5 Designers I Loved at Buyers Market of American Craft and globalDESIGN

Over the Feb. 16–18 weekend, I made it to the American Made Show, organized by the Buyers Market of American Craft, and globalDESIGN, a well-edited show of high-end designers run by the Jewelers Resource Bureau. Both shows ran in Philadelphia (my hometown), and between the two of them, they featured more than 300 jewelry designers. Lots of exhibitors at the American Made Show featured clever styles in silver, while nearly all vendors at globalDESIGN were high-end lines of karat gold and platinum. While I was wowed by many selections, here are five vendors whose works I particularly enjoyed.

Dorothée Rosen at the AMS: I love her Onefooter rings in silver and karat gold—one-foot lengths of metal wire forged into continuous loops. They’re simple and sculptural, and the aesthetic carries over effortlessly into rings, earrings, pendants, and necklaces. Rosen, a German transplant to Canada, has only a handful of U.S. accounts (including the Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery in Seattle), so discover her before your competitors do.

Onefooter ring in 18k gold by Dorothee Rosen

Onefooter ring in 18k gold; $2,795; Dorothée Rosen

Megan Auman at the AMS: She designs light, fun, and well-made oversize link necklaces in blackened steel, bronze, and sterling. She also has an adorable website; log on to see her designer introduction video. (It’s short with great pictures, entertaining music, smiles, and subtitles—no talking!) I like this line for its simplicity—her signature style is an organic circle motif—price points (lots of big looks for under $500 retail), and wide appeal to audiences young and mature.

Bronze and steel necklace by Megan Auman

Maya necklace in bronze and steel; $380; Megan Auman

Michelle Pressler at the AMS: I saw Pressler’s work for the first time a few years ago at one of the Jewelers of America shows, and then my handwritten show notes were such a mess that I couldn’t decipher her name! But I never forgot how cute her pieces were—wire wrapped in sterling and gold fill, many styles abundant in tiny pearls (rice, seed, and keshi), making them stand out all the more because you rarely see such clever uses of those. So when I saw her work on Sunday, I immediately recognized her jewelry and was thrilled to reconnect! Expect to see more of her work on the blog.

Necklaces by Michelle Pressler

Necklaces in Michelle Pressler’s signature style

Susan Elnora at the AMS: Susan’s quirky silver work—which is carried in nine U.S. galleries (including the legendary Michael Good gallery in Rockland, Maine) and two online outlets (one of which is ArtfulHome.com)—had a number of vocal fans at the show last weekend, including sales rep for one of the globalDESIGN exhibitors, who was wearing her Railroad necklace. (“I bought four of her pieces,” the rep confided.) Other motifs include antlers, birds, and more, each lifelike—the Barn necklace with flanking tree groves recalls images of Dorothy’s battered homestead in The Wizard of Oz—comical (a Moth and Lantern necklace!?!), and all quite irresistible.

Raven necklace in silver by Susan Elnora

Raven station necklace in silver; $305; Susan Elnora

Symmetry at globalDESIGN: I remember seeing this firm last year at the show, and being struck by their beautiful contemporary classic styles. Mary Margoni and Yannis Mandilakis are the duo behind the line, which features richly hued colored stones in contemporary shapes like cushions, baguettes, and faceted nuggets, most bezel-set in 18k yellow gold. The silhouettes and color combinations are whimsical and vibrant, and styles vary widely from petite peridot pendants to more substantial aquamarine collars. But don’t expect to see diamonds here; in this line, color alone—really nice colored gems—commands the spotlight.

Symmetry colored stone necklace in 18k gold

Necklace in 18k with hand-cut green tourmaline, peridot, citrine, mandarin garnet, and heliodor beryl; Symmetry