Megan Auman reached out to me several months ago and I immediately responded because I was very familiar with her designs. Megan creates BOLD jewelry using dendritic agate - a gorgeous stone that is translucent but has cool black inclusions. The way the stones are set perfectly accents their unique qualities. Get to know more about Megan below!
As a kid, I was always drawing and crafting and making things, and by the time I was in high school, I had decided to go to college to study painting. But in my senior of high school, I participated in an arts magnet program at the local community college, and in one of our classes, we made lost wax cast rings. I was immediately hooked! I thought “You can go to college for this? Sign me up?” I immediately started looking for metalsmithing programs and have been making jewelry ever since.
I don’t do much drawing, it’s really more about seeing how materials interact and relate in real space. For my Contra Collection, I spend a lot of time moving stones around on my work tables. For the single stone pieces, I shuffle stones around in different trays, trying to figure out if a stone wants to be a necklace or a ring. For my multi-stone pieces, I’m constantly rearranging the stones to see how they talk to each other. I really try to listen to the stones and see how they interact with each other - I’ve had pieces laid out on my table for months now, waiting for me to decide that the design is final. Once I’m comfortable with the way the stones work together, I’ll start to build the settings. Because I can’t put the final piece together until I’ve built the settings, there’s a lot of guesswork when it comes to how it will look on the body. I’m always a little surprised by that - I have a tendency to think pieces are smaller than they are, until I see them on me or a model, and think, “well that’s a pretty big necklace!"
I’ve always been inspired by fashion and textiles, and they play a huge influence on my work. Because me jewelry is large, I’m much more drawn to looking at fashion and the way it interacts with the body. Lately I’ve also been really inspired by historical armor. I’m less interested in the actual shapes and forms of armor and more in the ideas behind it - balance, weight, and how it influences posture and makes the wearer feel powerful and confident. These are concepts I try and bring into my jewelry.
Favorite design: This Contra necklace, one of my new multi-stone pieces, is probably one of my favorite things I’ve made. I love that’s its bold and beautiful at the same time. And it’s actually surprisingly comfortable to wear!
Other than jewelry: I really love my work, so it’s hard to stay away from my studio, even on the weekends. But I do like to run, and I may have a bit of a TV addiction. Right now I’m really into Viceland, which is Vice’s new TV channel. I also love craft beer, and I am happy to sneak away from the studio to join friends at our local brewery.
Favorite Designers: I’m hugely inspired by Alexander McQueen. I saw the retrospective of his work at the Met more than once, and find myself going back to look at his work whenever I feel stuck. I also tend to love whatever jewelry Lanvin sends down the runway. Because I was a painter before getting into jewelry, I’m also drawn to a lot of painters. Matisse is a particular favorite. And I love Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. It’s not that I’m so impressed with the way his buildings look, but having been in several of his houses, I’m always in awe of the way they make you feel. He manages to create spaces that are warm and inviting yet grand and impressive at the same time. It’s something I’d love to aspire to do with my jewelry.
Currently listening to: I might be a little bit of a weirdo, because I rarely listen to music. But I do love audiobooks! I recently listened to Rob Greene’s Mastery, and I feel like it’s a must for any maker or designer.