Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Hand-Pierced Sterling Silver
and Copper Capoeira Necklace
Echo Park, located in Los Angeles, California, is an eclectic area where Hollywood filmmakers come to work their magic; where writers and directors take up residence in the surrounding area; and where cultural festivals are held.

California is also home to featured jewelry designer Marya Williams.

A hot debate brewing within the jewelry industry is whether the use of CAD (Computer-Aided Design) compromises the use of good, old-fashioned technical skills.

On one side of the debate some jewelers believe that CAD is used primarily by jewelers who want to produce items quickly with the downside rendering items of lesser structural quality.

On the other side, some jewelers believe CAD serves only as a supplement to the hand-fabricating process, and quality jewelry pieces can still be made.

Wherever you stand on the issue, there is no debate in my mind that Williams makes a strong case for handmade designs sans CAD.  Although there are only a small number of photos in her online gallery (there are more at her Etsy shop), they make a strong impact. 

Her signature technique is mixing metals by fusing them: 18-karat yellow gold is merged to sterling silver or bonded to 14-karat red gold.  Her sleek, modern designs are punctuated by surface textures and accents of pink tourmaline or lapis.
14K Gold & Fine Silver Ring with Turquoise
A student of both Thundering Seas School for Goldsmithing in Oregon¸ and the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in California Williams implements “traditional goldsmithing techniques” in most of her work.  Like many of her contemporaries, Williams developed an interest in jewelry production in her youth.

A jewelry course in high school served as the jumping board for the jewelry artist and she sold beaded jewelry for a number of years thereafter. 

“I am inspired by the inherent beauty of the metals, and I like utilizing their natural tarnishing abilities and highlighting the contrasting colors of silver and gold.

I specialize in one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, as well as custom made items.  I really get excited about hand-fabricating—the tools, etc.  I love anything to do with fire!”
14K Gold & Fine Silver Earrings

2015 Jewelry Trend Alert: With the price of gold dropping, it is definitely in trend for the New Year.  

Williams’ Etsy shop features a variety of gold rings; one in which textured 18-karat yellow gold is fused to 14-karat red gold.  
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