Friday, April 25, 2014

Feature Friday - Q&A with Chinchar Maloney

Besides being a lover of fine antique jewelry, I am also a lover of jewelry that has a raw edge about it.  In other words, I have very eclectic tastes.  I love the juxtaposition of rough, rose cut stones with finely polished metals. I love mixing and matching the two together.  And, I am always looking for those new and amazing jewels which seem to echo how I feel.

When I first found Chincar Maloney, I was immediately taken with how the creative duo behind the brand, Marian Maloney and Colin Chinchar, seemed to blend those same traits so seamlessly into their pieces.  Their use of color, both in their diamonds and gemstone selections, is stunning!  The craftsmanship is immpeccable!  I think you will (like me) have a hard time deciding which piece to get first!

With that, I hope you enjoy this week's Feature Friday Q&A with Marian and Colin of Chinchar Maloney!

Chinchar Maloney

1.  What prompted your passion for jewelry and jewelry design?
Colin and I came to jewelry design from very different, yet complimentary directions.  I have always loved wearing jewelry. from dainty to bold, fine to costume.  Colin's background is in carpentry and building things like furniture and houses.  When I reached a dead end in my previous career, Colin asked me what I would do if I could do anything.  I said that I love jewelry and would make it if I knew how.  His was response was, Let's figure it out and do it.  And we did!


Large, light orange diamond ring in 14k yellow gold, 6.94cts.  Talk about a one-of-a-kind statement ring!

2.  What is your favorite piece or collection?
We both feel our favorite collection is yet to come.  We're both really in love with a couple of custom bracelets we made this past Christmas.  We worked with our customer on a vision for companion pieces for his wife and daughter.  He loved the concept we shared with him of the Victorian tradition of spelling out DEAR in code with a diamond, emerald, amethyst and ruby.  So we created two very different pieces that are tied together thematically.  His wife loves bold accessories so we used all rough gemstones for her bracelet and his daughter is 4 years old so we made it age appropriate with the hopes that it will also be a piece she will appreciate more as she gets older.


Ok, seriously...What is NOT to love about this DEAR bracelet?!  A completely stunning artisanal piece!

3.  What would your perfect “jewelry day” involve / be like?
We both agree that we would love to just be at the bench creating all day and not have to worry about the business end of things.  Maybe someday!

4.  Thus far, what would you say is your proudest jewelry moment or memory?
So far, I would say the first month we were able to make jewelry full time and pay ourselves!


Free-form rose cut labradorite in 18k yellow gold.

5.  Where do you find your greatest inspiration?
I am very inspired by jewelry history.  I love vintage and antique jewelry but I also love clean, simple modern designs.  I feel my minimal designs give a nod to antique jewelry, my obsession with rose cut gemstones, for example.  Colin is an all around rock hound.  He loves gemstones and designs around them, letting the gem inspire the piece. 


Natural diamond engagement ring with a 2.70 ct rose cut silver diamond in 14k gold.

6.  In your personal wardrobe, do you find that you gravitate to one particular jewelry accessory (rings vs. necklace vs. bracelets vs. watches, etc.) more often than others?
I feel naked if I don't have earrings, a necklace and a few rings on.  That being, said, I'll go months where I only wear dainty rings, a tiny initial charm necklace, and little diamond studs.  And then the opposite for the next few months when all my jewelry features, large, colorful, free form gemstones. 


Personalized Initial Charm in solid 14k gold - available in white or yellow gold.  (My favorite is to mix-and-match!)

7.  When putting together an outfit, how do you feel about mixing metals, designs and even new with vintage pieces?
Yes to both!  I love mixing white gold and yellow gold rings.  We have several pieces that combine silver and yellow gold and I love the way the two metals compliment each other through their contrast.  Some of my go-to pieces will always be vintage bracelets I inherited from my grandmother and I love wearing them with some of our minimal designs. 

8.  Layering seems to be a trend that is here to stay, for now. What are your feelings on the layered look?  How do you like layered necklaces with layered bracelets plus layered rings? 
I generally wear a couple of bangles and cuffs together.  And I also love stacking our birthstone cuff ring with some of our dainty diamond rings.  I don't layer necklaces because it drives me crazy when the chains get tangled!  And I must say that with everything I wear as well as everything I design, comfort and wearability are vital.  I won't wear something if it's cumbersome or doesn't stand up to daily life, no matter how gorgeous it might be.


Dual birthstone ring in 14k white gold.

9.  What advice would you give to budding jewelry designers? To budding fine jewelry collectors?
For both (and for everyone else in the world, for that matter): Follow your passion and your vision and don't worry about what anyone else is doing or saying.  If you work hard and with sincerity, your work will be good.  If you collect the pieces that speak to you, your personal style will shine through and set you apart.

Flash Question - Dream trip destination?
To go to Las Vegas and be married by an Elvis!*



*This past February, Colin and Marian got to go on their "Dream trip destination."  Congratulations!  May you have a long, life together filled with nothing but happiness and joy! ~ Tiff


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