Saturday, February 26, 2011

JUDITH BRIGHT

Washington. D.C.’s National Gallery of Art is a 74-year-old museum holding a large collection of art donated by financier Andrew W. Mellon.

The collection includes art work from such famed artists as Rembrandt, Fra Angelico, and Leonardo da Vinci. Washington D.C. is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Judith Bright.


The low-key Bright did not lean on the celebrity of former employer Quincy Jones to help set apart her stylishly chic sterling silver and 14-karat gold-filled designer jewelry.

Her hard earned ability for creating beautifully crafted wire wrapped gold rings, cuff bracelets and multi-hoop earrings is a gift that has always lived within her.

“Designing jewelry is the realization of a long-deferred dream,” she admits. “I use to play with my mother’s jewelry for hours when I was a kid. I would lay out each piece over her bed and try everything on. I have always been fascinated by how people adorn themselves.

I worked 12 years for Quincy Jones’ music publishing company but after having my third child I decided I wanted to spend more time with my family.

When my children were school-age I took jewelry making classes at Barnsdall Art Center in Los Angeles, and friends and neighbors responded positively to my designs, which motivated me to form a home-based business.”

Not one to rest on her laurels, for one year Bright lived in Florence, Italy with her husband and sons in order to learn from Italian jewelry makers at the Le Arti Orafe School of Jewelry.

“I learned silversmithing techniques as well as wax carving. This was one of the best periods in my life. I think it came with finally embracing a lifelong dream and being in the right place in my life to make it happen.”

With a solid repertoire of skills under her belt, Bright and her family left Italy relocating to Nashville, Tennessee where she would officially launch her brand, Judith Bright Contemporary Handcrafted Designer Jewelry, in 2005.

The lithe, airy designs of sandalwood bead bracelets and delicate gemstone pendants evoke warm breezes within tropical settings. I particularly like the wire wrapped items with gemstones; the wire wrap technique makes for great texture while also providing a simple yet distinctive look.

I like the subtle hammered surfaces of her ethereal gold and silver hoop earrings, and the buoyant layers of gold or silver open circles of a link necklace in her RockLess Collection.

The brand’s Gold+Rocks and Silver+Rocks collections offer an alternative with colorful pops of blue topaz, smoky quartz, amethyst, or aquamarine to accentuate the sleek metal outlines.

Included among the brand’s selection of items are bridal and bridesmaid jewelry , jewelry for young girls, and a men’s jewelry line. To her amazement, Bright’s elegant and affordable jewelry was highlighted in the 2010 feature film The Back-up Plan as worn by the film’s star Jennifer Lopez.

Lopez wore the brand’s classic, hand-formed earring designs called Paisley, India Marquis, and Ashley as well as hand-hammered, 14-karat gold bangle bracelets from the RockLess Collection.

“Jewelry is a non-verbal form of communication. As an observer all these years, I can tell a lot about a person by the jewelry they wear. Jewelry making is such a unique and expressive art form.

I use the finest materials available and hand-pick each stone. My passion is creating quality jewelry for women to wear every day and have it affordable enough for them to add new pieces frequently.”
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Photo 1 (top right): 14-Karat Gold-Filed and Amethyst JB Girl Mini Rock Swing Necklace
Photo 2 (center): 14-Karat Gold-Filled Genevieve Earrings
Photo 3 (bottom left): 14-Karat Gold-Filled RockStar Stone Wrapped Cuff Bracelet
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