Lauren Newton deeply infuses her eponymous fashion jewelry line with her fascination for wildlife. Her most current collection, readily available on her site and on NEWTWIST, boasts cuffs casted from the pincers of a crab discovered in Hawaii, and earrings that share the pebbled texture of a sting rays skin. A bold, yet whimsical, exploration of the ways Earths creatures secure themselves from harm, her fashion jewelry is developed to be both a shield and a specific expression of the users uniqueness.
Check out on to find out more about how Laurens background in zoology prepared her for the jewelry industry, and how a Star Wars character became her favorite customized precious jewelry project.
How did your love for precious jewelry begin?
Thats truly interesting. I understand we come from similar backgrounds, with Caribbean moms and dads and growing up in New York, and I know my parents wouldnt have been so happy with me delving into an imaginative profession– but it appears like your parents were encouraging.
My mom and my daddy are very various individuals, and of the two of them, my daddy is the creative one. My papa is the one who, when he was younger, did a lot of drawing and sculpting and painting, and my mother is very practical. They met in college and, oddly enough, are both registered nurses.
They both supported my ambitions to enter into fashion jewelry. My mom, to this day, I think, would most likely toss me a celebration if I decided to work in education. My whole family remains in healthcare. Im the only one. Provide me the creativity. Ive had the ability to go from non-for-profits, to taking a fashion jewelry school intensive. I went to the 92nd Street Y first, then I went to Studio Jewelers. Ive taken classes at Studio 174. Ive taken classes at FIT. Simply through gathering abilities over the years, Ive been able to develop this career for myself out of absolutely nothing. Its not like I have a degree in jewelry-making. Its just from practice and working for people. Ive worked for several prominent designers in the industry. I still work for one, really, and have actually simply collected skills, and collected understanding, and attempted to make it.
She had this wooden and brass Asian-style fashion jewelry box that my daddy provided her in the 60s or 70s. She had rather a bit of costume fashion jewelry, but it was simply so remarkable to see all the chains and pearls and shimmers.
I didnt actually consider making fashion jewelry until I was an adult. Individuals like the dodo bird. Why wasnt there a piece of jewelry with a dodo bird on it?
I took my very first metalsmithing class in 2005, after I completed my undergrad degree, and returned to New York. From that point on, I was connected. Forging and moving metal with my hands, it couldnt be much better than that. Thats where my journey started.
From 2005 up until I really leapt into fashion jewelry in 2012, I was working for non-for-profits. Ive worked for the Audubon Nature Center doing non-for-profit animal education and animal sciences and research. The whole time, I had been making fashion jewelry on the side.
Do you find that your previous profession ever affects the choices you make when it pertains to producing your fashion jewelry?
My previous career influences me not simply in the precious jewelry itself, but in the nature of the jewelry market. My Armor collection is heavily affected by animal shapes and natural textures. Among my first collections, that I still sell on Etsy, has a lot of animals. Thats more of the design impact.
I went to a predominantly white, rural college in Syracuse– the SUNY of Environmental Science and Forestry. Going from that environment to the wildlife science field, which is primarily male and primarily white, was a comparable experience. Transitioning into fashion jewelry, it was the exact same exact thing.
You raised the reality that the fashion jewelry industry itself is primarily white. Have you seen any substantial modifications in the market considering that the Black Lives Matter movement became prominent previously this year?
Perhaps I require to be more plugged in, however it needs to be bigger than what it is. The individuals who require to be making the modifications are not the little companies that operate out of New York, which is a liberal bubble to begin with. It needs to be New York Now.
Its not about posturing and posting a black square. With exhibition, its about cash. Its about exposure. I understand I dont have $$ to go to Couture, and Im sure most small, indie great precious jewelry brands dont either. What if Couture said, “Were going to set aside $120,000 to sponsor 5 POC designers to be on The Design Atelier”? Simply connect to the designers and state, “Hey, we saw youve been doing big things in the market. We would enjoy to see you to come to Couture.” No one even needs to understand theyre being sponsored– since theres pride associated with that, too. Theres money for that to be done. Its an easy repair. This industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry. And for a person like me who doesnt have generational wealth like that, it simply feels so uneven.
How has your company changed given that the pandemic started?
My individual company has actually changed, because Ive gotten a great deal of social media exposure. Ive gotten some opportunities to be in some online markets. Ive gotten some pro bono PR services, which is good. Because I have a studio in the house, Im back at work. Its tough, but things are still working behind the scenes. Individuals who have money are still buying jewelry, and I seem like high-end never ever disappears.
Ive seen that a few of your pieces remain in sterling silver, while others are rendered in 18 karat gold, and some are gold plated. How do you decide which pieces are fabricated in which medium?
I understood I desired to make declaration pieces, and some people simply do not use silver. Moving forward, the new collections are going to be silver and 18 karat gold.
What has been your favorite custom-made precious jewelry job that youve dealt with?
Ive had rather a few word-of-mouth couples, Black couples, come to me to do their engagement rings, which has been the most wonderful thing ever! Can we make an R2D2 engagement ring?”
He sent me these very actual images of R2D2 rings from fan sites. I said to him, “This is a great beginning location, but lets rein it in a little. I understand she loves R2D2, but we still desire it to look beautiful and traditional in 50, 60 years. We dont desire it to be too actual, or too comical.”
I created a ring that was actually R2D2 meets art deco. It is most likely one of my favorite rings.
I discovered your precious jewelry recently appeared through NEWTWIST, so congratulations!
That was something I did not expect. Seriously, it blew my mind. Its such a true blessing and the individuals who work there are fantastic.
Have you had to adjust the way you work to accommodate having a stockist?
Writing up an invoice for them, giving a precise lead time, going through the production procedure with that number of pieces, was such a fantastic knowing experience for me. I understand that I require to broaden the collection for individuals who want to do wholesale, since people like to see a range of things, and I dont have enough product right now. Im really, truly grateful to have that chance to work out the kinks, due to the fact that now I know what to do.
What is a piece of fashion jewelry that you can not leave your house without?
My platinum engagement ring was created by me and made by my best pal, Melissa Cohen, who is likewise a jewelry expert. I did my platinum wedding band, and I have another platinum band that sits alongside these, that my hubby gave me on our very first anniversary. Weve added a diamond for each year weve been married. These three platinum bands are on my finger day in, day out. I typically wear a couple of gold chains around my neck– my geek locket, and my afro pick pendant, which are my favorites.
What was the last piece of art, and it could be throughout any medium– visual, jewelry, film, music– that truly took your breath away?
I would have to say it was among my own pieces, that concerned fulfillment in a manner that was exactly the method I wanted it to come out. It felt to me like magnificent intervention. I posted it on Instagram and stated, “This is what it appears like to feel like youre doing your lifes work.” Its an opal pendant. Through the opal, you can see four skulls. If I can make pieces like that for the rest of my life, Ill pass away delighted. When something I have in my head comes out precisely the way I want it to, it feels like magic.
Can you offer us a tip about what youre dealing with next?
I have a couple of things that have actually been on the back burner for a while that Im trying to get out quickly. I really like pieces that are kinetic, that have motion. I enjoy color, so Im wanting to use some semiprecious stones in the near future. Im wanting to get another collection on my website thats offered in 18 karat and silver. And I am a stone hoarder. I have stones that I bought the very first time I went to Tucson in 2007, and Ive already prepared to go to Tucson in February. Im hoping to open up custom-mades for individuals utilizing the stone stock that I have, since I require to clear it out.
You can follow contributing author Keisha– > @goldisneverplain
You can follow Almasika Jewelry– > @almasikafinejewellery
The post Q & & A with Lauren Newton Jewelry appeared first on Gem Gossip – Jewelry Blog.
From 2005 up until I actually leapt into jewelry in 2012, I was working for non-for-profits. Ive been able to go from non-for-profits, to taking a jewelry school extensive. My previous career influences me not simply in the fashion jewelry itself, but in the nature of the precious jewelry market. I understand I dont have $$ to go to Couture, and Im sure most small, indie fine fashion jewelry brand names dont either. People who have cash are still purchasing precious jewelry, and I feel like high-end never ever goes away.