The Inspiration Behind our 30th Anniversary Sundance Jewelry Artists

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This fall we celebrate the Art of Jewelry and the timeless beauty created by our featured jewelry artists by presenting an extended collection of exquisite jewelry found only online. These talented artisans find inspiration in their unique life journeys. By applying their vision and skills to elements of the natural world, they create wearable treasures that complement your own personal style.

Saundra Messinger is a Sundance artist who’s especially drawn to pieces that sparkle. The sparkle comes from tiny, but fully faceted white diamonds that she carefully sets in recycled sterling silver. “I live within sight of the Hudson River,” explains Saundra, “and when I see the morning sunlight shimmering on the gray water, I am reminded again of my inspiration when I began designing jewelry almost 20 years ago.”

A holistic appreciation of beauty is embraced by artisan Adel Chefridi. The Tunisian native’s homeland has been inhabited at various times by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Ottomans, among other cultures. This rich heritage inspires Adel’s creations today, as he often draws upon ancient and intricate motifs, complemented with his own contemporary aesthetic. Adel reflects, “Our natural gravity to beauty is our most valuable asset. It reliably orients us to where our true heart's desire is.”

Sundance artist Nava Zahavi also draws from her Mediterranean heritage. She loves to reinterpret the adornments of ancient civilizations, while her use of colorful stones wrapped in 24-karat gold reflect the crystalline hues of the sea. “What I love most about my jewelry,” says Nava, “is bringing beauty into the lives of those who wear it.” She adds, “It’s about sharing my culture and experience with others through art, color and texture, infused with a calming sense of timelessness.”

Artisan Julie Romanenko has a passion for making jewelry that began in childhood. Her youthful fascination with her grandmother’s pearls blossomed into a love of jewelry design. By age 11 she was fashioning friendship bracelets strung of liquid silver beads. After college, she worked in New York’s diamond district and attended the Parsons School of Design until her own designs soon gained attention. Her collection today extends from the naturalistic to the fanciful. Describing some of her popular vintage charms, she says, “I love the idea of taking something old and revered…and bringing it to life again in a contemporary, modern-day silhouette.”

The husband-and-wife jewelry design team of Christopher and Mai are the creators of the ethereal sapphire ring, among many other styles. Christopher notes this ring came “as all of our inspirations do, a divinely inspired creative thought or notion that only stays permanent when we set pencil to paper.” He adds, “Often what we envision isn’t readily available. We work with our master gem cutter to bring out the shapes, sizes, colors and textures that bring our pieces to life.” Inverted pear shapes, and oval and little round sapphires surround their signature organic handmade setting. “We love every piece we make and our ethereal sapphire ring is the ultimate expression and thanks to the universe that allows us to do what we do.”

Discover and explore our Sundance featured artisans here.


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