A sneak peek at the designer’s new colored stone collection
In the lineup of Rising Stars at JCK Las Vegas 2016, Dana Bronfman was unquestionably a standout. Her beautiful work with metal—cutouts, textures, angles, and twists—forged pieces of jewelry that somehow were altogether complex and beautifully simple. With a hand that crafts wonderfully architectural styles, there’s no doubt that Bronfman is already winning forever fans, enticing those (including me) with an ever-growing collection of new designs. Still, with collections heavy in metalwork and light on gemstones, I found myself wondering why the designer would choose to showcase in Tucson, where nearly a week of jewelry shows focus not exclusively, but primarily, on gemstones. JCK Las Vegas has always—in my history, at least—been heavily focused on spotlighting designers (one of my favorite things about it, in a long list), and an effort to do the same at JCK Tucson is happening now.
I needn’t have been concerned (not that I should worry about someone with such stellar capabilities as Bronfman, anyway). The talented designer has something up her sleeve for Tucson: her first gemstone-focused collection of jewelry. “I have been collecting gemstones for years,” says Bronfman. “I always bought just what I was attracted to versus having a specific design in mind.” When I asked why she chose to incorporate gemstones into her designs now, her answer was this: “I held off on using [the gemstones] because the progression of my core collection was very natural, with one design inspiring another. Over the last couple of years, I’ve developed a confidence in who I am as a designer—enough to play a little with my aesthetic and have some fun, adding some statement, one-of-a-kind pieces to my repertoire.”
Red Roses one-of-a-kind ring in 18k rose gold with 0.74 ct. rose-cut red diamond and 0.16 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,200
One-of-a-kind pieces these are, though those familiar with Bronfman’s work will immediately recognize the designer’s hand at play. “These pieces will still retain some of my signature pieced gold and diamond elements, with my signature Oculus patterns,” she says. “But I do think they enter a different realm inspired by my dream state, which stands in complementary fashion to my first collections inspired by industrial architecture.”
Talisman one-of-a-kind pendant in 18k yellow gold with 5 ct. chrysocolla and 0.16 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,400
Each of the three designs previewed here is fascinating in its own right, but taken together, I see a brilliant example of the designer’s growth—and the collections of her fans growing right along with her. Take any one of her core designs and you have a staple (you need it, you want it, you self-purchase it). Then add a one-of-a-kind piece—a “quietly bold” style, as the designer describes it—and you expand your range of choices. “This collection represents my journey to achieve balance between the need to keep my feet on the ground as an entrepreneur but my head in the clouds as an artist, combining my childlike inspiration from my grandmother’s collection of Native American jewelry with my current role as a modern, cosmopolitan woman.”
Dome one-of-a-kind ring in 18k yellow gold with 6 ct. chrysocolla cabochon and 0.13 ct. t.w. diamonds, $3,150
With a collection that is sure to grow, the designer retains her commitment to sustainability and transparency. “While the diamond melee and metal in this collection all come from reclaimed sources, the colored gems come from trusted responsible sources. I used the stones in the cuts in which I found them, so as not to create additional waste.”
If you’re Tucson-bound for JCK this February, you can see these styles in person—but Bronfman promises there will be more to unveil at the show. Visit the designer at JCK Tucson, and keep your eyes on this blog, because there’s no doubt I’ll be sharing more from this collection (and any other collection Bronfman dreams up) in the future.