• Brands We Love: Made By Hand


    We've been extremely into unique jewelry pieces and have had so many amazing artists featured on the site lately that we wanted to bring a few of those artists to the forefront to showcase their incredible, handmade jewelry. Below, learn more about the jewelry lines Filili, Metalepsis, Cast and Combed, and DIGDOGDIG - who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to get out there and start creating your own!



    Photography for Filili by Mónica Félix


    Filili


    Tell us a little bit about your brand.

    Fililí by Luiny (that's me!) started in Puerto Rico as one-of-a-kind designs inspired by the colors of the Caribbean and its lifestyle. I mixed different fabrics, metals and colors, for what turned out as unique artisan jewelry. In 2010 I moved to New York, excited to find new inspiration in the city's diverse cultural spiral. I learned and embraced new techniques that changed my designs as well as my way of living life as an artist.

    What are you inspired by?

    Fililí has been inspired by my adventures and by all the people I’ve met along the way. I'm proud to say that I make a living doing what I love the most. I love to research different cultures around the world, and learn about their ornamentation and jewelry techniques.



    What advice would you give to younger artists?

    Every artist needs to be persistent, disciplined and be their own teacher. Defining your artistry is a challenge but when you find what you are good at, stay with it and make it better every time.

    Tell us a few things you are into currently.

    1. These days my favorite album is Love Letter from Metronomy.
    2. Until I stop eating meat (which I’m considering) burgers are my favorite food.
    3. Shoes, shoes, shoes!
    4. I can’t stop watching Boardwalk Empire, amazing production.
    5. Currently reading Patti Smith Just Kids. Follow me on Instagram for more!


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    Metalepsis


    Tell us a little bit about yourself and the backstory of your brand.

    Astrid and I [Victoria] met in 2009 while we were both working at the same architecture firm in NYC. We both didn’t feel totally fulfilled by our architecture careers so we came up with some ideas about making jewelry by waterjet-cutting sheets of steel, and that evolved into the first Metalepsis Projects edition.

    What's something you love to hear?

    The biggest compliment for us is when people see a Metalepsis Projects necklace and ask, “What is that?” because we both really want to introduce new shapes and inspirations to the field of jewelry. When someone asks us that question, I know we’ve done a good job!

    Walk us through the creation of a piece.

    Because we’re bi-coastal (Victoria in LA and Astrid in NY), we completely depend on the cloud - in our case, Dropbox. We communicate mostly by visuals, so the first step is gathering all images that we’re getting inspired by. Soon after, we discuss ideas about materials and how they can be manipulated and then we start developing our design ideas using a 3D-modeling software called Rhino. When we believe each piece is ready to be physically tested, we have them 3D-printed, which is used as our positive to make the silicone molds. Finally, each piece is cast in bronze in NYC.



    What have you been inspired by lately?

    Copenhagen. We love those classic mid-century danish designers, but their contemporary work is equally astonishing. They create the most beautiful versions of typically mundane objects. Lately Victoria has been obsessed with the work of Japanese designer team Nendo and the British textile designer Lucienne Day. Amazing stuff! Astrid has been so inspired by Finnish mid-century jeweler Kaunis Koru - his shapes are so geometric and elegant. For this upcoming collection, Astrid has been looking at rare instruments for inspiration. And trash cans. It sounds crazy but she saw some trash cans in Italy and Slovenia this summer that were so inspiring!

    What advice would you give for someone interested in starting their own jewelry line?

    We would tell them to start out with small collections of carefully designed products and grow from there. For us, coming from a background outside of the jewelry field has helped our collections stand out because they have a totally different perspective on jewelry. So think creatively and use your background and skills to your advantage, whatever they may be.



    What are some things you guys have been into?

    Victoria:
    1.) I went through all seasons of Orange Is The New Black in a matter of two weeks, I think. I don’t recommend anyone to do that, but the characters in that show are so fascinating that I couldn’t stop.
    2.) My fiancé is an amazing cook, and he got me really hooked on homemade soba (100% buckwheat). He makes the soba noodle himself from scratch. They are so delicious and healthy.
    3.) I usually stick to neutrals and basics when it comes to my wardrobe but I get really excited when I see some amazing prints from Mary Katrantzou. Also, Delpozo is another one of my latest favorites.
    4.) I’ve been thinking about taking some ceramic courses. really love the work of some of the local ceramicists.

    Astrid:
    1.) I’ve been watching Halt and Catch Fire on AMC, and projecting movies on my rooftop. We tape a sheet to the wall and drop the electrical cord over the edge of the roof and in through the window to reach a plug. We have a great view of the Manhattan skyline in the back.
    2.) A few other things on my radar right now are checking out the Sight Unseen website for cool design products, enjoying the NY beach in my new Chromat Boloux bikini, and eating a lot of watermelon because it's HOT here in NYC.

    We’d love to invite everyone to follow us on Instagram!


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    Cast & Combed


    Tell us a little bit about your brand.

    My name is Jessica Kelley. I left music and costuming behind in Vancouver, BC just over five years ago to kick back under some palms in LA and never left. Basking in the ubiquitous light and shadow play of California was the impetus for me to create Cast & Combed. I'm always hoping to capture those fleeting breezy moments.

    Walk us through the creation of a piece.

    After sketching out a blueprint of a shape that inspires me, I begin the mold making process. After some muscle, hustle, manhandling and patience I'll achieve a form and silhouette that excites me. Each piece is a tiny sculpture and after careful consideration I decide how and if to accent it with silver to finalize each piece.

    What have you been inspired by lately?

    The Light and Space movement from California in the '60s - ALWAYS! Without fail the creative process itself is what drives me most. The interplay between the pigments and material is definitely the most exciting part of building each collection.

    What’s a typical day like for you?

    My day starts with loving on my cat and ends with loving on my husband with some jewelry in between... I’ll have coffee in my studio while I design and rework samples in the morning and meet suppliers and fill orders in the afternoon. I’m big on comedy and so there's a lot of giggling and laughter coming from my studio while I work and I often hit up local comedy shows. My husband's a pilot so sometimes he will whisk me away in his 1962 Piper Cherokee and we'll watch the sunset during a night flight.

    What advice would you give for someone interested in starting their own jewelry line?

    Follow your heart and the path of least resistance. And enjoy it.


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    DIGDOGDIG


    Tell us a little bit about yourself and the backstory of your brand.

    Hey. Hello. Aloha. Sup. My name is Celeste Emiko Kamaha'o Rodero and I am the owner and artist of DIGDOGDIG. DIGDOGDIG was created in 2009 as a blog – the name came to me when I trying to find a new way of saying “keep going, searching, working, exploring, trying” at the end of e-mails/letters or whenever I made something for a friend, I would sign it “dig dog, dig." Around the same time I started the DIGDOGDIG blog, I began to explore jewelry making. Due to an allergy to most metals, I had a hard time finding jewelry/accessories not only that I liked, but could actually wear. Like my blog, jewelry making was definitely something I shared, but it was just for me. DIGDOGDIG began as more of an outlet, a platform for me to express myself and that was purely it. DIGDOGDIG never had the intentions of being a business or even my livelihood like it is today.

    Walk us through the creation of a piece.

    Creating a piece all comes from chaos, but with very strong and distinct intentions. Although COLLECTION 1.1's sample pieces only took one night to actually make, it was over time and trial and error that allowed them to birth. Most of what I do is measuring, cutting, wrapping, painting, and assembling. It's a very therapeutic process, actually. Because I have never had a studio space, and as someone who has moved a lot, I make do wherever I am. Whether that is on the beach or just in the living room watching my favorite reality show – I've made sure I can make my work just about anywhere.



    What have you been inspired by lately?

    Honestly, everything is inspiring to me, at least – that's the best way for me to cope with life sometimes. As my best friend's mom referred to me, “you are a meaning maker." I wouldn't say that it's the ideal way of thinking or living for everyone, but it works for me. Whether things are negative or positive, I am always trying to find the root of life in everything and find inspiration. I am inspired by all of the women in my family, the way Jay Adam's skateboarded (RIP legend!), the photography of Seychelle Stableford, the weather, John Steinbeck's words, Mary-Kate and Ashley, my best friend Rachel Ward, Hermonie Only's art, the movements of Fluct, the spirit and style of Michael Jackson, unconditional love, the sounds of FIN, Snoop Dogg's Youtube show, Chloe Sevigny, the way materials move in the wind, style not fashion, Drake's smile, and the list goes on...

    DIGDOGDIG's new website is under construction, but my blog and Instragram are good sources of DIGDOGDIG visual stimulations.



    What advice would you give for someone interested in starting their own jewelry line?

    My advice for anyone who wants to start anything comes from my dad, Keith Nehls, who has told me to always “BE REAL." Be real about your mistakes, be real about your achievements, and do your best to define a value system for yourself. Everyone has a different story when it comes to actively starting something and my experience is nothing like yours or another, so the only thing I can say is to be real. Also, read books! That has helped me a lot, not necessarily about anything to do with jewelry or starting a business, but read perspectives and gain knowledge through others who like to share it. For example I think an easy good read for “starters” is the book, REWORK by Jason Fried and David Heinmeier Hansson; it aligns with many of my core values and understanding of what I think business is today and how you can manage things on your own.


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