Wednesday, March 26, 2014

JAMES AVERY

14K Gold Blossoms of Hope Cross
Pendant Necklace
During hot, humid summers in Houston, Texas joggers are grateful for the spray of water coming from the Gus Wurtham Memorial Fountain.

Built 36 years ago the structure of bronze pipes emits a beautiful, “floating” spray of water in the form of a dandelion.  Texas is also home to featured jewelry designer James Avery.


Jewelry serves many functions.  It is ornamental; it is an expression of love and devotion; it says “I’m proud of you”; and it signifies friendship.  Jewelry can also inspire and uplift.

Since 1954 Avery’s jewelry brand, James Avery Craftsman, Inc., has offered pendant necklaces, cuff bracelets, and dangle earrings in universal symbols that celebrate faith and God’s creation.

Scriptural inscriptions and austere cross pendants along with metallic interpretations of sand dollars, leaves and acorns showcase Avery’s deftness at composition.  His style is subtle yet highlights repousse, engraving, two-tone metals, and hammered curves of 10-, 14- and 18-karat gold, sterling silver, bronze and copper.

A reformed agnostic, Avery learned industrial design at the University of Illinois but sought employment as a college professor.  He developed an interest in jewelry making while teaching techniques to his students.  With his faith renewed, in the summer of 1954, Avery decided to leave teaching to embark on a career in jewelry making.

“My renewed Christian commitment, along with my decision to quit teaching, led to a new direction in my life.  This is the reason so much of my work is Christian symbolism,” he recalls.

14K and Sterling Silver Scrolled
Fleur de Lis Ring
“I worked out of my two-car garage with about $250 in capital.  I built a small workbench, bought a few hand tools and scraps of copper and silver.  My goal was to create jewelry that not only had meaning for me but for my customers as well.  I wanted to make jewelry with lasting value.”

With the company’s four founding values firmly in mind—simplicity, integrity, meaning and universality—Avery’s team of artisans strive to create jewelry that reflects the art of many cultures.  To date the brand’s inventory contains more than 14, 000 jewelry items!

After stepping down as the company’s CEO six and a half years ago, Avery enlisted his sons Paul and Chris to assume the helm of Executive Vice President and CEO and President.  Avery, however, continues to take an active role in designing.

“The company is in good hands with another 50 years to look forward to,” he enthuses.  “I do not consider myself a jeweler as the name implies today.  

I like to think of myself as an artist concentrating in the precious metal media.  I strive to keep designs from being contrived, cluttered or cute.  The challenge is to keep things simple.”

Gold Repousse Leaf Earrings
2014 Jewelry Trend AlertSubdued style was on the 2013/2014 fashion runways of Givenchy and Ricardo Tisci.  

Minimalism is on trend for the year and Avery’s delicately hammered hoop earrings, and sublime two-tone men’s rings highlight the beauty of understatement.
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