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Bead Weavers: Beth Farber
October 1st, 2022

Beth Farber Elizabeth Farber Designs, New York For New York–based artist Beth Farber, beading is a second career. During a work hiatus after she’d left the corporate world in the early 2000s, Farber took a beading class and immediately fell in love with the meditative quality of the work. It was a golden age for […]

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Bead Weavers: Valerie Hector
October 1st, 2022

Valerie Hector Valerie Hector Designs Ltd., Chicago Valerie Hector of Valerie Hector Designs Ltd. in Chicago was introduced to beading the way many of us were—as a child threading colorful Playskool wooden beads onto a string. Unlike many of us, however, Hector admits, “I carried my beads with me wherever I went. My obsession grew […]

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Bead Weavers: Jacqueline Johnson
October 1st, 2022

Jacqueline Johnson JJ Attic, Yonkers, New York Jacqueline Johnson, principal at JJ Attic, started her career as an elementary school teacher. But then she bought a loom and fell so in love with weaving that she returned to school in her mid-20s, attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Right out of school, she […]

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Modern-Day Bead Artists Help an Ancient Craft to Evolve
October 1st, 2022

Bead Weavers Three bead artists share their off-loom beading techniques By Sharon Elaine Thompson During excavations in Morocco between 2014 and 2018, archeologists discovered what is regarded as the world’s oldest jewelry: a set of 33 shell beads that date back around 150,000 years. In the tens of thousands of years since then, beads have […]

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Rina Young’s Ribbon Collar Necklace
October 1st, 2022

Lyrical Moment Creating flow and movement articulated ain metal By Tina Snyder New York City–based designer Rina Young has been designing jewelry for 34 years—and she’s been working with sterling silver wire for as long as she can remember. While she has hand fabricated many smaller jewelry pieces featuring the signature wrapped ribbon pattern shown […]

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Tracey Beale’s Legacy Ring
September 2nd, 2022

Back to Your Roots Behind the design of Tracey Beale’s family-tree–inspired Legacy Ring By Tina Snyder Most of designer Tracey Beale’s jewelry is story-based. Inspired by ancient Egyptian artifacts and articles of adornment, she strives to emulate their mystery in her modern relics. With the Legacy Ring, Beale sought to capture the essence of a […]

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Podcast: Pushing the Boundaries of Beading with Valerie Hector
August 29th, 2022

Pushing the Boundaries of Beading with Valerie Hector Airdate: September 1, 2022 Bead artist Valerie Hector (Valerie Hector Designs) brings a background in anthropology, deep knowledge of Asian bead styles, and a passion for pushing boundaries to her work. In this episode, Hector discusses her creative approach to design and why she’s driven to develop new […]

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Denise Betesh’s Diamond and Chain Maille Bracelet
August 4th, 2022

Labor of Love A look behind the design of Denise Betesh’s intricately crafted bracelet By Tina Snyder While studying jewelry making at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the 1980s, Santa Fe, New Mexico–based designer Denise Betesh fell head over heels for chain making. “We had access to the Roman chains and ancient foxtails […]

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Drawing An Adjustable Bracelet
July 5th, 2022

Need a Hand? A step-by-step guide to drawing an adjustable bracelet By Rémy Rotenier Every one of us has struggled at some point with putting on a bracelet.When I had a collection on Jewelry Television, I designed many bolo bracelets because of how versatile they were. The wearer would just slide the bracelet on and […]

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Industrial Design
June 21st, 2022

Judith Haas Judith Haas DesignBrooklyn, New York My studio is in an area of Brooklyn with many converted old warehouses, and that industrial environment is often reflected in my work. I’m especially inspired by how nature reclaims the urban landscape. For example, in New York City you can see metal structures turn different colors when […]

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A Tree Blooms at Night
June 21st, 2022

Cornelia Goldsmith Cornelia GoldsmithSan Francisco Every year I create a piece for the American Jewelry Design Council’s annual design project. The theme of last year’s project was “Secret Garden.” As I was thinking about a design for it, I started thinking about how everyone was at home in lockdown, how we had the time to […]

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Hail’a
June 21st, 2022

Jorge Adeler Jorge AdelerGreat Falls, Virginia Idesign two ways. When I’m designing for a customer, the design is not necessarily mine; it’s the emotions and dreams of the customer. I try to interpret all of that into jewelry, but the design comes from the soul of the customer. When I’m designing for me, the design […]

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Raising a Glass
June 21st, 2022

Linda MacNeil Jewels of GlassNew Hampshire I went to school for metalsmithing and jewelry, and I evolved into using glass because it’s such an intriguing material. Working with glass is a unique way of making things, and I’m hooked on the range of colors I can develop with glass processes. I find that with minerals […]

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Under the Sea
June 21st, 2022

Victor Velyan Victor VelyanLos Angeles It always starts with stones with me. I’m the opposite of most designers in that I never make a list and then go to a gem show. The beauty of a stone is what grabs me, and then that stone comes home with me, which is what happened with a […]

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The Lost Year
June 21st, 2022

Theresa Kwong TK Metal ArtsSan Francisco Ihad been feeling less than motivated to do much during our COVID-19 quarantine, stuck in a giant creative block. I was shocked as I watched the pandemic rage through our communities, and I spent a lot of time reading the news, hoping to find any morsel of hope. At […]

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David’s Portal
June 17th, 2022

Lynda Bahr Lynda Bahr JewelrySan Gregorio, California When my husband and I started working on this piece in 2008, it was going to be a watch. We were making watches at the time, and the owner of a gallery we worked with requested a special piece. We created the mosaics for the side bands and […]

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Celebrating Vincent
June 17th, 2022

Jennifer Rabe Morin Gregore & Jennifer-Rabe JewelersSanta Barbara, California Asatisfying part of being a member of the American Jewelry Design Council (AJDC) is the chance to make projects. As a commercial jeweler, [I find] it refreshing to break out of making things for others and instead make something that is more intimately about my experience […]

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Designers Share the Inspirations Behind Their Pieces
June 17th, 2022

Where It All Began Exploring sources of jewelry design inspiration By Shawna Kulpa How often do you scroll by a jewelry image on Instagram or walk by a jewelry showcase and stop in your tracks? You may be captivated by the piece’s beauty, or fascinated by its display of technical mastery. Or maybe it’s just […]

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Sara Bran’s Intricate Gold Lace Collar
June 17th, 2022

Finer Points Designer Sara Bran’s 18k gold lace collar comes to life By Tina Snyder A self-taught jewelry artist, Sara Bran of St-Just, France, became fascinated with textile lace in 2008. During a seminar she attended in Lisbon, Portugal, with masters of Portuguese and French art, Bran was drawn to these textures. “With the exception […]

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Evgenii Fedko’s River of Life Bracelet
June 16th, 2022

Even Flow Go behind the design of Evgenii Fedko’s titanium and gold bracelet By Tina Snyder Of the many metaphors for life, New Jersey–based Evgenii Fedko elected to portray life as a river in his titanium and gold bracelet, aptly named River of Life. In the bracelet, the blue titanium water flows from link to […]

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At What Price? – Cady Carlson Dill
June 10th, 2022

Breaking down a custom piece, fee by fee Editor’s Note: Knowing how to price your work, especially when you’re just starting out, is never an easy feat. It’s a lesson that Cady Carlson Dill learned the hard way. Like many new designers, she faced the common combination of not being able to find information about […]

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Brenda Smith’s Printemps Necklace
June 10th, 2022

Learning Curves A look behind the design of Brenda Smith’s three-dimensional flower necklace By Tina Snyder You’ll find a sketch pad and pencil on Brenda Smith’s nightstand so she can capture the inspiring visions that appear in her dreams. The idea for the “Printemps” (French for “springtime”) necklace came to the Woodstock, Georgia–based designer in […]

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Podcast: MJSA Mystery Box Challenge 2022 Designer Geralyn Sheridan
June 1st, 2022

MJSA Mystery Box Challenge 2022 with participating designer Geralyn Sheridan Airdate: June 1, 2022 In this podcast, Geralyn Sheridan of Geralyn Sheridan Designs in Chico, California, breaks down the design and technical details behind her sea-inspired necklace. Read more about the 2022 Mystery Box Challenge and see additional pieces from designers Alex Boyd and Michael Bondanza: […]

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Podcast: MJSA Mystery Box Challenge 2022 Designer Alex Boyd
June 1st, 2022

MJSA Mystery Box Challenge 2022 with participating designer Alex Boyd Airdate: June 1, 2022 In this podcast, Alex Boyd, owner of Alex Boys Studio in Denver, explains his approach to design, his experiences working with new and unfamiliar components, and the challenge of working with this year’s Mystery Box “surprise” materials. Read more about the 2022 […]

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Michael Bondanza – MJSA Mystery Box Challenge 2022
June 1st, 2022

The Perfect Storm Michael BondanzaMichael Bondanza Inc., New York City Although Michael Bondanza has been making jewelry in one form or another since the early 1970s, there are still things that manage to surprise him—one of which he discovered in this year’s Mystery Box. Although he immediately recognized the abalone, as he has made violins […]

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Geralyn Sheridan – MJSA Mystery Box 2022
June 1st, 2022

Same but Different Geralyn SheridanGeralyn Sheridan Designs, Chico, California Geralyn Sheridan is a long-time fan of MJSA’s annual Mystery Box Challenge. “I was always really amazed by how metalsmiths with the same tools and materials [create items that] are completely different,” she says. She’d look at past projects and think that she would never have […]

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Alex Boyd – MJSA Mystery Box Challenge 2022
June 1st, 2022

A Sea Change Alex BoydAlex Boyd Studio, Denver Alex Boyd likes stepping outside his comfort zone. “The best feeling for me is making something that I haven’t made before and thinking about things I haven’t thought about before,” he explains. So, when he was asked to participate in MJSA’s annual Mystery Box Challenge, it was […]

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MJSA Mystery Box Challenge 2022
June 1st, 2022

The Element of Surprise How this year’s designers brought their mystery box materials to life By Shawna Kulpa Some do it for fun. Some do it for the challenge. Some do it…just because. Regardless of the reason why, the jewelers who agree to participate in MJSA’s annual Mystery Box Challenge clearly aren’t afraid to try […]

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Kate Eickelberg’s Pearl and Ball Bearing Necklace
June 1st, 2022

Classic Twist Designer Kate Eickelberg takes a modern and fresh approach to a classic pearl necklace By Tina Snyder There’s nothing more inspiring to Kate Eickelberg than cruising the aisles of a hardware store. “While people don’t generally think much about the everyday items and parts found in a hardware store, to me, they are […]

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Megan Clark’s Foray Into Greens
May 3rd, 2022

Puddle Jumping How designer Megan Clark expanded her gemstone color palette to diversify her line By Tina Snyder What’s the best place for a jewelry designer who doesn’t use a lot of color to break out of her monochromatic shell? Well, the Tucson gem shows, of course! That’s where Durham, North Carolina–based designer Megan Clark, […]

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Kristen Baird’s French Flair Ring
April 3rd, 2022

Sweet Sixteen Behind the design of Kristen Baird’s gold Napoleon III coin ring By Tina Snyder Jewelry imbued with family traditions is extra special. So when a couple commissioned Kristen Baird of Savannah, Georgia, to make a ring for their daughter’s 16th birthday incorporating a French coin that has been in the family for generations, […]

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Donna Distefano Thomas
December 31st, 2021

Honoring One’s Heritage MJSA Design Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs Entry 6: Donna Distefano Thomas When contemplating the design, I immediately thought of Haseya moving to and living in New York City, a place so different from where she grew up, and I wanted to give her a talisman that would connect to her heritage. A […]

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Dominique Larson
December 31st, 2021

Honoring One’s Heritage MJSA Design Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs Entry 5: Dominique Larson As a designer, I listen to the story my client is telling, and I consider what the commissioned piece should convey to reflect that story. This project was intended to be something that my clients’ daughter, Haseya, would regularly wear, and that […]

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Dana Bronfman
December 31st, 2021

Honoring One’s Heritage MJSA Design Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs Entry 4: Dana Bronfman In considering what to create for Haseya, I knew I wanted to make something that was a bit of a statement piece, colorful and celebratory, but one that could be worn every day. She travels a lot and interviews people for work, […]

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Helen Chantler
December 31st, 2021

Honoring One’s Heritage MJSA Design Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs Entry 3: Helen Chantler – 2021 Winner! As I mulled the project for a number of weeks, I started getting an image of a bear in my mind. I like creating animal-themed jewelry, and to me, a bear is about strength, playfulness, and all that time […]

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Jennifer Dewey
December 31st, 2021

Honoring One’s Heritage 2021 MJSA Design Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs Entry 1: Jennifer Dewey Although I live in close proximity to Navajo Nation, I don’t have detailed knowledge of many Navajo traditions and ceremonies so it was important to me do some research on the subject. I wanted to make sure my piece incorporated things […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2021: Honoring One’s Heritage
December 31st, 2021

Honoring One’s Heritage MJSA Challenge 2021: Responsibly Sourced Designs Sponsored by: And the Winner Is… Helen Chantler of Reflective Jewelry in Santa Fe, New Mexico Go behind the design and learn more Chantler’s inspiration, fabrication techniques, and her passion for creating animal-themed pieces here. The MJSA Design Challenge annually present six designers with a fictional […]

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Podcast: 5 Favorite Tools with Michelle Pajak-Reynolds
November 10th, 2021

5 Favorite Tools with Michelle Pajak-Reynolds Airdate: November 9, 2021 Jewelry artist Michelle Pajak-Reynolds handcrafts small collections of one-of-a-kind designs featuring unique gemstones, pearls, and ethically sourced precious metals. In this episide, she shares her five favorite tools and describes the impact each has had on her productivity and creativity while at the bench. Watch Video • Listen […]

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Geralyn Sheridan’s Mitsuro Hikime Ring
October 19th, 2021

Sweeter Than Candy The story behind Geralyn Sheridan’s taffy-inspired ring By Tina Snyder Geralyn SheridanGeralyn Sheridan Designs • Chico, California Enjoying an afternoon at Santa Cruz Wharf as a child, Geralyn Sheridan’s parents had a hard time tearing their daughter away from the saltwater taffy making display. “I was completely mesmerized by the movement of […]

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Seth Carlson’s Ibex Brooch
October 15th, 2021

His Majesty Designer Seth Carlson explains the creation of his wildlife-inspired brooch By Tina Snyder If there’s one positive thing to come from the pandemic, it’s the extra time it has given jewelry designers to experiment. That was the case with Seth Carlson. The Philadelphia-based designer spent many lockdown hours exploring the possibilities of adding […]

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A Guide to Drawing Pearls
October 15th, 2021

Going Organic A step-by-step tutorial on drawing white round and drop-shaped Tahitian black pearls By Rémy Rotenier In our industry, pearls have always had their own place thanks to their uniqueness. Since they are organic, they can develop completely naturally or be cultured, which is when humans work with nature hand-in-hand to make the miracle […]

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Podcast: 5 Design Inspirations
October 13th, 2021

5 Design Inspirations with Geralyn Sheridan Airdate: October 12, 2021 Founder of a family-run studio in Chico, California, goldsmith and gemologist Geralyn Sheridan creates socially responsible jewelry that incorporates natural textures, sculptural curves, and flowing movement. She draws inspiration from her everyday life as well as from the memories of her childhood, and in this […]

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Bongsang Cho’s Comet Brooch
September 26th, 2021

Mr. Roboto Bongsang Cho’s designs combine old school craft with new world technology By Tina Snyder Bongsang Cho has been a fan of science fiction movies since childhood. Fascinated by robotic animations, such as Transformers, as a kid Cho spent time daily building model kits to bring various figures and vehicles to life. Today, as […]

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Synthesizing the Subconscious
September 26th, 2021

Emily Kuvin’s approach to design By Tina Snyder Emily Kuvin Emily Kuvin Jewelry DesignNew York City Emily Kuvin has always prided herself on being a sharp observer of the world around her. It’s no surprise her knack for taking in gobs of information and distilling it down to the essence landed her in a journalism […]

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Throw Your Hat Into the Ring
September 2nd, 2021

Win or lose, there’s value in entering design competitions By Shawna Kulpa If you’re just getting started as a jewelry designer, you might wonder about the value of entering design competitions. After all, they often have entry fees (which can sometimes be steep), and spending the time preparing entries is time you’re taking away from […]

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Split Decisions
September 2nd, 2021

Brody Rice’s platinum, rose gold, and diamond floral ring By Tina Snyder After making a ring for his wife with a split shank design, Brody Rice of Brody Rice Designs in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, wanted to use the concept for this floral ring. Crafted with a jewelry design competition in mind, the platinum and 14k […]

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Celestial Glow
August 18th, 2021

Judith Kaufman’s druzy and moonstone brooch By Tina Snyder When West Hartford, Connecticut-based Judith Kaufman stumbled upon a donut-shaped periwinkle druzy quartz at the Tucson gem shows a few years back, she was reminded of a recurring theme in her repertoire. “Back in the 1960s, there was an abundance of clocks that had a very […]

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Set in Stone
August 2nd, 2021

Kenetha Stanton, kintsugi, and the healing process Kenetha Stanton stumbled upon kintsugi art several years ago, during a difficult period of her life where she experienced several intense losses. The kintsugi philosophy resonated with her, and she began visualizing how she could put back together the pieces of her life to create something better. She […]

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Breaking New Ground
August 2nd, 2021

Christopher Taylor Timberlake mimics kintsugi in metal Christopher Taylor Timberlake, a fine art jeweler in Austin, Texas, had never heard of kintsugi until a client walked into his studio a few years ago and mentioned the art form as a possible source of inspiration for his wedding ring. As luck would have it, Timberlake’s assistant […]

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Embracing Flaws
August 2nd, 2021

Designers taking a crack at the Japanese art of kintsugi By Shawna Kulpa It used to be if you broke your favorite bowl or plate, you mourned the loss and disposed of the remains. If the item was significant enough, you might send it out for repair, but the lingering scar would forever mar the […]

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Defining Moments
August 2nd, 2021

Andrew Seginovich’s Milestones Ring By Tina Snyder Andrew SeginovichKoan JewelryOdessa, Ukraine In an effort to capture life’s milestones, Andrew Seginovich of Koan Jewelry in Odessa, Ukraine, painstakingly crafted this titanium mokumé gane ring with 14k gold accents. “The design of the ring reflects life’s many crossroads and choices, while the 14k gold points represent the […]

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Stitched Up
July 1st, 2021

Suzanne Schwartz’s Squares All Around Necklace By Tina Snyder Growing up, Suzanne Schwartz’s grandmother LeeLee taught her how to knit and sew at a young age. “There was something about learning how to stitch and work with textiles that introduced me to this freedom art could bring me,” she says. “It opened up my world.” […]

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Making Waves
July 1st, 2021

K. Mita Design, New York City Like many of the designers who agree to participate in the Mystery Box Challenge, Keiko Mita was excited to take on the challenge but also a bit nervous. “It was a little bit scary because you never know what you’re going to get,” she says. She felt some relief […]

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Just Say Yes
July 1st, 2021

Shana Kroiz Jewelry, Baltimore Shana Kroiz hadn’t been familiar with the Mystery Box Challenge when she was invited to participate in it. Once she learned the details, though, she was fully onboard. “I was excited for something new to do,” she says. “Anytime I’ve done something outside of what I normally do, it’s always pushed […]

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Raindrops on Clovis
July 1st, 2021

Thomas Dailing Designs, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Some might call it sibling rivalry, but Thomas Dailing thinks his excitement over participating in the Mystery Box Challenge is because he enjoys a good challenge. Dailing’s brother Jim participated in the challenge six years ago and shared with him how fun it was. So when the invitation for […]

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Tooth Fairies
July 1st, 2021

MJSA’s Annual Mystery Box Challenge 2021 Sponsored by: By Shawna Kulpa Fun. That was the goal when we launched what has become the annual Mystery Box Challenge 10 years ago: that the project be fun. We send out a box full of “mystery” materials, and the designers have fun figuring out how to use them […]

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Beachcombed
September 24th, 2020

Luana Coonen’s Merah Necklace By Tina Snyder While beachcombing during a trip to Indonesia, jewelry designer Luana Coonen happened upon a treasure trove of red coral. “A storm had just swept in all of these amazing little pieces of coral, and I thought, ‘I can make great jewelry out of this,’” she recalls. After hours […]

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Creative Design
September 24th, 2020

Andrew Bugher’s rock star rings By Tina Wojtkielo Snyder Getting backstage passes at a concert for a band you love is a dream come true for any music fan. So imagine the delight for a jeweler whose meet-and-greet turns into the opportunity to design a collection of rings for the band members? That was exactly […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2020: Amy Smetana
September 24th, 2020

A Home Away From Home 9: Amy Smetana As I read Maria’s story, I was amazed at the life she’s lived and all of the hurdles she’s overcome. She’s had quite a life! Now with her children grown, she’s moving into the next phase of her life, and I wanted the piece I created for […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2020: Betsy Cross
September 24th, 2020

A Home Away From Home 8: Betsy Cross With any custom design project, I like to dig into a person’s story and figure out a way to honor that story as fully as possible. When considering Maria’s story, which is so deep and rich and filled with sacrifice and triumph, I thought about how to […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2020: Emily Kuvin
September 24th, 2020

A Home Away From Home 7: Emily Kuvin Long before I was a jewelry designer, I was a journalist and I still consider myself a writer. Perhaps that’s why I wanted to express Maria’s life story in the piece. Her story is very compelling, and in order to show off all the elements of it, […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2020: Niki Grandics
September 24th, 2020

A Home Away From Home 5: Niki Grandics Maria’s story hit home for me, as my mother is planning on getting her citizenship later this year. Considering that this gift will be from Maria’s children, I wanted to focus on the idea of family and home, and the idea of marrying Maria’s native homeland with […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2020: Meredith Young
September 24th, 2020

A Home Away From Home 6: Meredith Young Appearing as far back as 2500 B.C., signet rings have long been a symbol of family. It seemed only appropriate then to create a statement signet ring for Maria. Besides being a significant reminder of her loving family, a ring is also one of the easiest types […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2020: Emily Dubinsky
September 24th, 2020

A Home Away From Home 4: Emily Dubinsky As I studied Maria’s story, I began envisioning a piece of jewelry that would commemorate the occasion of her taking the citizenship oath to become a U.S. citizen. I found myself focusing on the idea of a cuff bracelet, imaging it as something she would receive on […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2020: Sabrina Hoffman
September 24th, 2020

A Home Away From Home 3: Sabrina Hoffman When I read Maria’s story, the thing that stood out the most to me was that this piece would be something sentimental—that all of her accomplishments in life should be incorporated in it. Since I envisioned it as an heirloom, I immediately thought of creating a pendant. […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2020: Nanz Aalund
September 24th, 2020

A Home Away From Home 1: Nanz Aalund After learning Maria’s story and about her life as a marine biologist, I couldn’t help but to focus on the mabe pearl, which looked like a jellyfish to me. I made the connection immediately, and at that point, there was no other choice for me. Initially, I […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2020: Tammy Denmark
September 24th, 2020

A Home Away From Home 2: Tammy Denmark To learn more about Maria, I looked into what her job entails and what she’d be surrounded by on a daily basis. I read about oceanographers and their study of the adaptation of aquatic organisms, and that word “adaptation” really stood out to me as it seemed […]

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MJSA Design Challenge: A Home Away from Home 2020
September 24th, 2020

A Home Away from Home MJSA Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs By Shawna Kulpa An immigrant from Mexico and soon-to-be-naturalized U.S. citizen who has spent her life dedicated to the studying and protecting the oceans and ocean life is at the center of our annual MJSA Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs. Every year we present nine designers […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2019: Mimi Favre
September 24th, 2020

Striking the Right Note 9: Mimi Favre Creating a custom piece of jewelry is one of the most satisfying aspects of being a jewelry designer. Listening to what people want is such an important part of the process. And often, the project is very personal. Sarah’s parents wish to celebrate their daughter’s accomplishments with a […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2019: Petra Class
September 24th, 2020

Striking the Right Note 8: Petra Class I approached this project like I always approach designing with gemstones: I let the shapes and colors of the stones inspire me, playing with the elements like pieces in a puzzle and see where they guide me. Since Sarah is embarking on a career of making connections between […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2019: Allison Mack
September 24th, 2020

Striking the Right Note 7: Allison Mack I enjoyed this challenge because Sarah is a lot like myself—we are both starting out on our career paths. I settled on designing a necklace for Sarah. She has a busy lifestyle, but I wanted her to have something that she could wear to work or while visiting […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2019: Sophia Hu
September 24th, 2020

Striking the Right Note 6: Sophia Hu Although Sarah is still young and just at the beginning of her career, I wanted to create a classic piece of jewelry for her rather than something that was just fashion forward. I wanted it to be something that she could continue to enjoy as she advances in […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2019: Brent Neale Winston
September 24th, 2020

Striking the Right Note 5: Brent Neale As soon as I saw the hexagonal shaped blue chalcedony, I knew I wanted to make it the focal point of the piece. I also really love baguettes, and I use them a lot in my work so I really wanted to use the mint green beryls to […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2019: Adam Foster
September 24th, 2020

Striking the Right Note 4: Adam Foster Because Sarah’s mom provided a large number of stones for the project, my first task was to determine which stones blended together in the best way to tell Sarah’s story. Ultimately, I went with the blue-hued stones, tying her ring into the waterways that she loves to kayak. […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2019: Christine Alaniz
September 24th, 2020

Striking the Right Note 3: Christine Alaniz When reading Sarah’s story, the part that stood out the most to me was the connection between Sarah and her parents. I wanted to honor her parents’ desire to celebrate their daughter’s achievements by showcasing all of the gemstones they so thoughtfully selected for her gift. I loved […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2019: Lori Kaplan
September 24th, 2020

Striking the Right Note 2: Lori Kaplan When I design, I’m usually inspired by the gemstones with which I’m working. However, I’ve never worked with hexagon shaped stones before and they had me stumped a little at the beginning of this project. But then I went back and reread Sarah’s story and noted her love […]

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MJSA Design Challenge 2019: Theresa Kwong
September 24th, 2020

Striking the Right Note 1: Theresa Kwong Since Sarah has long had an interest in jewelry, I decided to create a statement bracelet. It’s an accessory that she could easily wear with her active lifestyle—whether working at the office during the day, attending cultural events in the evening, or museum hopping on the weekend. Given […]

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Striking the Right Note: MJSA Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs
September 24th, 2020

Striking the Right Note MJSA Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs By Shawna Kulpa And the Winner Is… Congratulations to Theresa Kwong for winning the 2019 MJSA Design Challenge! Click here to see her winning design.   A young woman dedicating her life to fighting injustice and to help bring attention to those who are marginalized was at the […]

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Podcast: Finding the Sustainable Path
September 24th, 2020

July 22, 2019Guest: Susan Crow, East Fourth Street Jewelry/Susan Crow Studio The path to building a jewelry business focused on sustainability is different for every jeweler. Some jewelers make sustainable practices the cornerstone of their businesses right from the get-go. Others, like Susan Crow, owner of East Fourth Street Jewelry, in Northfield, Minnesota, learn about it later in […]

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Online Design Challenge 2018: David Dorian
September 24th, 2020

A Mission in Life David Dorian When I first started thinking of a design, I was initially drawn to the idea of making a ring for Lila. She didn’t seem like someone who needed a big fancy engagement ring, but I thought she might like a ring to complement the simple silver band that Mark […]

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Online Design Challenge 2018: Jillian Sassone
September 24th, 2020

A Mission in Life Jillian Sassone I loved everything about Lila and Mark’s story, and one of my goals was to utilize as many of the stones that Mark had sourced as possible. Rings are one of my favorite things to design so I created the piece as an anniversary ring that I imagined them […]

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Online Design Challenge 2018: Peter Indorf
September 24th, 2020

A Mission in Life Peter Indorf I had a lot of ideas of different pieces to create for Lila, but ultimately I settled on a ring. To me, a ring is the most personal anniversary gift that you can give. It’s something she’ll be able to wear and look at and enjoy. Earrings and necklaces […]

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Online Design Challenge 2018: Emily Phillippy
September 24th, 2020

A Mission in Life 6: Emily Phillippy After reading Lila’s story, my initial thoughts were of the silver band she’s been wearing. She has a meaningful ring for everyday life, so I wanted to create something that was big and beautiful. The first few iterations of my design were of a pendant, but I kept […]

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Online Design Challenge 2018: Erin Jane Staples
September 24th, 2020

A Mission in Life Erin Jane Staples A major source of inspiration for my design was the depth of care Mark put into sourcing each of these treasured stones. It just struck me as so romantic! Each gem has such significance, and my goal was to really let the stones shine in a romantic and […]

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Online Design Challenge 2018: Bliss Lau
September 24th, 2020

A Mission in Life Bliss Lau I see jewelry as an experience. I wanted to make Lila something she could wear and enjoy differently every day. As such, I designed four interchangeable rings, which can be combined or worn independently, allowing Lila to wear the pieces adapted for her lifestyle, feelings, and daily routine. My […]

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Online Design Challenge 2018: Anna Bario
September 24th, 2020

A Mission in Life Anna Bario We specialize in custom design work, and part of our process involves working with the client and walking though how we can incorporate details of her life into the piece. When I read the story and saw the gemstones, I saw the piece as a ring. Mark had given […]

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Committed to Creating
September 24th, 2020

Second-Place and Honorable Mention Winners in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards     “Chrysanthemum Fold” Black Pearl Earrings Karin JacobsonKarin Jacobson Jewelry Design, Minneapolis Featuring the designer’s signature “origami” style of folded metalwork, these earrings feature recycled metals (gold and oxidized sterling), Harmony recycled GI–SI diamonds (0.10 ctw), and 9 mm Tahitian black pearl drops. […]

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Committed to Creating: Kyra Martin
September 24th, 2020

Kyra Martin’s Double Finger Ring First Place, Future of the Industry By Tina Snyder Designed as the hero piece of a thesis collection, the Befitting ring by Kyra Martin takes a playful approach to a twin-finger ring design. Following in line with the overall goal of the collection to accentuate the natural curves of the […]

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Committed to Creating: Karin Jacobson
September 24th, 2020

Karin Jacobson’s Rough Montana Sapphire and Diamond Dangle Earrings First Place, Responsible Practices Distinction, 2020 MJSA Vision Awards By Shawna Kulpa At first glance, being responsible and having fun don’t always seem to go hand-in-hand. But designer Karin Jacobson, owner of Karen Jacobson Design in Minneapolis, is living proof that jewelers can do both. And […]

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Committed to Creating: Frieder Lauer
September 24th, 2020

Frieder Lauer’s 51 ct. “Floating” Ametrine Solitaire Ring First Place, Colored Stone Distinction, 2020 MJSA Vision AwardsFirst Place, Custom Design Distinction, 2020 MJSA Vision Awards By John Shanahan You can’t ignore the 51.28 carat ametrine at the center of Frieder Lauer’s award-winning ring—and not just because of the intricate cut or the stunningly sharp delineation […]

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Committed to Creating: Larissa Moraes
September 24th, 2020

Larissa Moraes’ “Vase with Gladioli and China Asters”necklace Larissa Moraes, Brasilia, BrazilFirst Place, Professional Excellence (1-3 Years in Business) By John Shanahan In 1886, Vincent van Gogh moved from the Netherlands to Paris. The relocation brought with it a tonal change in the artist’s work, from earthy tones to brighter colors. He nourished this shift […]

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Committed to Creating: Sophia Hu
September 24th, 2020

Sophia Hu’s Blooming Cage First Place, Professional Excellence (4 Years in Business), 2020 MJSA Vision AwardsFirst Place, Laser Distinction, 2020 MJSA Vision Awards By Tina Snyder After spending a decade working as a professional architect, Sophia Hu was at a career crossroads in 2009. “I felt unfulfilled and I no longer had passion for the […]

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Committed to Creating: 2020 MJSA Vision Award Winners
September 24th, 2020

Honoring the winners of the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards Although it’s not a requirement for the job, resolve may be the thing that separates the best jewelry de-signers from all of the rest. After all, lots of designers can have great ideas, but those ideas aren’t always easily translated to metal. But it’s rarer to […]

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Hot Stuff
September 24th, 2020

Robin Waynee’s Fire and Ice ring By Tina Snyder Robin WayneeSanta Fe, New Mexico Having last won a Saul Bell Design Award in 2012, Robin Waynee of Santa Fe, New Mexico, was inspired to once again throw her hat in the ring with Fire and Ice, a statement-making 18k palladium white gold, diamond, and sapphire […]

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Precious Damage
September 24th, 2020

Christopher Taylor Timberlake’s wabi-sabi ring By Tina Snyder Christopher Taylor TimberlakeChristopher Taylor Timberlake – Austin, Texas The Japanese call it wabi-sabi. It’s the idea of seeing beauty in imperfection—and it’s the concept that one of Christopher Taylor Timberlake’s clients wanted represented in his wedding band. “My client wanted cracks in his wedding ring, referencing one […]

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Treasure Chest
September 24th, 2020

Pamela Froman’s Maltese cross pendant Pamela FromanPamela Froman Fine Jewelry – Los Angeles We recently asked designer Pamela Froman of Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry in Los Angeles, “What’s the coolest thing in your vault?” Here’s what she had to say. What’s the coolest thing in your vault?It is my St. Petersburg Maltese cross pendant. It […]

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Awakening Creativity
September 24th, 2020

Alex Boyd’s Sleeping Beauty turquoise bracelet By Tina Snyder When Alex Boyd first laid eyes on a small chunk of flawless Sleeping Beauty turquoise at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show last year, he knew he had to have it. Unsure of its fate, he began cutting into the material, slicing carefully to get as many […]

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Online Design Challenge 2018: Karin Jacobson
September 23rd, 2020

A Mission in Life Karin Jacobson The first thing that struck me in reading about Lila was the places that she’s traveled, and how each must be special to her. I wanted to incorporate some of those places in the piece but without being too literal. I also saw the project as a way to […]

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Online Design Challenge 2018: Claudia Endler
September 23rd, 2020

A Mission in Life Claudia Endler When reading Lila and Mark’s story, a lot of important things stood out to me. They’re at an meaningful moment in their lives—their celebrating their five-year wedding anniversary and expecting their first child. I wanted the piece to be a window looking back at their past, with different parts […]

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A Mission in Life
September 23rd, 2020

The 2018 MJSA Online Design Challenge By Shawna Kulpa Congratulations to Karin Jacobson of Karin Jacobson Jewelry Design in Minneapolis for winning the 2018 MJSA Online Design Challenge! Click here to see her winning design! A young couple dedicated to protecting the natural environment is at the center of our ninth MJSA Online Design Challenge. […]

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