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…”
And take a look at this green tourmaline ring with tsavorite garnets. Gorge, right?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
I admit I’m going through a weaving phase right now. Not that I’m weaving myself, mind you, but I’m drawn to all things woven, from wall hangings to rugs and jewelry. I’m a magpie to the crafty, and I couldn’t help but immerse myself in the website of Lesh Handwoven Jewelry. The necklace I’m obsessed with is the Yaz necklace.
So unique, right? I thought so too! And the fiber artist, Summer Moore, can create this in a wide variety of colors.
Summer was on a trip to Peru, where she became fascinated with Andean textiles. It turns out it was in her blood, as she found out her grandmother, Helen “Lesh” Jane, had been a weaver as well. (I love when genetic pre-dispositions appear like that!) Summer got some real hands-on experience when she attended an artist residency in the small Turkish village of Ibrahimpaşa in the Cappadocia region. On her website, you can read all about her experience in her travelogue. (You’ve got to check it out — even just for the stunning photographs!) I so enjoyed reading about her experience in such a foreign land as a woman traveling alone.
Now back stateside, Summer’s business is based in Brooklyn. Here are some more of her necklace designs, which also come in a variety of hues.
She also has some captivating bracelets, such as these two.
I can only imagine the amount of time that goes into each item, and I think they are very fairly priced from $175-$270. Each piece is made to order using cotton fibers from Brazil and 100% recycled thread from Germany. She has a very generous exchange policy as well, allowing someone to exchange an unworn piece for another of equal value if they’re not completely satisfied. I can appreciate when an artist really stands behind their work! Love it!