what Ethical jewelry and sustainable studio practices mean to me

 

about me

I started my jewelry line in 2013 so that I could make wedding rings with recycled gold for my friends, and the collection has grown since then. At the time, it was harder to get recycled gold. I set up a business to be able to work with trusted metal and stone suppliers in the industry. I became a member of the Ethical Metalsmiths, a group of jewelers committed to responsible jewelry practices, and remain one today.

See the entire collection in the shop.

I learned how to make jewelry from my high school art teacher Mrs. Robinson, who offered a class at my school. She later set me up with an apprenticeship with a small jewelry company in Maine, and I worked with them for a couple of years. I studied sculpture in art school, but continued to work in the jewelry industry as a bench jeweler both in Chicago and Philadelphia. This training was invaluable for me when I set up my own studio.

 

my studio practices

I am a one woman small business. I do everything myself from start to finish. I hand fabricate every piece of jewelry in my Santa Fe studio. I work with a handful of wonderful stores around the country and sell my work here on my website. I encourage you to check out my stockists page to find a location near you. If there’s a store in your area who you think should carry my work, please send them my website.

I use reclaimed (recycled) sterling silver, 14k + 18k gold, conflict-free diamonds and ethically-sourced gemstones. The pieces that I create are designed to be worn by every body. I don’t subscribe to gender stereotypes, and don’t think jewelry needs to either.

I share my workspace with my wife, and in doing so, we are able to cut down on electricity and resources that we use. We recycle and reuse everything that we can, and use recycled paper products whenever possible. I keep my jewelry collection on the smaller side, which enables me to be efficient in how I produce work.

I do a lot of metal recycling in house. I collect dust and metal scraps from every piece that I make. There are a number of pieces in the collection that I make by melting scraps of gold or silver into new shapes. Anything that I’m not able to reuse in house, I send to my metal supplier to be refined and turned into fresh recycled metal.

 

I work with recycled solid 14k and 18k gold and sterling silver. I don’t work with brass because it’s harder to get recycled brass, and I’m allergic. I don’t do any plating or gold fill. I want to make jewelry from high quality metal that will last a lifetime. I also want it to be easily recyclable years from now if someone so chooses. Creating pieces from 14k and 18k gold and sterling silver is the best way to do this. Almost all of the chain and findings that I use are recycled as well. As it is harder to find recycled gold and silver chain, I am always looking for new sources for recycled chain. And as more jewelers ask for recycled metals, more suppliers are offering this. There has been a lot of improvement on this front in the seven years I’ve had my own jewelry company.

I don’t do a lot of fairmined gold pieces, but there are a handful of styles in the collection that can be made with fairtrade gold. If this is something that interests you, get in touch.

recycled gold and silver


 

All of the diamonds that I work with are conflict-free and compliant with the Kimberley process. I get diamonds from two suppliers, with whom I have been working for the seven years that I’ve been in business, and I trust them. Many of the diamonds that I use are recycled diamonds, or have been recently mined in Canada.

I only work with the kinds of stones that I know I can ethically source. I work with a few trusted suppliers, and with some exceptions, they can often tell me where their stones came from exactly, and where the stones were cut. I use stones that are mined and cut in the US whenever possible.

conflict-free diamonds and ethically-sourced stones