- Vertebrae Necklace, Marisa Lomonaco
Like most trades, goldsmithing and stonesetting—indeed fashion at large—were historically male-dominated. In the 20th Century, relentless innovators like Coco Chanel, Suzanne Belperron, and Jeanne Toussaint infiltrated the world of fashion and jewelry, paving the way for the influx of female designers, jewelers, and goldsmiths we see today.
The Hudson Valley has no shortage of talented craftspeople in every medium from woodworking to ceramics. A few weeks ago, we shared 4 local jewelers that should be on your radar (several of which were women). But with the holidays coming up and Valentine's Day not too far behind that, we thought you could always do with more inspiration. So here are four more jewelers who are putting the Hudson Valley on the map—all women, all wildly fresh and creative, all producing sparkling wonders right here.
- Facet Ring, Marisa Lomonaco
She preferred the intimate process of making her jewelry and "just being able to have your hands in every piece of the process and know that the thing that you created, you created all of it.” Mostly using lost-wax casting, Lomonaco makes replicas of found and natural objects (kelp, pieces of fish vertebrae, fish tails, and coral) as well as geometric shapes, such as a Brancusi-inspired bracelet. Lomonaco is also experimenting with cutting edge technology, doing direct casting from 3D-printed waxes.
- Alligator Cuff Bracelet, Marisa Lomonaco
45 North Front Street, Kingston
- Pine Needle Ring, Rebecca Peacock
- Micro-pave black diamond earrings, Rebecca Peacock
Easton is an industrial designer (home goods, flatware, tableware, mostly) who used this professional know-how when starting to make jewelry. She carves the wax models at home in Callicoon, sends them to NYC to be cast, and then finishes them in her Sullivan County abode.
Originally a New Yorker living in bustling Chinatown, Easton was desperate to get out of the city some 20 years ago. She rented a car (despite not being much of a driver) and came upstate with her husband, looking to see some leaves. In short order, she and her husband found a rental in the Western Catskills, where they started spending summers. Twenty years ago, they bought it, moving up permanently. Peacock got into the bling biz because, as an inherently bad primper, she wanted pieces—a chunky ring, stud earrings—she’d wear every day and never take off. “I was driven to create something to fill the void,” she says. “That was the beginning of it.”
- Tiny Sundrop Flower Posts, Melissa Easton
- Square Hexagonal Ridged Ring, Melissa Easton
- Bullet Cuff - 8 Row Toned & Bronze, Estyn Hulbert
Hulbert was living in Brooklyn when she realized, “I was done with the city, like so many people,” she says. Not knowing “much about the community,” she fell in love with an 1840s farmhouse with a barn located in the Borscht Belt village of Ellenville and moved there full time.
- Long Chain & Pearl Drop Necklace - Peacock Pearl, Estyn Hulbert
Hulbert makes her own designs, as well as those of her aunt’s, and sells them in shops around the U.S. and in England and France. Her designs specialize in pearls and colorful gemstones; there are earrings with curtains of gold chains in descending arrows and cuffs with gold “bullets” that move when touched. Hulbert loves the profusion of artists around her in Ulster County, and has a regular artists’ group (they work in fiber, paper, yarn) . “They’re kind of hidden in the woods making things,” she says, “so it can take us a little while to find each other.”