Talented jewelry designer, Valerie Heck, over the last year has placed as a finalist in both The Halstead Grant and in the 2015 Niche Awards.
Valerie has been featured in several magazines including JQ, American Style and Art Jewelry as well as being featured in the book “Wrap, Stitch, Fold and Rivet” by Lark Books. You can purchase her jewelry through Flux Metal Arts or contact her through her website at VAH Jewelry.
Sara Gallo Jewelry
Three time finalist of The Halstead Grant, Sara Gallo is always fun to revisit with her nostalgic doll shoe jewelry. After graduating from Millersville University in PA in 2011 with degrees in Fine Art and Art Education, Sara wasted no time. She exhibited in the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, earned a finalist spot in the Niche Awards and placed her jewelry in stores and boutiques worldwide.
Being a lifelong collector of bright, colorful objects combined with her designing talents she created a version of the Garden Party Bracelet. It was a hit when she wore it out and that was the beginning of her popular doll shoe series collection.
“I live for that moment of discovery (and the laughter) when someone realizes they are looking at a piece of jewelry made entirely from Barbie shoes! This is jewelry that starts a conversation…”
Sara Gallo also placed as a finalist in the 2013 Halstead Grant competition.
Top 10 grant finalist, Katy Froet, has been a jewelry designer since 2012. But her passion for crafts started as a small child when she would play among her mother’s art supplies. A layoff in 2012 forced her to re-examine her life. Leaving the corporate world behind she stumbled onto wax casting which re-ignited her life-long love of arts. From here, KFroet Designs was born.
Katy hand carves and casts her designs, so no two will ever be alike. Her pieces can be bought online or in select stores throughout her home state of Illinois. Also, if you’re in the Chicago area on April 19, 2015 you can find Katy and her jewelry at the Dose Market in the Chicago Cultural Center.
Halstead awards a business grant to a new jewelry designer in the bridge segment each summer. The grant awards $7,500 in start-up capital and merchandise to a new design company. If you are starting a new jewelry design business, please check out the jewelry grant application and eligibility details.
JW Metal Arts
Jennifer Wills, the designer behind JW Metal Arts and a two-time Halstead Grant Finalist, designs modern pieces using familiar geometrical forms.
Jennifer’s first memory of jewelry was at an early age when she raided her mother’s jewelry box and became immersed by the glittering jewels she discovered. Growing up, her artistic nature flourished. So she decided to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and Southampton College on Long Island where she had been raised.
After earning a B.F.A in Fine Arts, she worked in fashion houses in NYC. She then decided to head to the west coast to experience new cultures and ideas. Finding a metalsmith shop one day, the world of jewelry making called her name again. Jennifer decided to apply for the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation scholarship to attend the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA. She won the coveted award and she received her G.J. in Jewelry Manufacturing Arts.
Jennifer’s designs mix 14kt gold and silver with precious and semi-precious stones. You can purchase her items on Etsy with prices ranging between $175-4,500. To see her collections and learn more about her work, visit her website at JW Metal Arts.
JW Metal Arts also placed as a finalist in the 2012 Halstead Grant competition.
5 Oaks Studio
5 Oaks Studio is aptly named for the 5 towering white pines located on the Texas property of artist Kelly Noonan. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Texas then apprenticed in California. Spent 10 years apprenticing under Master Caster Cynthia Thomas and studying and honing her craft. But then she took a 10 year hiatus from jewelry making. During this time she attended The University of Texas and worked in the corporate world. After 10 years, she is back to jewelry making and is a 2014 Halstead Grant finalist.
With a deep respect for earth she started her Isosceles series, which embraces the four elements that are so influential to her. “In the first installation of the series, The Elements, I wanted to utilize a pictorial language that expresses a deep appreciation and respect for the foundation of creation, earth, fire, water, and air. Nature cannot be improved upon, but I can capture a sense of the astonishing beauty and grandeur. The designs are a statement that I am in love with the natural world.”
Her “luminous” series came to her in a dream. She created Stark’s Heart for her great nephew who suffers from a heart defect. The proceeds from the pendant go towards his medical expenses and to the March of Dimes. Kelly’s pieces range from $55-120 and can be purchased directly on her website: 5 Oaks Studio.
Seth Papac Jewelry
Think outside the box when venturing into the world of Seth Papac jewelry! The majority of his designs are so unique that the word “jewelry” takes on an entirely new meaning.
Seth Papac also placed as a finalist in the 2015 Halstead Grant Competition.
JPHii Design entered the grant competition for the first time three years ago and was a Top 10 Finalist in 2012. With determination and fine-tuning owner John Harris resubmitted his work earning him top 5 finalist spots in both 2013 and 2014. Over the last several years I’ve written posts on John and his work. Each time I see his portfolio and his latest projects as a jewelry artist, musician, writer and director they impress me all over again. As a designer he not only stretches his imagination far outside the box, he creates pieces and collections that work, no matter how unusual and improbable they seem. With John’s designs continuously growing and expanding, it makes each trip to his website exciting and new.
About John Harris
The beginning: born in Syracuse, NY John Harris explored all aspects of the art world finally focusing on metals as his primary field. He studied at Buffalo Sate College earning two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Anthropology and the other in Jewelry/Metal Design in 2012. He combined the two degrees emerging on the other side as a published author creating props from his book using his metalsmithing skills. Although primarily a jewelry designer his creations range from prosthetics and clothes to knives and masks, with a dozen other items in between. JPHii Design can be found on Etsy with pieces ranging from $25 – 150.
Duchess Leigh uses mainly brass, silver & gemstones with an emphasis on the moon and its different phases in many of her pieces. You can find her work on her website at www.duchessleigh.com and on her Etsy site where prices range from $13-115. [/column]
Duchess Leigh also placed as a finalist in the 2013 Halstead Grant competition.
Meet the winner of the 2014 Halstead Grant, Erica Bello.
Learn more about the Halstead Grant here.
Subscribe now for the latest information on the Halstead Grant, jewelry business tips and more.