I can’t quite remember the first time I saw a piece of Nan Fusco’s jewelry online, but I instantly fell in jewelry lust! Her pieces are edgy, feminine, and organic at the same time. I’ve been dying to see them in person! While on a recent trip to southern California, I was so excited to meet up with her in Laguna Beach and find out more!
Our hour together just flew by, as she pulled out trays upon trays of treasures. We started with bracelets, and this stunner made from natural Kasumi pearls, wrapped with oxidized silver chain, made my jaw drop.
Next she showed me some bracelets with a staurolite as the center medallion. I had never heard of these before! She explained that they are also known as the “twin cross.” They are found naturally in the ground in just a few places, such as Georgia (it’s actually their official state mineral) and in the Swiss Alps. Legend says that they are formed when a fairy’s tears hit the ground.
This is one of the unique aspects of Nan’s line. She “artfully composes” things that she finds on her wanderings. Often, it might be something that others would pass by (such as the staurolite). But not Nan — instead she comes up with singular designs, some of which wakes her up in the middle of the night, having dreamt about it.
Nan’s bracelets stack beautifully, as shown in this garnet stack, which includes everything from Keishi pearls to elk antler to cognac diamonds. Stack-tastic!
Another fabulous thing about many of her pieces, is that they can be worn many ways. Take her “quattro” necklace (which means 4 in Italian) It starts out looking like one long chain. BUT…you can wrap it multiple times to wear as a bracelet, or style it in three different necklace variations. Check it out!
With a background in graphic design, she started her jewelry business in 2003, along with her husband Michael. She clearly has a mind for design and balance, as so many of her necklaces have elements of asymmetry, yet they all hang perfectly. Case and point are her claspless “loop” necklaces, which have a small loop of chains that allow you to adjust the necklace to any place you’d like. Here’s an example of this inventive concept shown in oxidized chain, elk antler and a diamond loop.
And what’s not to love about this raw ruby tie necklace? And of course, it can be worn various ways as well.
Nan is a self-taught, one-woman show. She designs and makes each piece by hand in her southern California studio. And I don’t know how she finds time for it, but she and her husband also run an ad agency as well. How does she do it?!
I love how Nan really uses unique stones. She told me that she looks for high quality, yet not “perfect” stones. The uniqueness and natural variation in her materials really inspires her. Take a look at these exquisite baroque pearl earrings, with her signature chain wrap. (did I mention she oxidizes all the chains herself as well?)
I could definitely go on and on about this line, and I encourage you to check out her website. She said the most common thing she hears when people see her work is, “I’ve never seen anything like it!” I must agree.