Russell Jones’ designs are fresh and modern. The Clay Pot customers and employees have been swooning over the beautiful stones and techniques he uses in his latest work. Prongs, bezel settings, and rivets are used to enhance the unique stones that Russell has chosen, creating a line of elegant and modern pieces.
It is amazing that Russell Jones has been making jewelry since he was a teenager! He learned fabrication and casting techniques from his high school art teacher. While he was earning his degree in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, he spent every free moment at the bench in the light metals department, and now creates his jewelry by hand.
We are extremely excited for everyone to meet him, and enjoy his love for jewelry! He will be at the Clay Pot personally for his Trunk Show on April 18th, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Until then here are a few questions we were curious about…
What do you love most about designing and creating your own jewelry?
Like all design, the final product is greater than the sum of its parts.
Design and creating jewelry are two separate activities that inform each other. I love to draw, which is the design part that stipulates the creating part. When I make a detailed drawing of a piece I have a good idea what it’s going to look like. When I don’t anything could happen. Just yesterday I strayed from a design drawing with the coolest idea for a finding which in the end over powered the subtleness of the piece, and looked all wrong. Sometimes the last minute inspiration is just what the piece needs, it’s all part of the process.
I like the process, the craft of making jewelry has not changed much for thousands of years, there are so many techniques to learn, master, and adapt. However, once you master a technique you still have to concentrate or you will make a mistake and ruin a piece. Jewelry design and manufacture involves both head and hands.
What are your favorite stones to work with?
I really like working with all colored gemstones but for me the subtle imperfections of a stone are interesting. That’s why I choose stones that are imperfect; they have personality and make each piece of mine unique.
One of my favorite imperfections is windows which is where a colored gemstone has a space where there is no color. Ordinarily this would be undesirable but since the stone is two colors it’s like two stones in one.
Do you have a favorite design or specific piece that defines your work?
I am partial to making earrings and I love what I have been calling King and Queen earrings. They are purposely mismatched but symmetrically balanced earrings. I start by making a layout in a tray and I keep rearranging the stones until the earrings look like they belong together.
What have you learned over the course of being a designer?
I’ve learned a lot about engineering jewelry to fit the body. If earrings are too heavy, they can’t be worn. Likewise if the wearer can’t put a necklace or bracelet on easily and wear the piece effortlessly, it will stay in the box, and then its not really jewelry.
If you could sum up your look and aesthetic in three words, what would they be and why?
Unique – because of the stones, each one has its own character.
Modern – because I prefer to pare down my pieces to only the essential.
Historical – because I’m always mining the past looking for design ideas that can be made with my contemporary sensibilities.