Friday, August 8, 2008 designer profiles

Designer Profile
Diana Widman
Diana Widman Design

Diana Widman began her career as a bookbinder and a printmaker. This passion for paper and fabric is extremely evident in her work; Widman’s ‘Gold and Silver Linen’ collection actually has the look of paper or fabric. Using a style called fold-forming, this Montana artist has been able to create pieces that are innovative in their whimsical designs. This softness affects even the texture of the pieces, which are smooth and silky to the touch. Her other pieces also utilize these fluid lines and shapes, as seen in her ‘Squiggle Collection.’ Widman often uses pearls, gems, and diamonds, and takes great pride in combining stones that are not often seen together. This ‘mixed company’ technique piques a sense of curiosity that will surely have wearers answering questions about their jewelry time and time again. “Elegance for Every Day” is the motto that Widman attempts to uphold with her work, as she believes that her pieces are perfect for that transition from day at work to night out on the town.

Designer Profile
Donna Distefano
Donna Distefano Ltd.

Once the senior goldsmith for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Donna Distefano brings an amazing amount of experience and background to her work. She has been in business for over fifteen years, and her jewelry has appeared on the red carpet and in the pages of countless magazies such as InStyle, Gotham, and Modern Bride. Distefano’s lines are all created by hand, and her Amor Fati line has become a big name in the bridal market. Harnessing trends and styles from the renaissance era, Distefano’s pieces feature intricate scrollwork, medallions, gemstones, and rich colors. The collections highlight her preference for deep colors, and many pieces are ornamented with rich blues and reds. One of her most intriguing endeavors is a necklace made from an actual portrait, recreated in miniatures and placed on a 22k gold pendant. Distefano’s work is for the woman who wants a piece that combines the old with the new a piece that can be passed through the generations.

Designer Profile

Gintare Kizys
Gintare Jewelry

Although Gintare Kizys is a new face at the JA Jewelry Show, her designs seem to stretch back to medieval times. Kizys’ line, Gintare, is reminiscent of the jewelry and detailing that we see in the Bayeux Tapestries. Her use of crosses, fleur-de-lis, angels, and chalices are all capable of transporting us to another era. When speaking with the willowy blond Lithuanian, she refers to dynasties and historical events as her inspiration; she clearly pulls her muses from religions and traditions of the past.

Kizys often uses 18k white, rose, and yellow gold, making her work delicate and somehow simple in its detailing. Many of her pieces feature precious and rare stones, which are enfolded into the gold in a soft and tender way. One of the most striking Gintare pieces is a ring with quartz, and within the stone there are small water bubbles; details such as these pull you in to Kizys’ designs and keep you entranced.
One of Gintare’s signature pieces is the interlocking ring. Patterned with the fleur-de-lis and spotted with stones, this piece (like most of Kizys’ pieces) is unisex. Composed of several layers, the ring can be taken apart and worn separately, or mixed and matched with other interlocking rings of assorted colors. This creativity and depth gives all of Kizys’ pieces a sense of history and purpose that harnesses the past but brings forth a breath or fresh air.

Designer Profile
Lena Sklyut
Lena Sklyut Fine Jewelry and Accessories

Lena Sklyut’s jewelry is impossible to ignore. Love it or hate it, her pieces are made to be noticed. As an American designer of Russian descent, Sklyut brings forth two separate backgrounds and mixes them together into her eclectic line. This is statement jewelry, fully adorned with snakes, skulls, and spiders. Most pieces are made of 18k gold or sterling silver and feature a dominant LS symbol. These large rings, bracelets, and necklaces are often ornamented with diamonds or semiprecious stones, and are quite large in their sizes. Sklyut’s color choices are often regal in their combination; many of her pieces feature dominant pinks and reds, or diamonds and gold. “This is one of a kind jewelry for a one of a kind woman,” Sklyut says. “It is for a woman who can handle attention and wants it.” The five different Lena Sklyut lines feature many unique limited edition pieces, ranging in themes from the depth of the ocean, to symbols of love and prosperity. The lines also feature other accessories including belts, money clips, and pendants. Sklyut’s jewelry is powerful and bold, and not to be worn by the meek.

Designer Profile
Sonja Picard
The Sonja Picard Collection

The Sonja Picard Collection boasts over 300 pieces, each with a different meaning. This Canadian designer creates pieces that honor the ancient yogic concepts and call upon its mantras. Picard practices yoga for the mind, and believes that her jewelry allows for a connection to meditation throughout the day. Pieces are first hand-carved in wax and then produced in multi-color 14k gold adorned with various gemstones and diamonds. Each item is then inscribed with divine symbols, Sanskrit mantras, or celestial images. Some of the pieces, like her ‘Om Shanti’ necklace, have both Sanskrit writing on one side and English on the other. What makes Picard’s jewelry stand out is the spirituality that emanates from each item; she is a practicing bhakti Yogini and she has created jewelry that is deeply rooted in those beliefs. These items range from studio to couture, allowing you to practice your ‘art of adornment’ wherever you go.

Designer ProfilesKristin HansonKristin Hanson Jewelry
Jewelry available on
With designs inspired by the raw beauty of our earth, Kristin Hanson's jewelry lines are flawless embodiments of the natural elements that surround us. Each piece is motivated by an organic object and the names of her collections reflect this theme: Sea, Petal, Rain, Bone and Forrest. Most of Hanson’s work is made with 18K gold and silver, but each piece is cast from actual organic materials; the designer first molds her pieces in bone, coral, and shells, giving them the shape and feel of nature. She then adds gems and precious stones, enhancing these forms to reflect the beauty of the objects. This handmade process allows for incredibly intricate details.

A multitalented woman, Hanson is not only a designer; she also owns and runs her own school. The Kristin Hanson Fine Jewelry School (located in New York City) teaches students of all different skill levels, and classes range from learning fundamentals to producing your own designs. Even with so much going on, Hanson still strives for more, saying “I hope to continue to develop my collection, open a signature store and build up my school on an international level.”

No comments: