Feature Friday Q&A with Judith Kaufman of Judith Kaufman Studio Jewelry

Secretly, I am antiquities buff - actually, that may not be a secret.  Afterall, the name of this blog is Inspired Antiquity!  I love history and museums.  They just seem to be places where I feel like almost anything can happen.  I guess that they are to me what the wardrobe was to C.S. Lewis.

So the first time I was introduced to the work of today's Feature Friday artist, I felt that immediate draw - much like I do when I turn the corner in a museum.  You just feel that you must explore every nook; every cranny because there is going to be something even more amazing to feast your eyes upon!

I know that when you see her work; you're going to want to explore each piece - just like a fine museum!  So without any further gilding, enjoy today's Feature Friday artist - none other than the amazing Judith Kaufman of Judith Kaufman Studio Jewelry!  

Judith Kaufman

1.  What prompted your passion for jewelry and jewelry design?
What prompted my interest in jewelry started at the very early age of 16.  A friend of my mom’s was looking for a student to teach silversmithing.  She asked if she could borrow me for a while to teach in her basement on Wednesday evenings.  I found myself gravitating towards all of the tools and techniques that she showed me.  I was fascinated.

2.  What is your favorite piece or collection?
I can't say that I really have any favorite pieces. Usually the newest one that I have completed is my favorite.

One of Judith's newest pieces.  This stunning piece features a sunstone set in14 karat rose gold 
with 18 karat yellow gold & diamonds.  Isn't it stunning?!

3.  What would your perfect “jewelry day” involve / be like?
A perfect jewelry day would look like this ...I would wake up and do some sort of exercise whether it be biking, walking in the woods.  I would have a great, healthy breakfast and come to the studio and know right away (after moving pieces around) that a composition has appeared for me to take it to the next step.  I would then begin the process of putting it all together to completion.  I may even be able to wear it that evening or the following weekend.

It's never that easy, but that is an optimal scenario.

I am SO drawn to this dynamic Druse quartz, diamond in 22kt &18kt yellow gold.
Isn't it simply marvelous!

4.  Thus far, what would you say is your proudest jewelry moment or memory?
I would say my proudest moment was speaking to the Colorado Metalsmiths annual symposium.

Another would be when I walked into a jewelry store in Martha's Vineyard and the woman mentioned that she knew who made my earrings.

Also, winning the award for jewelry at the Philadelphia Museum of Art craft show.

The most satisfaction comes from creating something new and surprising myself in the process.

Couldn't you just melt into the deep the green of these moonstones set in 22kt yellow gold?!

5.  Where do you find your greatest inspiration?
My inspirations come from everywhere I go.  From a crack in the sidewalk to crumpled up rust on the pavement to plants, flowers and cooking.  Sometimes, I cut up cross-sections of certain vegetables and put them on the windowsill for inspiration…leeks, fennel, onions; they are all gorgeous.  A bowl of pomegranate seeds in a glass look like gemstones to me.

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 can't say that I always wear a ring or earrings or a necklace.  But when I do, I find that when I do wear my work, it most likely is worn on one solid color - usually charcoal, black or cream.

The reason for this is that I have a strong belief that clothing is the accessory and a great backdrop for jewelry.  It should be the focal point ...which really makes an outfit come together in a very interesting way.

The organic nature of this cuff is superb!  Dotted with diamonds & made in 22kt yellow gold & oxidized fine
silver; this cuff just has so much visual movement!  You can't go wrong!

7.  When putting together an outfit, how do you feel about mixing metals, designs and even new with vintage pieces?
I only wear my own work.

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'm not too keen on layering but I will on occasion find two or three necklaces that I've made that work together in a very new and interesting way.

They look like distant cousins and give a fresh new look.

Talk about a statement piece!  Amber & diamonds in 22kt yellow gold - Perfection!

9.  What advice would you give to budding jewelry designers? To budding fine jewelry collectors?
I guess I would say if you are making it - make sure that you are at the bench every day.  

And if you're collecting jewelry, always keep your eye open for anything that floats your boat or melts your butter because life is short and death is long so you might as well enjoy your passion.

Flash Question - Dream trip destination?
Funny you should mention that... I just took the trip of a lifetime in April...The Amalfi coast of Italy...The mountain towns of Ravello...Masa Labrense and the Isle of Capri...

All of them have fabulous views of the mountains and sea.

Like pebbles in the water...Beautiful diamond-dotted cuff in 22kt yellow, 18kt green & 14kt rose gold.

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