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  1. MEET OUR MAKERS

    HOW I BECAME A JEWELRY DESIGNER

  2. COMING FROM A

    GRAPHIC DESIGN CAREER,

    I GET PRETTY OBSESSIVE

    ABOUT DESIGN

  3. I realized I wasn’t seeing much well-designed jewelry: Pieces that feel balanced, complement the wearer, move comfortably, use materials thoughtfully, and feel just as beautiful as they look.

    I wanted to wear stuff like that, so I decided to start making it

  4. I started out really simple

    I bought a roll of gold wire online and was just bending it into different shapes, making simple earrings and rings. Pretty soon I wanted to get more complex, and I had to figure out how to solder wire together. I signed up for my first class to try that out!

    I also read lot of books, and have a few metal working guides and handbooks that I reference fairly often.

  5. My first class

    was at Third Ward (now closed RIP!), and was an introduction to metal working and soldering. It opened up a world of designs things that I couldn't make with just beads and wire.

    The second

    was with Emilie Shapiro at 92Y, and was about wax casting and setting unusually- shaped stones. She’s amazing! Wax lets you carve out and build up organic shapes that would be near-impossible in just metal.

    My next

    adventure is learning cold connections and moving parts. I’m excited to start making more sculptural pieces!

  6. THE PEOPLE WHO’VE TAUGHT ME

    ALL WORK PROFESSIONALLY ON THEIR OWN LINES…

    Being able to ask them questions, especially about things like where to source materials and local studio spaces, is invaluable. I wouldn’t have gotten far without their experience and connections.

  7. I USUALLY TAKE CLASSES TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE SOMETHING THAT’S IN MY HEAD

    When I wanted to make rings I knew I had to learn how to solder. A lot of my hand tools came with the classes I took — The metal-working one sent me back with a jeweler’s saw, a ring clamp files. I bought a tiny butane torch (it’s the same as a kitchen torch), and then I had the setup to make rings. A year later I wanted to try casting, so I took a class that sent me home with a bunch of jewelry wax and some carving tools. That’s sort of how it goes. I don’t really have a proper metalworking studio at home, just a couple drawers worth of hand tools and raw materials.

  8. THE MEMENTO MORI RING IS A REALLY SPECIAL ONE TO ME

    I’ve been learning recently about motifs in jewelry design, and skeletons are an old one. Translated from latin, “memento mori” means “remember death.” Long ago, death was a more frequent visitor, and people wore skulls as a reminder to themselves to keep perpective.

    To me, my version is a reminder to appreciate each moment, look deeply at the bigger world around us, and stay humble.

  9. I ACTUALLY STARTED MY ETSY SHOP TO BREAK EVEN ON COSTS.

    I WOULD MAKE A FEW OF EACH DESIGN AND LIST THEM ON ETSY TO COVER THE COST OF WIRE

  10. I think if I had set out to launch a jewelry line, I’d have been totally overwhelmed and would have had no idea of where to start. But by starting small and letting it grow at my own pace, it’s become something really beautiful and unexpected.

  11. I'M ALWAYS SETTING LITTLE GOALS AND CHALLENGES FOR MYSELF.

    In the early days, they were things like “figure out what wire gauges mean,” or “make an Instagram account.” I’ve noticed the goals are getting bigger. Right now, they’re “launch a collection all at once,” “design custom wedding rings,” and “get to 1,000 followers.”

  12. RECENTLY PEOPLE HAVE STARTED TO REACH OUT FOR CUSTOM PIECES AFTER SEEING MY WORK ON INSTAGRAM OR ETSY.

    Those are so much fun to work on. I made a necklace this year with the leaf emoji in rose and yellow gold for a couple who associate the leaves with their newborn daughter.

  13. I WORK AS A DESIGNER FULL-TIME FOR ETSY RIGHT NOW, AND I ACTUALLY THINK THE TWO COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER REALLY WELL

    FOR NOW, I LIKE KEEPING IT SMALL.

  14. Learn more about...

    Website upscalehare.com

    Instagram @upscalehare

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