Long before Claire Jacobs of Emily Claire Designs discovered her love of jewelry design, she knew she’d be an artist. As a child, she filled up countless sketchbooks with her ideas, and today, at work in her studio, she does the same.
After spending years building up her creative work alongside a full-time job, Claire finally reached a place where she could continue to grow independently. Now, Charlotte shoppers can find a wide range of stunning handmade jewelry by Emily Claire Designs, from bold necklaces to statement rings.
Claire sat down with us to talk about her inspiration, her creative eye, and her future plans.
What excites you about the jewelry making industry? Are there any current trends that you love?
I love the creativity I see in jewelry. Designers are constantly trying to innovate and come up with new ideas… I love it when I see a fresh approach. Designers are doing some really interesting things with gemstones right now. Little H is an artist who comes to mind because she is doing some really unique designs with pearls.
Tell us about your jewelry design style and how you learned it. What makes your collections one-of-a-kind?
I tend to lean toward simplicity and elegance in my design. While my work has an artistic bend because all my pieces are handmade and limited edition, it still feels classic. I want my jewelry easy to wear, versatile, and hopefully timeless enough for people to keep for years.
Can you tell us about your creative process? Where do you turn for inspiration?
I tend to find my inspiration through experimentation at the bench, and I turn to the materials. Say, for instance, I have a beautiful stone to set. I think about what metal colors and textures would work the best and what kind of setting would show off the stone. Then, I go to my sketchbook and start coming up with ideas. I also try to keep evolving my designs. I don’t want to make the same pieces over and over from year to year. If I find elements I like, I’ll start to build a collection around that motif.
You’ve crafted so many beautiful pieces. What’s your favorite piece to date, and what made it so special?
Recently, I made a custom silver, gold, and aquamarine ring that I really loved. It was a large piece and quite complex to fabricate, so I’m proud of it. I’ve also made engagement rings for two close friends, and that was super fun. I love being in on those types of surprises!
Anything else we should know about or coming up this year?
Lately, I’ve been getting back to my artistic roots by doing some oil paintings. I’m loving having another creative outlet in addition to the jewelry, so you can expect to see a lot more artwork coming out of my studio in the future!