You know that thing when you run into the same person everywhere you go for a period of time? Like how I always ran into my friend’s mom on the DC metro, but never my own mom, even though we all worked in the same area.
That’s been happening to me with Jackie of Salt + Stone in a big way. First I see her designs on on Instagram, then on Pinterest, then I see that we have a college friend on common on Facebook (that one’s a little creepy – sorry, Jackie!), then I end up sharing a table at Jewelry’s Night Out with people who spent a significant part of the evening singing Jackie’s praises. There’s also the fact that we’re both writers/jewelry lovers AND, since my wedding, we have the same last name. We’re basically unofficial cousins.
Now that Salt + Stone is a finalist in Martha Stewart’s American Made competition, I thought I’d take the universe’s hints and take a minute to introduce you all to the fabulous Jackie and her designs.
Salt + Stone’s Jackie on how she discovered she wanted to be a jewelry designer:
“It all started with a trip to Buzios, Brazil for NYE in 2007. The place left a huge impression on my heart. The joie de vivre of the people was infectious, as were their creative pursuits. I met jewelers in fine jewelry galleries, hippies at the side of the road stringing together beads from the Amazon Rainforest, and was enthralled with all the variety of boutiques. I discovered jewelry made from the most bizarre materials: resins, coconut shells, hemp, vines, volcanic rock and more.
This is what had been missing from my life: jewelry! I had always been an artist, but my family steered me towards finance. This was a perfect marriage of the two disciplines: art and business!”
8 years later, Salt + Stone operates out of a Broolyn, NY studio and has a growing list of clients. Jackie herself also writes a columnand recently accepted a new role as Design Ambassador for JCK’s Design Center.
I enjoy a lot of Salt + Stone’s pieces, especially the little stingrays – but what really made me realize I was looking at something special was clicking through Salt + Stone’s gallery of custom made engagement rings. I love the idea of working a couple’s love story into a custom engagement ring, and even more than that I love the ways that Jackie was able to work subtle symbolism into her pieces without making the design feel contrived or overly on-the-nose.
In Jackie’s own words:
“I’ve made jewelry for 16-year-olds and 94-year-olds. I’ve made jewelry for both men and women from many creeds, colors, nationalities and sexual preferences. And the one thing that ties us all together is the love story. ‘Like’ attracts ‘like’ rings true here. I never gave up on the idea of a storybook romance, although my thoughts around what that looks like have shifted over the years. I treasure the little, sweet moments that two people share. It’s truly an honor to get to hear my clients talk about love and show their vulnerable side.”
The above is a technical drawing from the design process of one of Salt + Stone’s custom rings, the Roots of Love ring. The groom wanted to use two family heirloom diamonds and the bride-to-be was a floral designer; both the twin-diamond design and the organic inspiration are clear in both the drawing and the final piece.
This custom wedding set was designed for a couple who shared a love for The Fountain, the story of a a man goes searching for the tree of life so he and his dying wife can live together forever. The groom of this couple had also grown up on a farm full of apple trees – the very location he took his future bride to propose. (She said yes.)
This recent custom engagement ring features a stylized compass centered by a tiny diamond hidden on the back of the setting, to represent the couple’s love of adventure and their dedication to always find their way back to each other.
This glorious thing is the Treasure Chest ring – probably my very favorite of the posted custom designs. I love its geometric feel and the color contrast of the yellow gold with the purple sapphires and white diamonds.
I asked Jackie to tell me about an engagement ring design project was particularly special to her:
“The one that immediately comes to mind is called “Secret Garden”. My grandmother, Jean Stone, passed a few years ago. The family decided to give the youngest grandson her diamond from her engagement ring. I was truly floored and honored when he came to me to design his bride’s ring. It caused a flood of tears.
My grandmother was very proud of me when I was doing product development at Tiffany & Co. and would tell all her friends about it. It made me smile because grandma was tough. The project became extra special as my cousin’s girlfriend at the time loves flowers. We discovered after we designed the ring and pulled grandma’s stone out of the setting that it was an old miner and that it reflected in the shape of a flower. It was kismet!”
The American Made judging closes in two weeks, so if you like what you’ve seen, head on over and tell Martha Stewart that you want Salt + Stone to win American Made!
And speaking of deadlines…you have about 7 hours left to enter my giveaway, if you haven’t already!
All images and info are thanks to Salt + Stone. For information about purchasing any of these pieces, or for information about working with Jackie to design a custom ring, please contact Salt + Stone.