I first met Rachel Clinnick, the amazing designer behind San Francisco-based Thalia Jewelry, last fall. I was already a fan long before meeting her, as I had admired some of her work in various stores. I was so honored to have lunch with her this week, where I got to know more about both her and her passion. I asked if she’d be willing to share some of her favorite pieces, and she was happy to oblige. (Grazie!) So here is what she had to share, along with her own descriptions of the work. Enjoy the visual delight!
“The spider brooch was a custom piece made for our client from her grandmother’s rings. I sketched the design and we created it in hand-carved wax first, then hand-set, hand-filed and shaped the rest of the piece. It is just stunning in person.”
“This gold Spanish shipwreck coin from the 1700’s is a special piece. Worn on our handmade 22k chain, it really brings out the old world feel.”
“A collection of my most cherished stackable rings in diamonds and opals offer organic opulence with a classic touch — easy to start with one and stack over time!”
“This was a piece I finished and sold the very next day. It’s topaz and opal in 18k, all hand-carved as well as hand-fabricated; it sold as a gift for one of my favorite clients and I’m so happy she has it!”
“Our Zodiac Collection rings are just so fun and sentimental. You can choose one-sided or double-sided. I wear my own with my sign on one side and my husband’s on the other!”
I have a feeling you may now be as mesmerized by her collection as I am! I thank Rachel for being my “guest contributor” today! If you’d like to explore the line some more, you can see her work at various boutiques, and she also takes special appointments. Click here for that info.
Some days my schedule works out effortlessly, and Monday was one of those days. Even though I went to SOMA to pack a client for a month of travel in the morning, met a colleague for lunch in the Marina in SF, and had another client in Marin later in the day, I still found myself with a whole free hour! And not only was this a lovely gift in itself, but my break just happened to be right near Blanc, a store which had been on my “must visit” list for quite some time– in fact ever I learned they carry Thalia Jewelry. (You may remember I wrote about seeing her line at the WJA Designers by the Bay event last fall.)
When I walked in, I couldn’t believe it, but there was Ashley Morgan, another jewelry designer extraordinaire! (Click here if you missed my article about her.) Universes colliding!
Thalia Jewelry was beautifully displayed in a big case when you walk in the store. I can never get enough of her bracelets with pave diamond clasps! And I love how the rings and cross were artfully sitting on an old book. That completely fits the old world luxe aesthetic of the line.
Ashely’s gems were showcased at the opposite end of the table, and her rings gave me complete jewelry envy. (btw, I can’t believe I didn’t snap a photo of Ashley, as the earrings she was wearing were to die for!!)
There were definitely some new designers for me as well. The ombre on this multi-chain bracelet by Daniele Basta is a little bit rocker and a little bit boho at the same time. I seriously have a thing for Italian design! And Italian food…and Italian men…I’m seeing a theme here…hmmm
These chunky rings by Lee Brennan Design have a similar vibe, and they blend perfectly with the clothing sold at the store — edgy leather jackets, shoes from Calleen Cordero, and many European designs, just to mention a few.
I was also taken with these mixed metal bracelets by Bash Jewelry (hand made in New Mexico). They have such a great weight to them!
Natalie Hicks, daughter of the store’s owner, Nancy, also has a line at the store — Justine Alexandra. She has some great pave diamond pieces, including a bangle with polki diamonds. Beautiful!
I thoroughly enjoyed whiling away my break trying on jewelry, and I know I’ll be back!
This is the second year I’ve attended the Women’s Jewelry Association’s big event, Designers by the Bay. This event is truly a visual feast, held in the Shreve’s building near Union Square; it’s where Bay Area fine jewelry designers showcase their latest work. There was unfortunately no way to have an intimate look at every case during the time I was there, but there were four designers that really got my attention, and I was able to take a closer look at their lines.
Tura Sugden was a new kid on the block (It was her first show!), but she is going places..quickly. She is based in Noe Valley in San Francisco, where she designs and makes each piece herself. I was taken by the unique settings and stone shapes — look at this spectacular pair of diamond earrings!
The same amazing detail, created with a German blow-torch, is shown in her studs as well. (I’m especially paying attention to these now that I have my new piercings!)
And what’s not to love about this diamond cuff?
In contrast to the complexity of Tura’s designs, I was also very drawn to the sleek lines of Coleoptere (which means beetle in French). I tried on this shiny gold disc ring (called the wabi sabi ring), with diamonds around the edges. So interesting how the light reflects off the surface of it, making it almost look like a stone of some sort.
Here’s a clear photo of it from their website.
This Oakland-based company has all female goldsmiths — very unique! They use 18K royal yellow gold, which I learned is a rare buttery color with a touch of green. I thought the design of these asterisk earrings was awesome.
The woman I was standing next to wanted to go home with these stunning gold hair pins…and they’d look fab on her with her long hair!
Jennifer Dawes is an artist that I’ve wanted to meet for years, and I finally had the pleasure at this event. Based in Santa Rosa, Jennifer’s collection was bursting with color. There were stacks of rings in all hues.
With a strong focus on responsible, sustainable jewelry, all of Jennifer’s jewelry is hand fabricated and finished at her studio. I was in love with this necklace, comprised of a very pale emerald above an emerald crystal. The combination of color and texture is sublime.
Taking a stroll through her website, this Etruscan double diamond ring spoke to me.
My final showcase for the evening (before the Giant’s won the World Series and I had to get the heck out of SF before the mayhem) was that of Thalia Jewelry. Designer Rachel Clinnick just glowed with delight when showing me her amazing work. I could instantly feel her passion for design. This stack of diamond and opal rings was amazing–especially the one with the diamond teardrop pendant. Yum!
Most of the pieces are one-of-a-kind. I couldn’t believe how this large Ethiopian opal ring was on fire on my finger!
And this one she dubbed “The King’s ring.” Wowza–very heavy and worthy of royalty indeed!
Finally, this necklace with it’s diamond pave double snake clasp was beautiful! The clasp is completely interchangeable, allowing you to create different necklace or bracelet looks. Brilliant design!
I wish I had been able to stay longer at the event, as there were many more cases beckoning me. So many jewels, so little time…