LONG GONE are the days when women shied away from buying jewelry for themselves. Motivations range from the chance to get exactly what you want to rewarding an achievement to marking a milestone (a parent’s death, retirement or even the end of a contentious divorce). Virginia-based Elizabeth Locke was one of the first (in the late ’80s) to appeal to women buyers with her neoclassical, handmade 19K gold jewelry. Since then many independent designers have emerged to fill the market gap between the very high end and the inexpensive.
If you’ve been eying a one-of-kind bauble, there’s no better opportunity to find that special piece than the Smithsonian Craft Show. The best craft jewelers in the country will be displaying their wares all under one roof. Of the 30 jewelry exhibitors, 12 are new to the show this year. Among this talented group are
Laura Wood, a current resident artist at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Her jewelry is made from brass that is cut, formed, powder coated and occasionally embellished with precious stones and sterling silver. Using techniques such as riveting, Sarah Hassler combines hand-cut, hand-dyed, found acrylic and bakelite parts with sterling silver. Her main goal is to create pieces with clean lines that are durable and comfortable to wear. Gregory Burgard‘s colorful glass pieces have a magical translucent quality. Genevieve Yang‘s lunar landscapes on her jewelry are inspired by a month-long wilderness adventure in Wyoming. It’s not hard to see why Shaya Durbin‘s pink sapphire ring would be just the kind of treat one would want to purchase for one’s very own.
See the photos above for examples of the work of these show newcomers.
The four-day show and sale will take place April 25–28 at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. N.W. in Washington, D.C. The nearest metro is Judiciary Square. Admission is $20 at the door, but get your ticket for the show in advance at Smithsonian Craft Show and save $3. Hours are Thursday, April 25, 10:30am to 8pm.; Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27, 10:30am to 5:30pm and Sunday, April 29, 11am to 5pm.