Now, let me clarify: I have a ton of jewelry artists whose work I love. I’ve been doing the artist profiles for Belle Armoire Jewelry for years, and I’ve met dozens of really wonderful and amazingly talented people. I could list pages of links to fabulous work; this post is about the artists who made the jewelry I actually own and wear, much of it as gifts from the makers themselves. You can imagine how much I love these pieces, and I wanted to show them and let you see more of each artist’s work.
First there’s this ring given to me by the fabulous Catherine Witherell, a gift at the end of Artfest in 2010 when we’d gotten to spend a little time with her and her wonderful daughter, Grace.
I wear this silver heart ring between my father’s wedding band and a ring given to me by The Ever-Gorgeous Earl.
On my other hand are three rings. On the ring finger, this asymmetrical silver band given to me by Melissa Manley. Here’s her shop and her blog. I adore Melissa, and we featured one of her workshops in Destination Creativity, when we got to hang out with her at Adorn Me! in Houston.
On the little finger is a silver band with raised designs, a gift from Ross Lewallen of Lewallen and Lewallen in Santa Fe, home of the original ear cuff. When we met Ross in his shop, he saw The EGE’s hand-dyed cargo shorts and tshirt and asked if I’d dye some clothes for him. I said sure, if he’d send me cotton clothes, I’d dye them for him. I didn’t think he’d remember–he’s a busy guy–but a couple weeks later a box arrived, full of tshirts and shorts and a little bag of jewelry. The EGE wears the ear cuffs every day and has given some away (and ordered more) to young men who ask about them: they want to wear jewelry but don’t want to get their ears pierced. They love these cuffs.
Then there’s the stamped band on my middle finger, which I ordered from Christen Largent on Etsy. It’s a custom design, rather than a gift, but I never take it off. It says, on both sides,
I’ve got two bracelets by Alita Pearl, the one that says “Dance Wildly” and the one that says “Collect Adventures & Experiences.”
The top one is by someone else, someone I can’t remember. It says “remember to play,” but it’s not very sturdy and probably won’t last much longer since it bends a lot. The two turquoise bracelets are very old–I bought one from a Native American artist at a camp by the river near Farmington when I was nine, a really cool experience arranged by my uncle: we met a man at a trading post and followed him down a winding dirt road to the camp, where they showed me trays of jewelry and let me pick out a ring and bracelet. I found the matching one years later at the Flea Market outside Santa Fe.
I love rocks, and I love this rock bracelet by an artist named Richard from Oklahoma.
He’s a teacher, and I cannot, for the life of me, remember his last name. He’s a really, really nice guy, and over the years I’ve bought a bunch of rings and bracelets and earrings from him. I’ve given most of them away to people who admired them, so all I have left is this bracelet and a pair of orange earrings.
Then there’s this collection of single earrings by Thomas Mann, purchased over the years when we visit his shop in New Orleans.
I’ve worn a bunch of his other jewelry, fabulous pieces way out of my budget, when we do vendors’ nights together–I wear a bunch of his necklaces and talk to people, sort of like a model but soooo not a model, you know? It’s way fun. Tom was in my fourth book, Creative Time and Space, and he has a new book of his own, Metal Artist’s Workbench.
The photo above was taken at Art Is Petaluma in 2011. I’m always happy to help set up his booth because then I get to touch all the jewelry and try on anything I want, which is just like dress-up but without messing up your hair. Not that that’s really ever an issue for me anyway.
So those are some of my favorite jewelry artists, cool people doing cool work. Who are your favorites? Give us some links to go look at their work, please~~
Ricë also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.
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