Baker & Black is a sculptural and colorful collection of jewelry that is handcrafted in Brooklyn, NY by Megan Baker. I love these designs because they have a unique retro feel yet are also bold and innovative! Many of the pieces have cool movement or removable parts so they can be worn several ways. I have been into larger statement pieces recently and find this collection so exciting because it breaks the current trends of dainty jewelry but is also very wearable. Get to know more about Baker & Black below!
I was fortunate enough to go to a high school with a jewelry studio so I started there. I then went to Pratt where I took elective jewelry courses and after graduating I continued to take classes to learn jewelry fabrication. I also started working at Doyle & Doyle, an antique jewelry store in lower Manhattan, which is where I learned about gemology and the history of jewelry design. It was amazing to have such a hands on education—I was always examining pieces to see how they were made. left there to start Baker & Black.
It starts with LOTS of sketching, that's probably the most time consuming part of my process. Once a design feels right, I will make technical sketches—with a couple different views, if necessary—filled with measurements and production notes. I can stew over a concept for ages. I often go through old sketchbooks and discover old ideas that I am now ready to flesh out.
I am always visiting museums and galleries and I often find myself taking note of interesting color choices I come across which I bring with me when playing with gemstones. Indirectly, I think filling my life with art exercises my brain in a way. It gives me new ways of seeing and forces me to be more thoughtful and consequently more creative.
Favorite design: I love the Jigsaw Ring. It's a chunky cocktail ring but it is quite light and has a low profile. When I was making the ring I had very little confidence the final product would look good. It combined mixed metals and bold gemstone combinations so I thought it might look garish. I also thought it was so crazy it just might work. Fortunately, the latter proved true. I made myself the aquamarine and diamond version to make up for all of the mediocre aquamarine jewelry I received as a March baby.
Personal collection: My grandma never had much fine jewelry but she recently gave me a steel cuff her father made for her. He worked in a steel mill in Indiana and he made it in his down time. He even engraved it with her initials. I keep it on my desk and like to wear it while I work.
Daily jewels: I always wear jewelry when I leave the house. I pretty much wear the same things everyday and switch it up for special occasions. Hands: my gold wedding band (which I made many moons before Baker & Black), the Caduceus Ring with a mauve-y pink spinel, a diamond ring from 1920 ("Xmas '20" is engraved on the inside, swooooon) my husband gave me for our two year wedding anniversary and either the Swirl Gimmel Ring or the Jigsaw Ring with aquamarine. Neck: an engraved gold locket from the early 1900's. Ears: either a pair of Georgian diamond earrings or the Covalent Earrings.
Favorite Designer: One of my favorite designers is Rachel Comey. I think her work is so original and beautiful. I never tire of the pieces I have and I am always complimented when I wear them. I also really admire her brand. I recently listened to an interview with her that really inspired me. She says she created the brand so she could live a creative life and enjoy every day, which I really relate to. She also discusses how she never took any funding and originally financed the line with credit cards and she just celebrated her 15th anniversary and has two beautiful stores. It was very encouraging to hear.
Other than jewelry: I love to read. I subscribe to The New Yorker and The New York Times and I always pick up The Gentlewoman and Apartamento whenever I come across them. As for fiction, I am currently reading The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle, and some recent favorites are The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and The Round House by Louise Erdrich.