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Posts Tagged ‘American craft’

Gliteratti from the City of Brotherly Love: Layne Designs

In indie jewelry, silver jewelry on November 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm

The burgeoning Philadelphia craft scene is home to Layne Freedline of Layne Designs. Freedline’s  heirloom jewelry is made with traditional bench techniques and trendy lapidary cut stones like  druzy and cabochons. This black druzy piece is my favorite.  It is gorgeous!

Layne Designs - Heirloom JewelryFreedline is an accomplished jeweler who can boast an impressive resume of education and experience in the trade. She also teaches workshops on jewelry fabrication when she is not working in her own studio.

Designer Silver Jewelry - Layne DesignsMost Layne Designs custom pieces range in price from $165 to $450 with more elaborate designs fetching up to $700 each. Layne Designs also offers a lower priced production line of $32 inspirational pendants through an Etsy jewelry shop.

Turquoise Jewelry by Layne DesignsFreedline was a 2010 finalist for The Halstead Grant, an annual award competition for new jewelry design entrepreneurs. The 2011 Halstead Grant deadline is June 6, 2011.

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Cowboy’s Sweetheart Jewelry Wins National Award & Business Grant

In indie jewelry, Jewelry Business Grant, silver jewelry on August 11, 2010 at 9:14 am
Cowboy's Sweetheart Jewelry

Western Jewelry for the American Cowgirl

Western jewelry designer Amy Fortunato of Cowboy’s Sweetheart rounded up top honors in the 2010 Jewelry Design Business Development Grant competition. Her prize package includes $6,000 in cash and jewelry supplies. The annual award is sponsored by jewelry supply wholesaler Halstead Bead, Inc.

The grant is awarded to a new jeweler in the bridge or handmade jewelry segment each year in recognition of design skill and business acumen. Candidates must submit lengthy applications including portfolios of original jewelry and details of their business plans.

“Amy’s work beautifully blends western inspired silversmithing with contemporary design elements. Her line is both fashionable and affordable,” said one competition judge, Hilary Halstead Scott, “her witty branding and accessible price points are perfect for an accessory start-up in the current economy.”

Fortunato received her jewelry training as part of a Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut. Her career has included graphic design and jewelry production for other companies prior to launching Cowboy’s Sweetheart. Fortunato describes the genesis of her company as her answer to the call “Go West, young lady, go West!” After moving to Colorado she began her love affair with the region’s natural surroundings, history and people.

“I attempt to celebrate a little bit of the American West each time I turn out a new piece.” she stated. “I am thrilled to receive this recognition and the opportunity to grow my business.”

Cowboy’s Sweetheart joins a distinguished list of past Grant winners in the industry. Her jewelry collections are available online at www.Cowboys-Sweetheart.com. A complete list of past grant recipients and finalists as well as competition details are on the Jewelry Design Business Development Grant website at www.HalsteadBead.com/grant.


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Cowboy’s Sweetheart Jewelry Wins National Award & Business Grant.

Julia Failey Eco-Friendly Jewelry

In indie jewelry, jewelry, silver jewelry on April 22, 2010 at 8:32 am

What betterEco-Friendly Jewelry by Julia Failey way to celebrate Earth Day than with an emerging designer profile? Julia Failey is a hot new jewelry talent who is making a name for herself through great PR and her line of sustainable jewelry. All of Failey’s designs are meticulously handcrafted using reclaimed precious metals and Earth-friendly manufacturing techniques. Moreover, her designs are inspired by the natural beauty of the plant and animal kingdom.

Sustainable Jewelry by Julia Failey

The Julia Failey collection includes a broad range of focal silhouettes that have often been imitated by other designers in the trade. Her trademark lotus, rose and wing designs are unmistakable and have been favorites of the celebrity set and many fashion publications. The dragonfly wings shown here are one of my personal favorites.

Julia Failey Designer JewelryYou can find Julia Failey’s work on her retail website of eco-friendly jewelry at http://www.JuliaFailey.com. Or, shop at many fine boutiques in the Chicago area where she is located. To celebrate Earth Day, you can save 30% off all jewelry on the Julia Failey website through today, April 22nd. Use the Promo code Earth30 and wear your environmentally conscious jewelry with pride!

Julia Failey was a 2008 finalist in the Jewelry Design Business Development Grant competition sponsored by jewelry supply wholesaler Halstead Bead, Inc.

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The Post-Recession Jewelry Market

In Jewelry Trends, Uncategorized on April 11, 2010 at 12:56 pm

The debate continues. Is the recession over? Is the “double dip” coming next? Are we in recovery, and if so, will we ever return to the market climate of 2007? Many questions still loom; however, one thing is certain: the jewelry market may never be the same again.

The fierce struggle for survival and dominance during this extended economic decline has permanently altered the jewelry scene. Fine jewelry retailers who once scoffed at selling silver or price points below $250 in their shops are now moving into entirely different market segments. This shift is unlikely to reverse when the economy if fully healed.

Due to high metals markets and the recession, fine jewelers followed the money last Christmas and heavily stocked  sterling lines like Pandora beads. This dramatic move has opened a window of opportunity for many bridge jewelry designers. Retailers who started with mass produced lines are finding that they can indeed sell lower price point jewelry to their market of “fine jewelry” consumers. Art jewelry in a wider range of metals is popping up in display cases that once only held platinum and solid gold. Buyers are seeing the value in fine design instead of just traditional materials.

Over time this change should greatly benefit jewelry artisans. The handmade movement was picking up considerable momentum prior to the recession and it stands a good chance of thriving in the post-recovery era. Craft jewelers who aggressively pursue new sales venues may find a more receptive audience than in the past.

This also presents an interesting challenge to boutique jewelers and American craft galleries that have carved out a niche in bridge jewelry over the last decade. Fine jewelers are now moving in on the turf they have spent years cultivating. Both groups will need to examine their respective strategies and brand identities in order to excel in the new business climate.

This environment may very well create a renaissance period in jewelry. The broader range of metals and design styles in the market give jewelers a new level of creative freedom. The increase in sales venues should also increase resale opportunities. I am excited to see how that will impact the industry and break down the segment barriers we have always known.

Copyright 2010. Halstead Bead, Inc., wholesale jewelry supplies since 1973. Please feel free to share or re-post this blog with proper credit. We also welcome your comments.

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EC Design Studio – An Impressive New Jewelry Talent

In indie jewelry, jewelry, Jewelry Business Grant, silver jewelry on August 25, 2009 at 1:19 pm

EC Design Studio is an emerging jewelry  studio to watch.  Emily Johnson’s brilliant collections  will surely be available in fine galleries all over the country before long. Her work mainly consists of sterling silver with solid gold and diamond embellishments. Johnson, a Minneapolis native, is a credit to the burgeoning craft culture in Minnesota. EC Design Studio

My favorite collection is Cells and Windows, which combines raw hammered metalwork with intriguing geometric accents. The collection is aptly named. The creations in Cells and Windows demonstrate the studio’s tag line, “jewelry metalwork sculpture.” The pieces are composed like sculptural art with clean lines, great contrast and utter simplicity. EC1

Johnson’s second primary collection is Hearts and Wishbones. The collection is centered around an anatomical heart focal piece that is truly provocative. The silhouette is instantly recognizable with a mechanical appearance that adds to the interpretive depth of the design. EC3

At a very young age, Johnson has already established a signature style that is evident across her broad selection. Her work can currently be purchased through her website and at craft galleries throughout Minnesota.

EC Design Studio was recently named as a finalist in the 2009 Jewelry Design Business Development Grant competition sponsored by Halstead Bead, Inc.

Loretta Lam

In indie jewelry, jewelry on August 13, 2009 at 8:31 am

The first time I saw Loretta Lam’s work I was at the Buyers Market in Philadelphia last winter. In a show full of gorgeous jewelry, Loretta Lam still made quite an impression. In my opinion she is one of the very best polymer clay artists in the jewelry industry today.Lam Vanilla Bean

Lam sculpts polymer clay into incredible statement pieces.  She has an eye for sculptural design and a rare gift for color. She combines lovely palettes of complimentary hues to create high impact works of art. Her beads and pendants evoke themes from nature like the shapely curves of seed pods and fruit bursting with flavor. Her forms and colors are so rich that you expect fragrances to be emanating from her design interpretations of aromatic spices and luscious botanical delicacies.

Lam Come Dancin'

Loretta Lam’s work is a refreshing departure from many of the traditional themes and materials that are popular amongst her art jewelry contemporaries.  Every polymer piece is handmade and unique. These are certainly creations worthy of collecting. Look for her work on her website at www.LorettaLam.com and at fine galleries across the country.

Lam At the Spice Bazaar

Grant Judging Nearly Finished

In Jewelry Business Grant, Uncategorized on July 10, 2009 at 9:15 am

We committed to an intense schedule of grant judging this year in hopes of concluding the process a little bit earlier than usual. We are on track to do so and expect to announce results in about two weeks, give or take. This will be a fresh batch of incredible new talent for all you fans of emerging designers. We will be profiling each finalist on this blog in the month of August so check back often to start planning your holiday wish list:)