Saturday, March 5, 2011

What jewelry do jewelers wear?

You’re a jewelry designer, but what kind of jewelry do you wear? This is always an interesting question to pose to artists in any medium, eg: What music do musicians listen to? The question presupposes an insider’s refined sensibility, as well as a knowledge of, and appreciation for artists that may be beyond the public taste.

Full disclosure: Corliss wears lots of jewelry, all the time. John almost never wears jewelry. Both of us actively collect the work of other artists.
We have an extensive collection of tribal and ethnic jewelry that has been assembled from our travels around the world. We also have an extensive collection of contemporary work assembled through contact with our fellow artists.

We can’t point to any particular piece and say “that’s our favorite”. We love them all. That is why we own them. Which pieces are worn at any particular moment is dictated by mood and what is appropriate for the venue, look and/or statement we want to make. We have a very broad palate to choose from.

So, here is a peek at a small selection of the contemporary jewelry that Corliss has worn in the last few weeks.

Left: A Penny Harrel necklace. This was acquired in a trade with the artist for one of our pieces. Our favorite way to add to the collection.

Below: Earrings by Tamara. We actually bought these about 20 years ago. They are extremely well made and have held up well both mechanically and stylistically.

Left: A wonderful alluminum necklace by Vanessa Waliko that was acquired at the 2010 SNAG Conference.

Below: A wonderfully industrial chain link bracelet from an unknown French Canadian artist purchased in Quebec many years ago. Wish this artist would have signed the work. Note: I this is you, or you know who made this, let us know.

Left: A Robert Lee Morris pin. This was a gift from Robert. We worked with him on a fashion show and retrospective of his work held at the Los Angeles County Museum of art.

Below: A pair of Jillian Moore earrings. These were a recent right place at the right time acquisition. We happened to be on-line when Jillian posted that these were up for sale. We snapped them up. Lucky us.

Left: Harriete Estel Berman earrings. We had to have these. The reference to traditional jewelry was too funny and ironic to pass up.

Below: a traditional Scottish pin form from the master Greg Thorne

Left: A heavy silver and Mexican fire opal bracelet by Dana Gochenour. Dana is one of our prospecting buddies and is a first rate geologist and miner, in addition to being an accomplished jeweler.

Left: An amazing brooch by Don Friedlich. This piece is made of frosted glass and refracts any thing that it is placed on. It is a real joy to wear as it optically changes as you move.

Left: An iconic piece that we commissioned from Lorena Angulo, a master of precious metal clay. We were in love with the designs and style of Lorena's work and asked her to make something using silver, bronze and copper clay in one piece. No one had done this before and it turned out to be quite learning curve. Lorena pulled it off spectacularly.

Below: One of our own pieces from back in the day when we were making more traditional jewelry forms. 52cts of matched rubellite tourmaline set in gold. We mined, cut and set the stones and couldn't bear to sell it.

Left: A pair of wooden bracelets from one of our collaboration partners, wood turner Chet Brisco. The top piece is turned Banksia pod, cocobolo and walnut. The bottom piece is turned and textured with pyrography.

** This series is part of "Blog Carnival" a project of EtsyMetal. Each month, members of EtsyMetal share thier views on a common theme.

EtsyMetal is an International group of metalsmiths who create handmade Jewelry. More information about the group and it's members can be found at


  1. I love those Jillian Moore earrings! What a fabulous and varied collection! I would love to see the rest, haha! You guys are so great!

  2. WOW - Stunning collection !
    I LOVE Tamara earrings and Jillian Moore earrings!!!

  3. Intriguing pieces. Loved reading this!

  4. Lovely collection of jewels! Thanks so much for showing it.

  5. fantastic pieces! that Don Friedlich piece is incredible!

  6. great pieces! I really like the earrings by Tamara.

  7. Ooohh, those Jillian Moore earrings got me. Great collection and thanks for sharing. Love to see more pieces.

  8. I love the wood... All of them so different.

  9. These are great pieces.
    All of them !

  10. Your collection is fantastic! I am honored to be in your list and it was a pleasure to make this piece for you.

  11. Thank YOU Lorena. We are so happy and honored to have one of your amazing pieces in our collection.