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Design Insights Library

Note: For a full list of available articles on design (including those available in PDF format only), go to the MJSA Bookstore. To return to the online article search, click here.

Ahead of the Curve Tips for sketching cuff bracelet designs. By Rémy Rotenier

All in Good Time  Announcing the winners of the 2016 MJSA Vision Awards

An Antidote to Convention  Andy Cooperman’s Poison Ring No. 2. By Irina Hawkins

The Art of the Bead  Three unique approaches to beadwork. By Gerrie Davies and Tina Wojtkielo Snyder

Art of Handcraft: The Call of Color  A look at how jeweler Valerie Jo Coulson creates gemstone-inlaid jewelry. By John Shanahan

Beyond the Basic Bead  Two designers who have redefined the basic bead. By Shawna Kulpa

Burma Ban Busted U.S. ban on Burmese gemstones is lifted. By Deborah A. Yonick

By Your Side  Claudia Kretchmer pays tribute to her father in a two-stone tension ring. By Shannon L. Brown

CAD/CAM Corner: Calibrated Clay  Integrating ZBrush into CAD jewelry design. By Darla Alvarez, GIA jewelry design & technology instructor

Casting Call   Dawn Muscio designs a palladium bowtie worthy of the red carpet. By Shannon L. Brown

Cause and Effect  William Travis Kukovich talks philanthropy. By Irina Hawkins

Coined Memories  Adel Chefridi honors his childhood. By Irina Hawkins

Coloring Outside the Lines  Three designers take on MJSA’s annual Mystery Box Challenge. By Shawna Kulpa

Come into Bloom  Chi Huynh discusses his Blossom Ring’s unique abilities. By Irina Hawkins

Cosmic Connections  Ezra Satok-Wolman crafts a tribute to Pythagoras. By Shannon L. Brown

Crafting a Custom Pearl Necklace  Gregory Crawford describes crafting a custom pearl necklace.

A Cure for the Blues  Julie Lamb’s mirror-cut aquamarine ring. By Tina Snyder

Design Heroes  Suzy Landa discusses Pat Flynn’s work. By Irina Hawkins

Design Heroes  Megan Thorne discusses Lene Vibe’s magical jewelry. By Irina Hawkins

Design Heroes  Mimi Favre discusses her favorite designers. By Irina Hawkins

Dream On  The 2019 Mystery Box Challenge. By Shawna Kulpa

Evolving Contrasts  Annie Koenig explains how she used juxtapositions to create a harmonizing design.

Eyes on the Prize  A showcase of the winners of the 2014 MJSA Vision Awards. By Shawna Kulpa and Rebecca Oster Bach

Fanning the Creative Spark Getting into the zone starts with knowing yourself. By Andrea Koenig

Finding Forethought When creating a piece of jewelry, consider the chain and findings as an integral part of your design—not an afterthought. By Shannon L. Brown

Fire and Ice  Eva Martin explains how designed her Fire and Ice earrings to give her customer the choice between looks. By Shawna Kulpa

Fit for a Queen  Garen Garibian’s royal ring. By Tina Synder

Five Faves: Alex Woo  A look at Alex Woo’s top five sources of inspiration.

Five Faves: Anita Sondore  A look at Anita Sondore’s top five sources of inspiration.

Five Faves: Chihiro Makio Designer Chihiro Makio shares her top five sources of inspiration.

Five Faves: Erik Stewart  A look at Erik Stewart’s top five sources of inspiration.

Five Faves: Rebecca Myers  A look at Rebecca Myers’s top five sources of inspiration.

Five Faves: Sydney Lynch  A look at Sydney Lynch’s top five sources of inspiration.

Five Faves: Todd Pownell  A look at Todd Pownell’s top five sources of inspiration.

Five Faves: Tomasz Donocik  Designer Tomasz Donocik shares his top five sources of inspiration.

Flight of Fancy Michael Barin captures nature as art with his silver butterfly ring. By Shannon L. Brown

For the Boys  A look at Ryan Roberts’ untitled award-winning ring. By Shannon L. Brown

From the Deep  Kent Raible fuses his way to victory with his 18k yellow gold, 20k rose gold, and platinum pendant. By Shannon Brown

Functional Design Designers showcase components as the focus of their designs. By Shawna Kulpa

Garden’s Glory  The story behind the creation of JJ Buckar’s Peruvian Wild Flower. By Shannon L. Brown

Get Creative with Belle Brooke Barer  Tapping inspiration with Belle Brooke Barer.

Get Creative with Gregoré Morin Tapping inspiration with Gregoré Morin.

Getting Connected  Inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge, Erik Stewart crafts Transit. By Shannon L. Brown

Gift from the Sea  How the loss of one ring led Aleksandra Vali to create her Le Mirage ring. By Sharon Elaine Thompson

Great Beginnings Getting to know Alishan Halebian. By Irina Hawkins

Great Beginnings Getting to Know Gregoré Morin. By Irina Hawkins

Great Beginnings Getting to know Mark Loren. By Irina Hawkins

Great Beginnings Getting to know Mark Schneider. By Irina Hawkins

Group Effort  The inspiring story behind the Matilija Poppy Project. By Tina Snyder

Handle with Care  Tips for designing with and setting delicate gemstones.

Here Comes the Sun Finding inspiration with Tomasz Donocik. By Irina Hawkins

High Strung  Using beads to create high-fashion designs at lower price points. By Shannon L. Brown

The House that Class Built Finding inspiration with Petra Class. By Irina Hawkins

Imperfect Perfection  Alishan Halebian’s sphere is a metaphor for light and life. By Shannon L. Brown

Inspiration Found Announcing the winners of the 2018 MJSA Vision Awards

In the Mood  Todd Reed discusses his Aquamarine Cuff bracelet. By Tina Wojtkielo Snyder

Laser Engraving Tips for laser marking and engraving jewelry

Lean and Mean Tips for making thin metal designs safe and strong. By Charles Lewton-Brain

Let It Roar Jonathan Rutledge’s homage to the Ishtar Gate. By Irina Hawkins 

Light Show  Claudio Pino captures the night sky in Magnificent Stellaire. By Shannon L. Brown

Behind the Design: Lovely Lotus Tony Snodgrass challenges himself with his flower ring. By Irina Hawkins

Lunar Love  The story behind Genevieve Yang’s Large Lunar Cycle necklace. By Shawna Kulpa

Lustrous Twist  Anil Maloo captures a win with his pearl cage earrings. By Shannon L. Brown

Luxe Looks for Less Tips for creating beautiful designs on small budgets. By Elisabeth Beller

Mad About Color  Liz Sabol’s Cheshire Cat necklace. By Tina Snyder

Made for a Renaissance Woman Paul Robilotti’s ode on a Grecian coin. By Irina Hawkins

Making Your Mark  Three jewelry companies putting engravers to use as design tools, creating unique and personalized details that help set their jewelry apart. By Shannon L. Brown

Minimalist and Monumental Michael David Sturlin discusses his Ring to Brighten a Rainy Day. By Irina Hawkins

Mirror, Mirror  Robin Waynee fabricates a reversible pearl pendant. By Shannon L. Brown

Mon Cheerie  A look at the story behind Ion Ionescu’s Pillow for Dreaming, the first-place winning ring in the Evening Wear category of the 2012 AGTA Spectrum Awards. By Shawna Kulpa

A Nod to the Past  Adam Foster’s modern interpretation of an ancient myth. By Irina Hawkins

Night Beauty Craftsmanship is key for Llyn Strong’s wearable art. By Irina Hawkins

Night Light  Read about the challenges Adam Neeley faced when creating his Moonlight and Caviar ring, which won first place, Professional Design Excellence, in the 2012 MJSA Vision Awards. By Shannon L. Brown

Off the Beaten Path  Crafting jewelry around unusual gemstones. By Tina Wojkielo Snyder

Organic Geometry  Sydney Lynch creates a bi-metal organic geometric bracelet. By Shannon L. Brown

The Pendulum Swings Both Ways Kate Hubley’s pendulum earrings. By Irina Hawkins

Perfect Vintage  Kelly Liddicoat turns heads with her Swirling Spirits ring. By Shannon L. Brown

Playing Favorites Discover the favorite pieces of four designers—Jason Dow, Emanuela Duca, Elizabeth Garvin, Paula Crevoshay—and the reasons these pieces hold a special place in their hearts. By Shawna Kulpa

Playing Favorites: A Fitting Tribute Catherine and Michael Jensen choose their favorite design 

Proud Peacock  Katy Briscoe follows her instincts to create Raj. By Shannon L. Brown

Pure Imagination Announcing the winners of the 2017 MJSA Vision Awards

Red Carpet Design Michelle Pajak-Reynolds works her way to the Emmy Awards. By Irina Hawkins

Redefining Balance Cynthia Eid deconstructs her playful Choices necklace. By Irina Hawkins

Rings on the Run   Tips for sketching ring designs while on the go. By Rémy Rotenier

Riveting Tribute  Jenny Reeves uses rivets to secure her five-layer, San-Francisco-inspired Argentium silver ring. By Shawna Kulpa

The Right Mix  Learn the six key ingredients necessary for designers to create cohesive collections of work that are designed to be sellable. By Cindy Edelstein

The Road Less Traveled  Imagination and a few creative detours lead to success for the 2019 MJSA Vision Award winners. By John Shanahan, Shawna Kulpa, Tina Snyder, and Rebecca Oster Bach.

Rock On Leon Megé hits a high note with his Maestro ring. By Shannon L. Brown

Rock-Solid Bonds  A look at Cynthia Renée Zava’s Torres del Paine ring.

Creative Design: Seeking Solitude Playing favorites with Dallae Kang. By Irina Hawkins

Shifting Sand  Keiko Mita’s earrings reflect her childhood by the sea. By Tina Snyder

A Sneak Peek  A look inside Jimin Jung’s Interiority Bangle. By Irina Hawkins

Solo Act  Designing a solitaire engagement ring. By Rémy Rotenier

Spiky Sophistication Finding inspiration with Marcia Budet. By Irina Hawkins

Storytelling The story behind the winners of the 2015 MJSA Vision Awards.

Striking a Balance  Crafting exquisite jewelry with unique gems. By Alishan Halebian

Striking the Right Note The 2019 MJSA Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs

Stuck in a Rut  Tips for getting over a creative block. By Shawna Kulpa

Super Model  Randy Polk glamorizes stainless steel in his Cover Girl ring.

Taking Flight Finding Inspiration with Zoltan David. By Irina Hawkins

Think Big Jennifer Rabe-Morin makes a statement with a fire agate. By Shannon L. Brown

Think Creative Designers share tales of inspiration. By Irina Hawkins

Time Warp  Jason McLeod on the inspiration for his Many Worlds cuff

Tiny Bubbles  Bruce Hartman was inspired by the rocky coast of Maine to hand carve a carnelian that is at the center of his award-winning pendant. By Shawna Kulpa

Tips From the Trenches Julie Romanenko shares lessons she’s learned. By Irina Hawkins

Turning Point  Ryan Roberts’ foray into CAD proves rewarding in these revolving, award-winning earrings. By Shannon Brown

Under the Sea  The ebb and flow of Marie Cabirou’s Swinging Necklace. By Tina Synder

Up to the Challenge The allure of alternative metals. By John Shanahan

Walking a Tightrope  The hoops Pierre-Yves Paquette jumped through to complete his Circus, Circus ring. By Shannon L. Brown

Warming Trend  The story behind Robin Waynee’s Green Moonstone bracelet. By Sharon Elaine Thompson

Wear It Well  Deirdre Featherstone designs convertible color. By Shannon L. Brown

Whom Do You Wear? Barbara Heinrich ruminates on John Iversen’s aesthetic. By Irina Hawkins

A Winged Nymph Dennis Dejonghe rediscovers a gem. By Irina Hawkins

World Class  A look at Erik Stewart’s Hollein ring. By Shannon L. Brown

World of Whimsy Behind the creation of Christi Anderson’s Fairy Queen of Keys Castle necklace. By Sharon Elaine Thompson


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