Estyn Hulbert is another designer I discovered on Instagram. I immediately was attracted to the unique way she uses pearls. Not only are her designs unique and beautiful, but her story is very compelling. Get to know Estyn below!
"In early 2000 I started planning a trip to New York to see if I wanted to move to the city. I figured that I'd check it out then maybe move six months later. I called my aunt, artist and jewelry designer Jessica Rose, to let her know I would be visiting. A couple of days later she called me back to say that her assistant had suddenly quit and if I could move right away she'd give me the job. So my vacation turned into a fortnight of apartment hunting and jewelry training, and a few weeks later I had packed up my life and moved to Brooklyn."
"Before then I had no jewelry experience beyond stringing seed beads as a kid; my own work was in textiles and sculpture. When I started working with Jessica, I realized that we had the same aesthetic sensibility and sense of color. She encouraged me to start designing jewelry and eventually we became business partners."
"Jessica died in 2006 but I continue to make many of her designs which are timeless and unique."
"I scribble ideas on post-its and the backs of envelopes, and eventually stick the scraps into my sketchbook and draw and develop them some more if they spark a series of designs. I always date my drawings and what I often find when I'm gathering the sketches is that I've recorded a particular idea multiple times, sometimes over years. When that's the case I feel like the design is trying to get my attention and I move it to the top of my sample making list."
"I'm inspired by lots of things including the stones and pearls I work with, seed pods that I find in my garden and antique jewelry like the Tudor chains in the Cheapside Hoard. But it's often the piece I've been making which leads me to the next design. I spend a lot of time thinking "what if I did this instead…" and experimenting."
"I'm loving the new Wave Ribbon necklace for the way it can scale up with chunky stone pebbles or down for tiny peals. However I'll always have a special place in my heart for the Wild Geese necklace which was one of my first designs and has a lovely fluid drape, and the Constellations necklace which is the first design I made using the seamless circle technique I developed."
Who are your favorite designers?
"I live surrounded by my aunt, Jessica Rose's experiments, samples and large sculptural pieces. Her work amazes me every day."
"I love Ted Muehling's work for its incredible simplicity and purity of design, Gabriella Kiss's magical miniature wearable sculptures and Judy Geib's unusual, playful jewelry and objects."
Other than jewelry: "Lately I've started playing the piano, something I hadn't done since high school. It's a completely different use of my hands and the combination of deciphering the music and playing different notes with each hand seems to scratch an unused part of my brain which is deeply satisfying."
Currently listening to: "I've been listening to Simi Stone's album. Natural Grace is the perfect song when I need a little studio dance break."
See more of Estyn Hulbert's designs on her website.