“Great design is great design whether it’s a building or a painting or a piece of jewelry.” – Cindi Earl
Get ready to be charmed! In the following pages Nashville Arts Magazine features five local jewelers, each with a distinctive style and flare for creations made of gold, silver, and colored stones. Setting the stage for this production of boldly inspired vignettes is a word from jewelry store owner Cindi Earl. Cindi has watched the jewelry scene in Nashville grow and evolve over the past two decades.
“I think it is wonderful we have this pool of local talent. Our clients are fashion-forward; they know what they like. The key to a great piece is that the workmanship must be stellar, and the design must stand the test of time. A great piece of jewelry is of the moment but will last forever.” You can find Cindi Earl at 5101 Harding Pike.
So, let us celebrate great design with five of Nashville’s finest jewelry artisans. Enjoy!
Julia Coale’s colorful line includes handmade glass beads, hand-forged sterling chain necklaces with Tahitian pearls, African bead and freshwater pearl pendants, and celestine crystal clusters wrapped in sterling and gold. Julia began beadworking while rediscovering her Cherokee heritage. “A lot of what I do within a day is what I feel in my heart. That’s usually how I make my choices when I’m just stepping into the workshop. On days that I have a really open heart and I’m feeling a lot of joy, I tend to work with wire and beads, because that’s the place I feel the most joy. I feel like I’m in my purpose.” Galswithglass.com
Judith Bright’s passion for beautiful jewelry goes back to her earliest memories of childhood where she would play in her mother’s jewelry box. Before she became a full-time jeweler, Judith enjoyed a robust career as a music executive in Hollywood where she and her husband lived for 16 years. Judith and her family moved to Florence, Italy, where they lived for a year while she studied jewelry design privately with teachers from the prestigious Le Arti Orafe School of Jewelry. After returning from Italy, she and her family relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where Judith continues to make jewelry that she considers to be the ultimate expression of individuality. JudithBright.com
Karen Serafini’s love for creating beautiful things began early. She recalls as a child, “I made Christmas ornaments for friends and family. I’ve always been drawn to pearls and colored stones. I love combining the natural textures and colors of both into the intricate, wire-wrapped designs that I create.” Her current line is inspired by the rich colors and timeless elegance of Italian art and architecture. “I was born in the Philippines, in a culture rich with old, Spanish romantic tones and Asian influence, giving me a deep appreciation for the past and for the natural beauty around us.” Karinaserafini.etsy.com
Margaret Ellis learned her metal-hammering techniques from the master, Heikki Seppä. Her interpretation of his methods is very primitive and ethnic and the heart of what she does. “When I first started doing jewelry professionally, 26 years ago, I said that I wanted to go straight to New York to sell my work, because if I tried to sell it in Nashville and failed, I might get so discouraged I would quit. I thought that if I was going to fail, I wanted to fail big. Interestingly enough, over the past several years, our business in Nashville has become more and more important to us, and a larger and larger part of our sales. It’s great to be appreciated in your own home town.” Margaretellisjewelry.com
Robin Haley earned a fashion degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California, in 1980. She then apprenticed for three years in Calabasas, California, with the prestigious Bertonneau Jewelers. Her experience there was focused on one-of-a-kind custom pieces made from the lost-wax method and metal fabrication. She is noted for her unique use of diamonds, precious stones, pearls and metals. “As an artist, I feel it is my job to put it out there. Developing a line around my inspiration drives me to spend more energy and time to create it than I had originally planned. I don’t look at other people’s art or jewelry; I do what feels right to me.” RobinHaleyJewelry.com