Ilene Schwartz Jewelry

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Meet the Artist


  • About This Artist

    I have been making jewelry in one form or another since I was six years old. I hold an associates degree in graphics and a BFA in metals from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Linear elements and negative space are important design elements in much of my work. I work with a combination of 18k gold, sterling silver, and a variety of beautiful gemstones. Clean contemporary earrings and pendants suggest a happy movement that can be figurative and playful and yes, wearable. My one-of-a-kind pieces are a juxtaposition of the unusual and unique beauty of gemstones nature has created (sparkly druzy, patterned fossilized stones, multi-colored opals) with simple classic settings.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: My work is hand fabricated, constructed from flat sheet and wire. I love that transformation of sheet and wire into dimensional form. Bezels are individually constructed for the unique stones I use. Much of the work is given a soft matte finish and additional texture is added by chasing or engraving on small elements in the different pieces. My ability to combine texture and color is my version of painting.

    A: What I am most passionate about in my work and what brings me the most joy when I am working is the point at which I know how everything is going to work together and now I get to just work on the piece. The actual fabrication the cutting, sanding, engraving and chasing. Each purposeful mark in the metal or smoothing out. I get to spend hours at the bench in repetitive soothing motions creating objects that are meant to bring joy to others.

    A: When I start working on what will be a one-of-a-kind or statement piece I do very little sketching. I start off playing with the stones. Sometimes they will stay on my bench for months as I mix color and texture. I'll start to put elements together trying to see where the piece is going. Occasionally it turns out exactly how I first envisioned it and other times the finished piece bears no resemblance to the original design.

    A: The wonder in my work definitely comes from the stones I use. It is always amazing to me the beauty created in nature. One of my favorites is druzy. I love the sparkle and variety of color. Although some colors are more common then others each stone is unique. "Autumn Goddess" is a brooch set with a sage green druzy that has a pattern of bronze leaves falling down. I also use fossilized dinosaur bone and fossilized coral. The patterns in these stones are like little paintings. A new stone that I've begun to use is fossilized wood with opal replacement and native copper. The color and pattern in these stones remind me of the sea.

    A: When I look at my work now I think unknowingly my children influenced the figurative elements in my work. Although they are young men now, we spent hours and hours at the playground when they were little in an attempt to release the excess energy contained in those three small bodies. My "Jump for Joy" pendant and "Dancing X" pendant and earrings express some of that frenzied energy.



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