The Best Of The New

Twelve jewelry designers made their debut in the New Designer Gallery at the July Jewelers of America show in New York

The 12 new designers:

BETH ADAMS is a well-known abstract painter whose work has been included in many solo and group shows at galleries across the United States and Canada. She has taught drawing, painting and art history at Seattle Pacific University and now teaches at the University of Washington Experimental College. Her jewelry designs currently are being shown at Saks Fifth Avenue in Union Square, San Francisco, Cal., and Naples, Fla.

BRITT ANDERSON began his career 14 years ago in his family’s jewelry store in Illinois. He attended the Revere Academy, GIA, the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, studied in Maine under Michael Good and William Richey, then apprenticed with master goldsmith Werner Theobald. Anderson’s handmade 18k gold and platinum jewelry sometimes features diamonds and colored gemstones.

ROBERT BRUCE BIELKA studied engineering and art at the University of Washington in Seattle, worked as a jeweler for Cartier in New York and now is president, principal designer and head craftsman at Bielka Inc. He has created many showpieces for retail jewelers such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., Mikimoto U.S.A., Harry Winston, Chaumet, Asprey, Neiman Marcus and Verdura.

THOMAS S. COOPER III decided to become a jewelry designer after working part-time during high school as a retail jewelry salesperson. He majored in jewelry design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and now produces a designer line in platinum and 18k gold with diamonds, pearls and colored gemstones.

JUHA KOSKELA creates jewelry and sculpture with simple, clean designs in bold linear forms. Born in Finland, he studied traditional jewelry-making at the Lahti Goldsmith School, then came to the U.S. in 1980 to enroll at Washington University in St. Louis. He studied under Michael Good and Heikki Seppa, becoming intrigued with the anticlastic raising technique. When he later worked for Good, his collection was shown at major jewelry fairs in the U.S. and abroad. His pieces include 18k gold, silver and titanium.

ALEXANDRIA MOSELEY began a long apprenticeship to a master goldsmith in Chicago when she was only 12. Years later, after a successful career as an international securities trader, she studied classical jewelry fabrication in Europe, then earned a design degree from FIT. Moseley recreates and redefines the almost lost art of repoussÇ, in which sheet metal is hammered from the reverse in a bowl of warm pine resin, then worked from the front for definition. The backs are meticulously carved and signed with her trademark lips. The result is a characteristic burnished finish with toolmarks left in.

GAIA PELIKAN apprenticed with various masters at a young age, ran his own trade shop in Seattle for five years, then moved to Baden, Switzerland. There he created his own gallery and began working to combine stones and metals into a form that expresses his own personal spirit in connection with nature. He is represented in a number of galleries throughout the world.

SONIA SILEN was a successful business consultant with jewelry manufacturers among her clients when she fell in love with the jewelry industry. She teamed up with Alberto Hernandez to form Amazonia Jewelers in Boca Raton, Fla.; both principals were born in Latin America but educated in different parts of the globe. Their hand-crafted 18k gold rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces can be coordinated as sets.

JANE SILVER has been working behind the scenes in the jewelry industry as a designer and company owner for 14 years. She studied fine art and design at the Maryland Institute of Art, and fashion buying and merchandising at FIT before apprenticing for several of New York’s most talented jewelers. She received an honorable mention in the 1995 AGTA Spectrum Awards and a finalist certificate for the 1996 DeBeers Diamonds-International Awards. Her collection is about fun with shapes and colors; her signature is a simple, yet chic “chubby bezel” setting with an array of colored gems and gold colors and karats.

CAROL SILVERA is a native New Yorker and former fine art student who lived in Tokyo for 10 years, where she began dealing in pearls. Her 18k gold collection accented with diamonds, pearls, colored stones and French enamel is Etruscan and Byzantine in feeling. The collection includes earrings, rings, bracelets, pendants and necklaces.

JACOB ADAM SNOW attended a technical high school with a comprehensive art program. He majored in jewelry arts and for three years received a good introduction to jewelry making. In 1982, he joined Etienne Perret as a bench worker, eventually working up to shop manager. He went out on his own in 1985, doing some pavÇ and channel work for local designers, as well as producing two small wholesale collections; he still offers some advanced stone setting to designers. In 1992, he began working with Terry Walsh, a master jeweler from Dublin, Ireland; they continue to work closely today. Each piece in his signature Heirloom Collection is hand-made, hand-carved and treated like a one-of-a-kind piece in 18k gold and platinum. Snow was the winner of the American Jewelry Design Council’s competition for the New Designer Gallery.

JANET YASEEN became fascinated with jewelry at age 21 when she inherited a pair of large Art Deco bracelets. She asked David Webb to redesign them into more contemporary jewelry. Following Webb’s death, she began a career of self-education which brought her to GIA, then to the Kulicke-Stark Academy for goldsmithing and, finally, to FIT, from which she graduated in 1988. Until recently, she has been producing one-of-a-kind and limited edition handmade pieces. Her newest collection, wearable for day or night, is inspired by the sinuous lines and volumes of Art Nouveau and the Viennese Secessionist School.