Julie Cohn Design

There are times when I see a jewelry line, and it just resonates with me. This is exactly what happened when I checked out Julie Cohn’s work. (Thanks for the tip, Vicente Agor!) I think it’s so chic! Julie describes her collection as, “…primitive, yet modern in style, juxtaposing refined elements with rough organic shapes.” Working with Ancient Bronze and sterling silver, along with semi-precious stones, her designs are absolutely wearable. I had the chance to ask Julie some questions about her and her line. Read on to see what she has to say…

julie cohn jewelry
I’m in awe of your creative pursuits the past 30 years, which include designing paper, rugs, wallpaper and more. Has one thing just led to another in a natural progression? How did you make the jump to jewlery?

All of my creative endeavors have evolved organically. Each area of design that I have been involved with has had some common component with the next project. I was prototyping for a drapery hardware project and certain techniques that we were using were applicable to jewelry.

julie cohn bracelets
I think it’s wonderful that all the pieces in your line are made right in Dallas! Are you a self-taught jeweler?

I am a self taught jeweler. I have had private instruction along the way to figure out the best way to interpret a design, but I do all the conceptualizing and wax carving.

julie cohn necklace
Your designs are both rustic and refined at the same time. How would you describe your aesthetic?

I am very influenced by the midcentury craft movement, which in turn was influenced by the architecture and ethnic crafts of that time period. I love ethnic jewelry but I also love the organic refinement of Elsa Perretti. I think my aesthetic is a mixture of all of those influences, in addition to my love of all things Japanese.

What is your current favorite piece or two in your line?

I love a lot of my rings. The current collection is about hand formed geometry and references contemporary architecture that I love. My favorite necklace is the Helena. It is made entirely of hand formed beads that are individually wire wrapped together. It’s obsessive in its construction but is so simple — it’s like a strand of bronze pearls.

julie cohn helena necklace
What do you find are the biggest rewards and challenges of being a jewlery designer?

I live to work. There is an infinite amount of inspiration that I would love to explore. I think it is hard staying true to your own style and strengths when they may not be what everyone else is doing. I have never been successful when I’ve chased trends. I design for myself and what I’d like to be wearing.

If I were to visit Dallas, what’s your favorite:

restaurant? Stock and Barrel
retail store? Grange Hall
gallery or museum? Actually I have seen great shows this year at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center.

julie cohn necklace and bracelet
Julie also has a fine jewelry collection. Here are a couple of my favorite pieces…

Saturn ring

julie cohn saturn ring
Ponte bangle

julie cohn ponte bangle
Julie, thank you so much for sharing your passion with me. I look forward to meeting you in person one day!

Megan Thorne: Designer

Last summer I was in charge of my 25th high school reunion. As you know, I’m a strong proponent of self-gifting, so to celebrate the occasion, I bought myself a little prezzie — in this case a wide gold band with diamonds by Megan Thorne. I wear it stacked with a thin gold ring by Armenta, and every time I look at my hand, I remember all the fun memories of the reunion.

megan thorne ring with armenta ring

I was so excited to meet Megan in person at the Couture show! She is just a delightful woman, and her smile lights up a room! From her first impression, you’d never believe that she actually got kicked out of an NBA game once for yelling at a ref! (Yep…it’s true!)

Megan and Amy
Megan and Amy

Megan originally started out in lingerie design, totally swept up in the beauty of lace and the various prints on fabrics. Though once this self-proclaimed klutz tried her hand with a jewelry torch, she knew she was a natural. Thus began her career in jewelry in 2007, tools in hand in her garage in Texas. She’s still based there, and everything is hand-crafted at her Texas studio.

This is called her “picture frame ring.” You can see that the center of the ring really does look like a picture frame with a diamond in it. It’s based on a ring that her grandmother had as a little girl. Years later, she still had the ring in its original box with her childhood handwriting on it. She gave it to Megan, who then fashioned this ring — love that back story!

megan thorne picture frame yellow gold emerald cut with ribbed princess step band

While she didn’t originally set out to be a bridal jewelry designer, that’s where the path has taken her. But I really don’t think you have to be a bride to wear her beautiful pieces. (I’m proof right there!) I was drawn to this ring, which was one of her earlier pieces. I love that that it’s larger in scale, yet still extremely feminine.

Damask ring
Damask ring

Megan designs more than just rings. I just adore these diamond studs, which were inspired by a fabric print. The rose cut diamonds are gorgeous in the white gold setting.

megan thorne imperial white gold studs

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, then you can meet Megan in person and see/try on her collection. She’ll be at Gallery of Jewels in Union Square on Saturday, June 29th from 11-7. This is part of their big Endless Love jewelry event, which you don’t want to miss! It runs June 28-July 14th at all three of their SF locations. (Click here for the full schedule.) And remember, you don’t have to be a bride to find something fabulous!!