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…
Last week I hopped in an Uber car and made my way to downtown San Francisco for WJA’s Jewelry Night Out. The Women’s Jewelry Association had a national party, celebrating those in the jewelry business. I loved seeing all the photos on Instagram from chapters across the country! Not only was it a wonderful opportunity to visit designers I knew and meet new friends, but I couldn’t help but drool over the amazing bling in the room. I want to share some of my favorite pieces from the night. (In no particular order.)