By Shawna Kulpa
When designers agree to participate in MJSA’s annual Mystery Box Challenge, they never know what to expect—other than that they’ll be receiving a boxload of random materials from which they must create a wearable piece of jewelry in just four weeks’ time. Rather than fear the unknown, though, many of the designers admit to feeling excited about the possibilities those materials might bring. That was certainly the case for this year’s three intrepid designers: Mark Loren, Jenny Reeves, and Christopher Duquet, who faced the challenge head-on, allowing themselves to be pushed outside their comfort zones…and liking it.
What materials did this year’s designers have to work with? They each received:
• One 4-inch by 4-inch sterling silver sheet from Myron Toback Inc.
• One large rose cut oval black spinel and one medium round black spinel from
Columbia Gem House Inc. (columbiagemhouse.com)
• One Colores Epoxy Resin starter kit from Rio Grande (riogrande.com)
On the following pages, you’ll discover how the designers transformed these materials into thoughtful pieces of jewelry. If you’d like to see the pieces in person, they’ll be on display at MJSA Expo (March 11-13 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City), where they will be raffled off. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the MJSA Education Foundation, which sponsors programs (such as the BEaJEWELER initiative) and scholarships to help aspiring jewelers connect to rewarding careers. (Unable to attend Expo? Raffle tickets can also be purchased online at MJSA.org or by calling 1-800-444-6572.)
Hot Rod, Mark Loren, Mark Loren Designs, Ft. Myers, Florida
For the Mod Squad, Jenny Reeves, Jenny Reeves, San Francisco
For the Fun of It, Christopher Duquet, Christopher Duquet Fine Jewelry, Evanston, Illinois