part of the process and my mini torch is something I couldn't live with out because it allows me to work on a more delicate scale.
I also love to collect and re-store antique and vintage rings (which I curate and sell along side my hand crafted jewelry) and I'm always amazed at the craftsmanship and details designers were able to achieve so long ago. Many of the techniques and tools I use in my work today haven't changed from the time those antiques were created, pretty cool!
I'm inspired by the shapes, patterns and textures found in the natural world, by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco design movements and by lovely lace and filigree and flowers and all things delicate and feminine.
I get excited about every new piece that I make and for a while that new piece is my favorite until I create my next favorite piece. Currently that would be this Rose Cut Emerald Fern Ring that I just finished up. I love incorporating the old and the new together and I adore the character that the antique old mine cut diamonds add to this ring.
Favorite designers and artists: My all time fave jewelry designers include Jacqueline Ryan, Julie Blyfield, Nora Rochel and Rene Lalique. My favorite painters include Gustav Klimt, John William Waterhouse and Edgar Degas.
Other than jewelry: I love to cook with my husband and I really enjoy baking sweet treats. I have quite the green thumb and love being outside in my garden getting my hands dirty. I also love taking my two dogs on long walks around our neighborhood to clear my mind and I find that practicing yoga really helps me feel balanced and takes care of my body after long hours spent at my bench.
Currently listening to: I always have music playing in my studio. I'm currently listening to Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, Leon Bridges and there's always the classics that I turn to...Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, John Lennon and the Talking Heads. I also love to listen to podcasts (especially Radiolab) and the news on NPR.
See more designs on the newly re-designed KCarder.com!
I've been thinking about engagement rings recently and am not sure where the traditional white diamond center stone ring came from. So, I did some research. The Renaissance era is when people started using diamond rings as engagement rings. Diamonds were considered a sign of wealth and went in and out of style until 1938 when DeBeers launched a marketing campaign to educate consumers about the "four Cs." Then in 1947, the slogan "a diamond is forever" was launched. The rest is history. Now, white diamond engagement rings are a major part of our culture. While I love diamonds, I crave deeper meaning. Here are some cool antique options with beautiful symbolism.
Forget Me Nots: True love, a connection that lasts through time, a reminder of fond memories and the growing affection between two people.
Love Knot: A few styles of knot are considered a love knot. My favorite is the "true love knot" (example in top left below) which was a popular ring style for sailers separated from their wife or girlfriend. It's made from two overhand knots that interlock - they are flexible to move a bit but are also inseparable.
Snakes: Prince Albert proposed to Queen Victoria with an emerald snake ring, but hundreds of years earlier, snakes were embraced as a symbol of eternal love.
Gimmel Ring: These type of rings date back to the fifteen hundreds. The hands open, usually to reveal a hear. It symbolizes the bonding of two lives together till death do they part.
Estyn Hulbert is another designer I discovered on Instagram. I immediately was attracted to the unique way she uses pearls. Not only are her designs unique and beautiful, but her story is very compelling. Get to know Estyn below!
"In early 2000 I started planning a trip to New York to see if I wanted to move to the city. I figured that I'd check it out then maybe move six months later. I called my aunt, artist and jewelry designer Jessica Rose, to let her know I would be visiting. A couple of days later she called me back to say that her assistant had suddenly quit and if I could move right away she'd give me the job. So my vacation turned into a fortnight of apartment hunting and jewelry training, and a few weeks later I had packed up my life and moved to Brooklyn."
"Before then I had no jewelry experience beyond stringing seed beads as a kid; my own work was in textiles and sculpture. When I started working with Jessica, I realized that we had the same aesthetic sensibility and sense of color. She encouraged me to start designing jewelry and eventually we became business partners."
"Jessica died in 2006 but I continue to make many of her designs which are timeless and unique."
"I scribble ideas on post-its and the backs of envelopes, and eventually stick the scraps into my sketchbook and draw and develop them some more if they spark a series of designs. I always date my drawings and what I often find when I'm gathering the sketches is that I've recorded a particular idea multiple times, sometimes over years. When that's the case I feel like the design is trying to get my attention and I move it to the top of my sample making list."
"I'm inspired by lots of things including the stones and pearls I work with, seed pods that I find in my garden and antique jewelry like the Tudor chains in the Cheapside Hoard. But it's often the piece I've been making which leads me to the next design. I spend a lot of time thinking "what if I did this instead…" and experimenting."
"I'm loving the new Wave Ribbon necklace for the way it can scale up with chunky stone pebbles or down for tiny peals. However I'll always have a special place in my heart for the Wild Geese necklace which was one of my first designs and has a lovely fluid drape, and the Constellations necklace which is the first design I made using the seamless circle technique I developed."
Who are your favorite designers?
"I live surrounded by my aunt, Jessica Rose's experiments, samples and large sculptural pieces. Her work amazes me every day."
"I love Ted Muehling's work for its incredible simplicity and purity of design, Gabriella Kiss's magical miniature wearable sculptures and Judy Geib's unusual, playful jewelry and objects."
Other than jewelry: "Lately I've started playing the piano, something I hadn't done since high school. It's a completely different use of my hands and the combination of deciphering the music and playing different notes with each hand seems to scratch an unused part of my brain which is deeply satisfying."
Currently listening to: "I've been listening to Simi Stone's album. Natural Grace is the perfect song when I need a little studio dance break."
See more of Estyn Hulbert's designs on her website.
Last night I was catching up on May issues of fashion magazines and came across this article about go-to fine jewelry pieces in InStyle. While I like the concept, the picks are so boring and I believe your core collection of basic jewelry does not need to be boring. My selects are below!
"I asked Jean to cut a Zambian tourmaline for me and send it to me unseen; that I would design for the stone and tell the story of a stone. I wanted to challenge him a little bit too since his stones usually denote only power and less romance, so I asked him for a romantic stone. Maybe a stone for an engagement ring."
"Sometime in January, this stone showed up in the mail. She reminds me of flowers, of blooms. That first blush when a bud opens up, that first moment of love-that sweetness. The stone is sweet yet the story of the metal is complex. The masculine and the feminine elements. Not surprisingly, I was chatting with a friend about the stone and she said her name is Delila. I remembered the biblical story and I thought the name was accurate. The nature of the temptress vs the God given strength of a woman. I love that beauty can be delicate, beautiful, powerful, complex and destructive. With that idea in mind, I started crafting the ring and what came to life, came to life. She takes my breathe away. I won't lie. "
I've written about Jennie before, but was in LA last month and had a chance to see her new designs. I fall more in love with the line each time I hang out with Jennie. Sometimes a designer, brand and the actual design have a consistent and cohesive voice. It's rare, but makes for an incredibly strong brand. Jennie has that. She is humble about her success and doesn't try to hard to tell her story, it comes easily. Sorry to ramble on, but I am just in awe of this brand. Anyway, get to know more about Jennie, her process and the inspiration behind her new collections below.
"I was an attorney for around 5 years - first at a big firm and then in house at a movie studio. Towards the end of my career, I had such a yearning to return to doing something creative. Something that brought beauty into the world and inspiration within myself. After the birth of my twins, I dabbled in this and that...Ceramics, writing, knitting. I then took a short class in metalsmithing and it really resonated with me. The design aspect. I decided to take a plunge into the unknown and produced a few pieces that really resonated with my sense of aesthetic and that I hadn't seen out there in the jewelry world yet, cobbled together a small website and the rest is history."
"With my more minimal pieces from the beginning of my line, I would just discuss the concept with my jeweler and have him make a sample for me since most of these are handmade from hand pulled wire and set with stones. With other designs, I usually start from the stones I source- gather inspiration from their natural beauty and design around them. I sketch the design and then have it made from there."
"At the risk of sounding narcissistic, my own sense of beauty and aesthetic inspires my jewelry. I design pieces I find beautiful and love to wear. It's the most sincere way I can design. I don't look at what other people are doing, or what's trending, etc. because it just gets too noisy after a while. It muddies my own sensibilities. My sense of aesthetic is clean, subtle, modern with a touch of nostalgia and not fussy."
The New Collection
"The stones themselves. I was really drawn towards more painterly, water colored stones this season. A bit softer than my usual piece with a little romance. I had one customer write me and tell me that she didn't know how to describe how wearing a piece from my line made her feel other than, it made her feel like a woman. I loved that and this collection is definitely one that makes the wearer feel like a woman."
The Bridal Collection
"We get so many requests for more "alternative" bridal pieces so it was sort of a natural progression of our line. I (like so many other designers), love rose cut diamonds because of their subtle and quietly stunning quality. They're less in your face. Our bridal pieces are very much in line with the rest of our collection- clean, modern but with a slightly vintage feel. They really feel like heirlooms that can be passed down from generation to generation."
Other than jewelry: "I love being outdoors with my little family. We love hiking, romping around somewhere in nature, sitting outside and having picnics on warm breezy LA days... Nature really centers me. No matter how stressed or annoyed I am, as soon as I step outside, I immediately feel more focused and at peace. We actually just booked a vacation on a ranch in Montana and I couldn't be more excited."
Favorite designers: "Love Valentino for it's subtle opulence and romantic beauty. Love the Row for it's clean modern and eye catching designs."
Currently listening to: "When people see my playlist, they say it very accurately reflects me as a person - a totally unexpected eclectic mix. From classical music to 90s gangster rap to the Killers, Deathcab, Ray LaMontagne, Chvrches.."
See more designs by Jennie Kwon on her website.
Rebecca Moskal, the amazing lady behind Communique, and I shared our feelings on cuffs versus bangles for InDesign. She wrote in defense of cuffs, and I argued that bangles were better. Because I love curating my favorite designs, I asked Rebecca to join in!
Here are some of Rebecca's favorite cuffs. I mean, that Buccellati cuff is incredible.
My bangle selects below. Would love to add all of these to my wrist stack.