JCK Rock Star Spotlight: Nina Basharova

Nina Basharova brings big talent and enthusiasm to JCK’s Rock
Star
competition
—a 12-episode, Project Runway–inspired video series pitting
five New York City–based jewelry designers against each other to win the title of
JCK’s first-ever Rock Star. In fact, Basharova is the star of episode No. 2, and is featured in a story about the project in the JCK’s July issue.

Basharova brought herself to the United States for a visit in 2002
and never left, realizing that New York City was the place where she could
fulfill her dream of being a jewelry designer. At last count, Basharova had racked
up 15 design awards in just five years, and sells her work to chic jewelry
boutiques like Manika in San Francisco and Style by Max in Minneapolis—places that
appreciate handmade merchandise.

Having some familiarity with Basharova’s work (she was JCK
Luxury’s cover girl and profile subject in the Winter 2008 issue), I’m guessing
that her entry piece for the competition will resemble one of her three most
distinctive lines: Milky Way, Pod, or, Barbed Wire. The first is perhaps her
best-known series in 18k gold, featuring tiny dot motifs and her signature
textured finish (it looks like she takes a tiny whip to the metal, and lashes surfaces
repeatedly). The second is her silver line, and is a supercool and easy-to-get
visual presentation of peas in a pod, while the third is, according to
Basharova “an editor’s favorite” (present company included); Barbed Wire is
edgy, unexpected when paired with pretty pastel-colored gemstones, and
understated because the barbs are just delicate wisps of metal that hint at the
prickly shape.

Asked about her competition experience, Basharova had this
to say: “This competition has been a great eye-opening experience and
quite a revelation to me; I have learned a great deal about myself—as a
designer and a person. While the challenge seemed almost insurmountable, the
decision to do my best was irrepressible. It was not as much about being the
best as it was about to deal with a great amount of obstacles, solve troubles, and
create an original piece within given parameters and limited funding. I have never put myself (deliberately!) through something
like that ever before! I made few friends, I have pushed the envelope, and took
part in something really exciting. Besides, it is really nice to have a
professional feature film about my fabulous self!”

Which way she’ll go design-wise is anybody’s guess, but
knowing Nina—and seeing her intensity level in episode No. 2—be prepared to be wowed.
She considers every facet and angle of a design before picking up a pencil to
sketch, is a clever thinker (in three languages no less!), a resourceful
designer, and, knows how make jewelry with wide appeal.

Episode No. 3 is also
out; stay tuned for a closer look at Michael Bruder of Corrupt Design in a future post.