I came across Jen Volkodav Designs on Instagram (no surprise) because I saw one of her signature “tourmaline mandalas” while scrolling that stopped me in my tracks. I reposted one (above) and instantly had followers craving some watermelon tourmaline and wanting to know more about this jewelry artist. I was happy to discover that these mandalas have become a very meditative activity for Jen to create and have been a spring board with inspiration. I love her choices in gemstones that she uses — each one more juicy and unique than the last, along with her design technique and ways of setting them. Some of her bigger specimens are tucked into gold while others are wire-wrapped in 14k gold. She never knows where or how her designs will begin and end, they take her on the journey as the design unfolds.
I had to learn more about this artist and I’m happy to share the interview below:
I’m getting ready for the holidays and making sure I have enough new pieces (always a busy time!) I also recently acquired an absolutely super and huge opal that I’m working on making into a wide solid gold cuff bracelet and that’s my pet project right now – the one I’m nursing and really getting in to.
The single largest project in the next month is that, as a member of the Artisan Group, I am one of 14 artists that they will be representing in their booth at the GBK Luxury Gifting Suite for the 2020 Oscars. Several pieces of my work will be on display and I will also be gifting the attending celebrities a necklace that I have designed and I’m currently working on finishing those up – 85 necklaces in all!
My grandfather was a jeweler and a watch repairman… so it’s in my blood. When I was about 1 year old, I used to hold up my pinky finger (kind of like you do when you drink tea) and my grandfather said “well she must want a diamond for that finger” (and of course he gave me a little diamond ring), and that’s where my obsession with gems began. I remember hanging out with him in his home office and watching him work. I have a BS in Art and Design, and when you add that to my insane love of gemstones that is how it all started. I was able to launch my brand when I decided to stay at home with my 4 kids. It allowed me a creative outlet and enabled me to work from home.
It’s not a glamorous moment but it fills me with pride and joy – It was the first time that a bride asked if I would create a suite of pieces for her to wear on her wedding day. That is one of the most important days in a woman’s life and to be asked to do that and be given creative freedom with very few guidelines (she just knew she wanted London Blue Topaz used!) made me very proud.
My goal is to earn my GIA Graduate Colored Stones Diploma. They have a great combination of online classes and then Lab classes in New York.
My hope is to be a leader in the handmade/exclusive jewelry space, but couple it with unparalleled attention and customer service that I feel is can be lacking in todays modern, online shopping world.
My absolute dream is to have my pieces worn on the red carpet one day!!
Ooooh that’s TOUGH!! You can be sentimental or simply design minded about that one. I guess I would have to say that (aside from my upgraded OEC diamond engagement ring) my favorite piece of jewelry is this insanely luxurious necklace I made earlier this year – it has a 32+ carat cyan blue and green bicolor tourmaline and it’s all white gold, super chunky and heavy. When I wear it, I know it’s something truly exceptional, and it makes me feel glamorous.
This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Jen Volkodav Designs.