Las Vegas Jewelry Week 2017

jewelry show badges
I can’t believe year six is in the books — 6 days spent at the Couture show, JCK and even a sojourn to the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch show. My mind is overflowing with sparkles and joy. Seeing much-loved designers and jewelry industry friends, meeting lots of new people, and trying on jaw-dropping gems made for a fantastic trip to the desert. I can’t wait to share my finds with you, so stay tuned! And if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already got a sneak peek at some of the stunning sparklers!

Audrius Krulis: Designer

When you visit the website of jewelry designer Audrius Krulis, you’re greeted with the words, “playful forms evoked by nature; a glimpse into imagination narrated through sculpture.” This sentiment perfectly embodies this line, where precious materials and sculpture intersect.

adrius krulis rings
Audrius, originally from Lithuania, has been working in the jewelry business for over 20 years. He launched his own line about 4 years ago, and I must say that I adore it. I can see how his degrees in sculpture and architecture have translated into gold and gemstones. His rings were the first pieces I ever saw of his work, and it was wonderful seeing a range designs at the JCK show. His work with boulder opals is quite fantastic. The large orange-hued one I tried on is an Ethiopian opal. He told me that the stone dictates the design. And his mind is so active that, “By the time I finish one, I have 5 more ideas!”

adrius krulis boulder opal rings
adruis krulis opal rings
At the show, I was excited to see the breadth of his collection. I’d never seen his bangles, these below adorned with ombre sapphires and diamonds.

adrius krulis bangles
These hoop drop earrings are convertible to just huggies if you want a more subtle look.

adrius krulis earrings
I was happy to check out one of Audrius’ favorite pieces, a blue sapphire and gold bracelet. The mechanics in the construction are just superb, and it felt effortless on my wrist.

adrius krulis sapphire bracelet
Perhaps you’re looking for a diamond necklace you can wear every day? But one that’s more contemporary and not so traditional? He’s got it!

adrius krulis diamond necklace
Audrius is basically a one-man shop, with the exception of photography and advertising. I have a feeling his son, Karolis, is instrumental in that department.


Adrius and Karolis Krulis
Audrius and Karolis Krulis

I can picture some of the people in my livfe just loving these pendants, with their luxe organic feel and autumn-y color palette.

adrius krulis pendants
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m always on the lookout for unique stud earrings. I can tell you, I’ve never seen any like these, have you?

adruis krulis stud earrings
If you’d like an up-close look at some of his work, click here for a list of retailers.

Sydney Lynch: Designer

I got my first in person look at Sydney Lynch jewelry at De Novo in Palo Alto. I was immediately a fan. The color combinations in this contemporary line are simply gorgeous. You can imagine how excited I was to meet Sydney in person at the JCK show in Las Vegas! I didn’t know what to try on first! Can you believe the statement this boulder opal cuff makes? I couldn’t stop taking photos of it.

sydney lynch opal cuff
Or what about the luminescence in this rainbow moonstone ring?

sydney lynch moonstone ring
Sydney began her career in jewelry 1981. She spent time during college working at a Navajo reservation, where she met her first silversmiths. Although she had been a jewelry girl since childhood, this seemed to be the impetus that got her going on her own line. (And I’m so glad it did!) She now resides in Lincoln, Nebraska, where each and every piece is hand-crafted in her studio by her and her assistants — two of which have been with her for over 20 years!

Sydney was born with an acute sense of color, and you can see the result of this talent in her work. Here’s a shot from her website showing her and Tammy working on the layout for some bracelets.

sydney lynch working with tammy designing bracelets
You can see how carefully each gem and hue is placed in order to create a stunning result. Here’s an example of a bracelet from her archives in a parade of blush tones.

sydney lynch aurora multilink bracelet
In this bracelet, she extends the palette from pinks to browns. Isn’t the result just breathtaking?

sydney lynch tundra twig cuff
If you take a look at Sydney Lynch’s Instagram feed, you can see that nature is a definite influence in her work. It’s not only the colors that inspire her, but the shapes as well. She does, in fact, have a wide array of mixed metal pieces in her collection that would be perfect neutral additions to any jewelry box. Here’s a couple pair of earrings, one with Baroque Tahitian pearls, which would easily complement any color palette.

sydney lynch silver lake earrings with black diamonds
sydney lynch baroque tahitian pearl earrings
This bold cuff would add punch to an outfit, don’t you think?

sydney lynch skyline cuff
While at the show, this necklace really caught my eye. It would definitely function as a neutral in my own wardrobe.

sydney lynch necklace
If you’d like a little inside look at Sydney and her process, take a minute to watch this video.

What you’ve seen here is just the tip of the iceberg, let me tell you! Click here to see a list of retailers. In addition, you may enjoy her journal/blog — I signed up for it, and I love receiving it in my e-mail inbox. Thanks, Sydney, for your time — loved meeting you and seeing your luscious line!

amy roseveare and sydney lynch

Wendy Brandes Maneater Rings

Wendy Brandes is a force to be reckoned with, in the most positive of ways. I’ve followed her on social media for quite some time, and I’m inspired by both her unique jewelry and her strength of character. When I found out she would be showing at JCK in Las Vegas, I definitely made meeting her a “must do.” I’m so glad I did, as she and her collection were as impressive in person as I had envisioned. I now must share with you some of the most fantastical rings I’ve ever seen before, rife with detail and a story. Without further ado, enjoy this interview with Wendy about her Maneater collection.

wendy brandes maneater rings
I was SO taken with your Maneater rings at the show! Can you tell me a bit about what inspired this collection?

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by biographies of women, especially those of long-ago queens and other powerful female figures. In my first career as a journalist (at the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and I was, of course, dealing with current events. When I switched to jewelry design in 2006, I realized I had a way to keep telling stories, only now I could tell them about the historical women who had always intrigued me. I started my line with designs inspired by real people, ranging from the queens everyone knows about — Cleopatra, Nefertiti, Anne Boleyn, and Elizabeth I — to women Americans might not be familiar with, including Empress Matilda of England, Queen Min of Korea, and Empress Wu of China.

It was Empress Wu, the 7th-century ruler of China, who led to the Maneater collection. I always liked the fact that during her lifetime, Wu was known as “emperor” — the only female ruler of China to use the male title. Historians have treated her differently from her male peers, the same way they did with other powerful women. You can find supposedly serious history books that refer to Wu (and other women) as a “dragon lady” or “maneater.” (Equally murderous male rulers have no equivalent pejoratives.) I like to take the words used against us and turn them into symbols of power. Besides, who doesn’t love dragons? So I created an 18K yellow gold Empress Wu dragon ring that holds the whole world — represented by a spinning lapis lazuli globe — in its fangs.

wendy brandes empress wu dragon ring
That other common insult — “maneater”– still stuck in my mind though. Eventually, I decided that every jewelry design I did didn’t have to represent an actual woman, and that I could create pieces around the theme of female power in general. Thus, the Maneater collection was born.

I believe there are 8 in the series, and I tried on 3 of them at the show: the bull and bullfighter, the pink elephant and Jonah and the whale. Can you give us a little description of each of these?

I originally planned to do a series of eight one-of-a-kind rings — eight being a “power” number if you are into numerology — but then I found a very interesting and large labradorite carving, so now the series is seven rings and a showstopping necklace that uses the carving. The necklace is still in the works.

All of the Maneater rings have a triumphant figure on top of the ring and a small man inside the shank. The Bull and Bullfighter Maneater ring shows a winning bull standing tall over a stadium. If you peek inside the shank, you see the bullfighter standing with his back to us, his cape swirling around him. The rose-gold bull is paved with 350 black diamonds totaling 1.48 carats. I also used 79 white diamonds totaling 0.37 carats. All together, the ring uses 25 grams of 18K rose, yellow, and white gold.

wendy brandes bull and bullfighter maneater ring
underside of wendy brandes bull and bullfighter maneater ring
The Pink Elephant and Tipsy Writer Maneater ring won an honorable mention in the Spectrum awards. “White Fang” author and journalist Jack London was the person who came up with the idea that folks who hit the bottle too hard might hallucinate pink elephants. The elephant is covered in 262 pink sapphires totaling 2 carats. She has diamond eyes and a ruby forehead ornament, and she stands on a bar that is set with 174 brown diamonds totaling 2.15 carats. Inside the shank, the writer slumps next to a wine glass, which is adorned with another diamond. I used 23.6 grams of 18K rose, yellow, and white gold in this ring.

wendy brandes pink elephant maneater ring
underside of wendy brandes pink elephant maneater ring
For the Jonah and the Whale Maneater ring, a diamond-pave whale with tsavorite eyes surges through a blue-sapphire sea. In the shank, Jonah is curled into the fetal position. I try to do each of the men in the Maneater rings a little differently, and I figured Jonah wasn’t going to be walking around upright in the whale.The yellow and white gold weighs 26.1 grams. I used 86 points of blue sapphires and about half a carat of white diamonds. All of the rings were made with the lost-wax casting process (carved by hand), all of them are one-of-a-kind, and all of them were made in New York City.

wendy brandes jonah and the whale maneater ring
underside of wendy brandes jonah and the whale maneater ring
I know that you, yourself, are a very powerful woman — from your artistic talent to your convictions. Which of the rings would suit you the best right now? And why?

I don’t like to have to choose a favorite from among my children, but I admit that I always favor the most recently completed design. In the Maneater series, that would be the Dragon and the Knight Maneater ring. (I really do love dragons!) In addition to being the newest Maneater, it’s the most complex Maneater design. In addition to 18K yellow, rose, and white gold, I added platinum to the mix, in the form of a sword clenched in the dragon’s jaws and a skull at her feet. The rose-gold treasure chest opens to reveal the dragon’s hoard of gems, and the wings and the skull also have a little movement to them.

wendy brandes dragon and knight maneater ring
underside of wendy brandes dragon and knight maneater ring
The gold weighs 29.78 grams, and there are 2.8 grams of platinum. There are 400 tsavorites totaling 4.5 carats on the dragon, 52 brown diamonds weighing 52 points on her wings, and white diamonds, rubies, and keshi pearls in the treasure chest. I think it would be rather pretentious to announce to someone in real life, “I am a complex personality!” In fact, I’m positive that most people who know me would say that I’m a very straightforward person. But when it comes to jewelry, the more complicated it is, the more I like it … so analyze that as you wish!

Can you believe this work? Jaw-dropping, to be sure. Wendy has a wide array in her collection, and you can see more at her online shop. I have no doubt that there’s a story behind each and every piece.

Wendy, thank you so much for your time and talent! I truly appreciate you.

amy roseveare and wendy brandes

Little H Pearl Jewelry

As I explored the floor of the JCK show in Las Vegas, there was quite a buzz about Little H jewelry. “Amy, you just MUST stop by her booth! You’ve really never seen anything like it,” exclaimed more than one friend of mine. My curiosity was most certainly piqued, as I couldn’t imagine what could be done with pearls that was so revolutionary.

Ok — everyone was correct — my eyes opened wide in amazement when I saw what Hisano Shepherd was doing with pearls. She has created pearl geodes!! Look at these rings I tried on! They are filled with black and white diamonds.

little h pearl geode rings
How did she come up with this idea? Well last year she was at the Tucson Gem Show and was quite taken by all the geodes, such as these amethyst ones.

amethyst geodes from the tucson gem show
Having a history in the pearl business, she came up with the idea of cutting a pearl in half, polishing the inside, and then lining them with gems and seed pearls. How cool is that?! Here’s some of the pearls, both whole and cut open, to show you what they look like.

baroque pearls
Hisano uses mainly three types of pearls in these collections: Tahitian, South Sea, and Souffle (which I had never heard of before.). Souffle pearls are grown in such a manner that they are hollow inside. She goes to Hong Kong three times a year to source all the pearls and gems. She cuts each pearl herself, and each stone is handset in her Los Angeles studio, with the assistance of her one assistant. Very labor intensive, to be sure.

I couldn’t help but admire the ombre effect she created in this pendant.

little h pearl geode necklace
Hisano doesn’t want pearls to be thought of as dowdy, and she has really come up with a way to make them relevant for today’s woman. Here are a couple more pieces from her Pearl Geode Collection, including a bracelet and earrings with jackets.

little h 3 pearl geode bracelet in black and white diamonds
little h 3 pearl earring and jacket set with black diamonds and rubies
I think her Finestrino Collection (meaning little window in Italian) is so special. You can see how she has created windows into the pearls, and then filled them with gems.

little h pink souffle pearl finestrino pendant with pink to yellow sapphires
little h white south sea pearl necklace with diamonds
There’s alto the Grotto Collection, where you can see through the whole pearl on the earrings and pendants, and the opening is then gem-encrusted.

little h grotto collection emerald earrings with diamonds
I must say, I had such fun trying on all her designs!

little h grotto rings
And she has not forgotten about the men out there. How about these Tahitian pearl and black diamond cufflinks?

little h tahitian pearl and black diamond cufflinks
Although I think if my significant other owned these, I’d be “borrowing” them and pairing them with an untucked white tuxedo shirt and frayed-hem jeans. Luxe casual!

If you’d like to see more of Hisano and hear about her process, you’ll enjoy this video.

Dana Bronfman: Designer

I really like how Dana Bronfman describes her line on her website, “… (it) is for the woman who delights in adorning herself in the precious ore of the earth but whose feet are planted firmly in the city.” This creates a great visual, doesn’t it? I had the pleasure of meeting Dana and trying on her jewelry at the JCK show in Las Vegas.

amy roseveare and dana bronfman
Her description is right on target, as I saw the architecture in the first necklace I picked up, which is inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge.

Dana is over 1.5 years into her business. Though she lives in New York (she moved there for further jewelry studies after attending The Revere Academy), she and I bonded over both being Bay Area natives. Every piece in her collection is made by hand in New York City. She’s passionate about being ethical in her work, using reclaimed metals and ethically-sourced stones. In addition, she donates part of her sales to non-profit organizations which align with her values. Gotta love all that!

As I explored the goodies in her case, I noticed how many of her pieces had an element of movement to them. Take, for example her flip rings.

dana bronfman holly flip ring
They are fun to flip around while wearing them.

Another key element in her designs is her use of negative space. Her Oculus collection, which basically translates to any round shape that lets light shine through, is pretty darn cool. Here’s a couple of her “Holly” pendants, which can be worn horizontally or vertically.

dana bronfman holly pendants
These two rings, in gold and silver, feature double rows of diamonds. Nice, right?

Her newest collection is inspired by clock gears melting…very Dali-esque; she always feels as if she’s running out of time. Here’s a necklace and a brooch in this group.

dana bronfman necklace
dana bronfman melting time brooch
Dana’s “Climbing Persistence” earrings can be worn on their own, or with a pendulum extender. Which way would you choose to wear them?

dana bronfman climbing persistence earrings
dana bronfman climbing persistence earrings with pendulum extenders
The day I visited Dana at the show, she was wearing her “Flying Lilly” necklace — beautiful combination of shapes and metal colors, highlighted with diamonds.

dana bronfman flying lilly necklace
Dana’s “Still Lilly” rings felt very easy on the hand, and gave a real punch in appearance.

dana bronfman still lilly rings
If you’d like to see her line in person, you can click here for a list of retailers. You may also enjoy Dana’s Instagram feed for an inside look. I love what she posted yesterday, which shows her daily #jewelryuniform!

dana bronfman #jewelryuniform

Judi Powers: Designer

When I returned from Jewelry Week in Las Vegas, I mentioned that one of the high points (aside from seeing all the fantabulous jewelry), was finally meeting people in person whom I had only known online. Judi Powers is one of those lovely people, and meeting her “live” at the JCK show was so much fun! We hugged as if we were longtime friends, which I guess in a way…we were!

One of the first things I had to see at her booth was her Arun Sawad collection. I had been seeing images of these pieces on Instagram, and they did not disappoint in person! On her website she describes the inspiration for this design, “Many years ago while I was traveling in Thailand I fell in love with a riverside temple called Wat Arun, or temple of the dawn. As the sun was rising over this beautiful and sacred place, there was a warm golden glow in the sky. The colors of the diamonds with the gold remind me so much of that special place…”

judi powers arun sawad collection
And take a look at this green tourmaline ring with tsavorite garnets. Gorge, right?

judi powers green tourmaline ring with tsavorite garnets
Judi has not always been a jewlery designer. In fact, she spent 22 years in publishing. Jewelry has always been in her blood, though. She told me as a young girl she used to sneak off to spend time at her local jewelry store. Though she has been making jewelry since just after 9/11, her full-time transition to jewelry designer happened with a bang. She applied to FIT and got in just two weeks before classes were to begin. So, she quit her job on a Friday and began classes at FIT on a Monday. No down time there! Just one month after graduation, she entered and won a jewelry competition, which helped set her on her course to success. Her winning design, “A Tree Grows,” was inspired by a spring tree in her own Brooklyn neighborhood.

judi powers a tree grows necklace
I’m so proud of the sustainability in Judy’s line as well, from metals to stones. She told me, “The line is completely sustainable, from mine to stone-cutter to studio.” (If you’d like more details about her dedication to sustainable jewlery, click here to read more.) Speaking of stones, I was drawn to this pair of earrings, which feature mis-matched beryl crystals — so harmonious, and perfectly imperfect.

judi powers mis-matched beryl crystal earringgs
She recently posted this photo on Instagram highlighting rings in an analogous color scheme. I can’t decide which is my favorite. Do you have one?

judi powers rings
And are you a fan of flowers? Then you’ll enjoy these bracelets and rings from her Impatiens collection, which come in gold and silver with mocha diamond accents.

judi powers impatiens collection
Though I could have stayed and chatted (and tried on jewlery) all day, I had to get going. Judi, it was an absolute pleasure meeting you! Thank you for sharing your story and jewelry with me.

amy roseveare and judi powers

Back From Vegas…

How can it be that six days in Las Vegas for Jewelry Week flew by so quickly?!? Here I sit, back in my apartment, when just a 6 hours ago I was having lunch at the Wynn with some amazing jewelry industry peeps. I will admit I got a bit teary upon take-off, seeing the Wynn and Mandalay Bay shimmering in the distance, knowing I was leaving without doing and seeing all I wanted to, which is always the case when I attend the Couture Show and JCK. It will be strange not putting one of these badges around my neck tomorrow morning.

las vegas jewlery week badges
But on the upside, I have to say it was probably my most memorable trip to the shows ever. Part of this is that since it was my 5th year attending, I know an increasing number of designers, press, and show staff, so it’s just wonderful to see all of them. I also noticed what a difference social media made in my experience this year. I’ve become online friends with so many jewelry industry people, and I feel as if I’ve gotten to know them on a very personal level, from their grandkids to their vacations to special moments in their lives. More than once, when I saw one of these “virtual friends” in the flesh, we embraced with the biggest of hugs, bringing the online friendship live. It was truly awesome!

And then there’s the jewelry … and this year just blew me away. I cannot WAIT to share all the fresh content with you. I think you’ll be dazzled by what I saw and tried on. Big, bold and colorful to dainty, neutral and sparkly, I saw a l.o.t! So stay tuned for next week, when I’ll begin sharing all my bling-tactic discoveries. Is your interest piqued? I hope so! And if you want a little taste of what I saw, check out my Instagram feed for some teasers.

amy roseveare at couture las vegas

And Jen…you were missed. xo

Heather Guidero Jewelry

One of my favorite things about attending the JCK show in Las Vegas is visiting the “Rising Stars.” There’s always fresh, new ideas in design to explore. Heather Guidero was one of these Rising Stars, and I was eager to explore her line and learn more. Here I am trying on her Confetti large earrings.

heather guidero confetti earrings
You might think, based on their size, that they are heavy. But let me assure you they are light as a feather. From the photo, you can see they are not pulling on my piercing whatsoever. She achieves this lightness by using wire and very thin sheets of metal in her work. She really is creating sculpture for the body.

Can you guess what inspired these earrings?

heather guidero earrings
If you guessed pine needles, you are correct. That is if pine needles came in oxidized silver with 18K gold tips!

Heather began making jewelry when she was only 17 years old, and went on to graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002. After a few years working as a goldsmith in New York, she has now returned to Rhode Island, where all her jewelry is made by hand.

Modernist design is a key inspiration for her, as evident in these carved cone rings. I played around with stacking three of them in different sizes.

heather guidero rings
You know I’m always on the hunt for cool stud earrings. Heather had a chic design in a variety of stones.

heather guidero stud earrings
Shocker, I was drawn to the labradorite pair!

heather guidero labradorite stud earrings
This oval carved cuff with turquoise is a show-stopper!

heather guidero oval carved cuff
If you’d like to see her work in person, you may be in luck. Her line is shown in stores across the nation.

Doryn Wallach: Designer

Doryn Wallach is a name you’re going to start hearing more and more often. She made her debut at Centurion, where she was named Emerging Designer of 2016! In addition, she’s one of the Rising Stars who will be showing at the JCK show in Las Vegas this June. Way to make an entrance into the world of jewlery! After two decades as an interior designer, Doryn is now channeling her creativity and love of Art Deco line and design into jewelry. Read below as I asked her a few questions about her and her line.

I see that you’ve had a love of jewelry your whole life. In particular, re-designing pieces to fit in with your lifestyle. What’s one of the most memorable re-designs you recall?

I would have to say the gladiator ring from my collection, because that’s what sparked my career change. It started with a diamond eternity band I rarely wore. This ring was a gift from my husband, and I felt guilty that it spent most of the time hidden away in my jewelry box. So I decided to rework the diamonds into something I would wear every day — the gladiator ring. When people asked me who made it, a light bulb went off in my head.

doryn wallach white diamond gladiator ring
The transition from your career as an interior designer to a jewelry designer seems so natural. How did you develop your affinity for the Art Deco period? Is this a carry-over from interior design?

When I was growing up outside Boston, my family spent a lot of our winter vacations in Miami. I was the kid who got my mom from point A to point B by remembering the landmarks, so my eyes were always peering out the car window. I fell in love with the architecture of the city — not only the pastel colors, but the lines of the buildings with their geometric and curvilinear forms. Years later, as an interior designer, I always incorporated Deco pieces in my spaces. I love their timeless glamour.

doryn wallach finely-ribbed hinged necklace with pave-set diamonds
It’s exciting to see what a mark you’re making with your debut collection. What is your current favorite piece?

My agate-and-pearl pendant. I have a deep love for estate jewelry, and I think this piece has an estate feeling as well as a distinctly modern sensibility that allows it to go with almost any piece of clothing – day or night.

doryn wallach agate, pearl and diamond pendant
What do you find are the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of being a jewelry designer?

For me, the most challenging is simply navigating a new business after spending so many years focused on interior design. Of course, that challenge is also what I love about the change. The most rewarding aspect of designing jewelry is seeing my abstract idea become a tangible object. And I love knowing that a woman will wear the piece for many years and one day, hopefully, pass it down.

doryn wallach octagon earrings with diamonds
When you’re not in the studio working, how do you like to spend your free time? Any favorite hobbies?

When I am not working, I am with my kids, who are five and eight. They take most of my free time! But when I do have a few hours to myself, I love walking around the city, browsing through vintage shops and antique stores and people-watching. It’s very inspiring.

doryn wallach scale ring with bezel-set diamond
Perusing through her collection, I think her turquoise gladiator bar necklace is one of my faves. I could see it easily layered or worn on its own.

doryn wallach turquoise gladiator bar necklace
I look forward to meeting you in person at JCK, Doryn — thanks so much for your insight into you and your line!

doryn wallach black and white diamond fishscale rings