Lauren Newton deeply infuses her eponymous fashion jewelry line with her fascination for wildlife. Her latest 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 methods Earths animals safeguard themselves from damage, her jewelry is created to be both a shield and an explicit expression of the wearers individuality.
Continue reading for more information about how Laurens background in zoology prepared her for the jewelry industry, and how a Star Wars character became her preferred customized fashion jewelry task.
How did your love for precious jewelry start?
You raised the truth that the fashion jewelry industry itself is primarily white. Have you seen any substantial changes in the market since the Black Lives Matter motion ended up being prominent earlier this year?
I keep in mind extremely clearly digging through my mothers precious jewelry box when I was a kid. She had this wood and brass Asian-style fashion jewelry box that my daddy gave her in the 60s or 70s. It had a green velour interior, and me and my sibling used to just dig through all of it the time. My mom didnt have fancy precious jewelry. She had rather a bit of costume fashion jewelry, but it was so fantastic to see all the chains and pearls and sparkles.
I didnt actually consider making fashion jewelry till I was an adult. I had concepts for things that didnt exist, and they were affected by my love of nature and my background in wildlife sciences. It began with a dodo ring. People like the dodo bird. Its this strange, uncommon creature. Why wasnt there a piece of jewelry with a dodo bird on it? It didnt exist, so I made it.
I took my first metalsmithing class in 2005, after I finished my undergrad degree, and came back to New York. Moving and forging metal with my hands, it could not be better than that.
From 2005 up until I really jumped into precious jewelry in 2012, I was working for non-for-profits. Ive operated in the Bronx Zoo, the Prospect Park Zoo, the Central Park Zoo. Ive worked for the Brooklyn Childrens Museum. Ive worked for the Audubon Nature Center doing non-for-profit animal education and animal sciences and research. At my last position, I was a supervising teacher of the Nature Center in Prospect Park. When the business scaled down, I was laid off, and I asked myself, “What am I going to do now?” The whole time, I had actually been making jewelry on the side. My moms and dads stated, “Just do it.” Thats when I took the leap.
Do you discover that your former career ever affects the decisions you make when it pertains to developing your fashion jewelry?
My former career influences me not just in the precious jewelry itself, but in the nature of the precious jewelry market. One of my very first collections, that I still offer on Etsy, has so numerous animals.
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 predominantly white and primarily male, was a similar experience. Transitioning into jewelry, it was the very same precise thing.
Maybe I need to be more plugged in, but it needs to be bigger than what it is. The individuals who require to be making the changes are not the small companies that run out of New York, which is a liberal bubble to begin with. It needs to be New York Now.
I know I dont have $$ to go to Couture, and Im sure most small, indie fine jewelry brands do not either. Just reach out to the designers and say, “Hey, we discovered youve been doing big things in the industry. And for a person like me who does not have generational wealth like that, it simply feels so lopsided.
Thats truly interesting. I know we originate from comparable backgrounds, with Caribbean parents and maturing in New York, and I know my moms and dads would not have actually been so happy with me leaping into a creative career– but it appears like your parents were helpful.
My mom and my father are really various individuals, and of the two of them, my father is the innovative one. My father is the one who, when he was younger, did a lot of illustration and sculpting and painting, and my mom is really practical. They fulfilled in college and, strangely enough, are both registered nurses.
They both supported my aspirations to go into fashion jewelry. Ive been able to go from non-for-profits, to taking a fashion jewelry school extensive. Its just from practice and working for individuals.
How has your service altered because the pandemic started?
What has been your favorite custom fashion jewelry task that youve dealt with?
Ive had quite a couple of word-of-mouth couples, Black couples, pertained to me to do their engagement rings, which has actually been the most terrific thing ever! The 2nd engagement ring I did, the now-husband said, “My wife is a filmmaker. She actually loves Star Wars. Can we make an R2D2 engagement ring?”
He sent me these very literal photos 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 likes R2D2, but we still want it to look stunning and classic in 50, 60 years. We dont want it to be too literal, or too funny.”
I designed a ring that was actually R2D2 fulfills art deco. It is probably one of my favorite rings.
I learned your jewelry just recently ended up being available through NEWTWIST, so congratulations!
That was something I did not anticipate. Seriously, it blew my mind. Its such a true blessing and the individuals who work there are fantastic.
Have you needed to adjust the way you work to accommodate having a stockist?
Composing up an invoice for them, offering a precise lead time, going through the production procedure with that number of pieces, was such a fantastic knowing experience for me. I know that I need to broaden the collection for people who desire to do wholesale, because individuals like to see a range of things, and I dont have adequate product right now. Im truly, truly grateful to have that chance to work out the kinks, because now I know what to do.
What is a piece of jewelry that you can not leave your home without?
My platinum engagement ring was created by me and made by my finest pal, Melissa Cohen, who is also a jeweler. I did my platinum wedding band, and I have another platinum band that sits along with these, that my hubby provided me on our first anniversary. Weve included a diamond for each year weve been wed. These 3 platinum bands are on my finger day in, day out. I generally wear a number of gold chains around my neck– my geek pendant, and my afro pick locket, which are my favorites.
What was the last art piece, and it could be throughout any medium– visual, fashion jewelry, film, music– that truly took your breath away?
I would have to state it was one of my own pieces, that came to fruition in such a way that was exactly the method I desired it to come out. It felt to me like magnificent intervention. I posted it on Instagram and said, “This is what it looks like to feel like youre doing your lifes work.” Its an opal pendant. Through the opal, you can see 4 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 desire it to, it feels like magic.
My personal service has changed, in that Ive gotten a great deal of social networks direct exposure. Ive gotten some chances to be in some online markets. Ive gotten some pro bono PR services, which is great. Due to the fact that I have a studio in your home, Im back at work. Its tough, but things are still working behind the scenes. People who have cash are still buying precious jewelry, and I seem like luxury never ever disappears.
Ive discovered that some of your pieces remain in sterling silver, while others are rendered in 18 karat gold, and some are gold plated. How do you choose which pieces are made in which medium?
I understood I wanted to make statement pieces, and some people simply do not use silver. Moving forward, the new collections are going to be silver and 18 karat gold.
Can you provide us a tip about what youre dealing with next?
I actually love pieces that are kinetic, that have movement. I have stones that I bought the 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, due to the fact that I need to clear it out.
You can follow contributing writer 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 until I really leapt into fashion jewelry in 2012, I was working for non-for-profits. Ive been able to go from non-for-profits, to taking a fashion jewelry school extensive. My former profession influences me not simply in the jewelry itself, but in the nature of the jewelry market. I understand I dont have $$ to go to Couture, and Im sure most small, indie great fashion jewelry brands dont either. People who have cash are still buying fashion jewelry, and I feel like high-end never goes away.