Susan's modern, minimal jewelry comes from an attachment to simplicity and a desire for clarity. She attributes her design style to her childhood and her father, a painter, illustrator and modernist architect. "The modernist design, furniture and art that surrounded me as a child imprinted on my brain. These objects were so many things simultaneously: dynamic, bold, calming, captivating. I invested emotional energy in them and still do to this day."
Susan received her BFA in photography at Rutgers University and a Masters in Clinical Social Work at New York University. "Even with my love of design and art, it made sense that I was drawn to psychology and psychoanalysis. I had a need to understand human behavior, our unconscious impulses and motivations, why we are who we are. That background has given me an understanding of my pull toward modernism. The human psyche is incredibly complex and at times overwhelming. Modernity, simplicity, minimalism; they are my calm in the storm."
While working as a psychotherapist Susan felt pulled back to art. She had not studied metals in art school, but had no doubt jewelry was what she wanted to do. "My mother's modernist jewelry collection fascinated me as a child. She also studied art, and we were very connected to one another. Jewelry also felt like a very intimate and personal way to share my love of modernism.”
For 15 years Susan worked as a full-time therapist and part-time, self-taught jeweler. "Over time I realized that being a jeweler requires a vast amount of technical knowledge. Being "self-taught" was a great hindrance." After several workshops she entered a full-time, intensive bench jeweler's program. "My teacher, Jason Chandler, is still my mentor. I feel so incredibly grateful that I was taught by him because of his incredible wealth of knowledge and love of teaching."
When she completed her education she moved her jeweler's bench into his school, the Portland Jewelry Academy, and focused on honing her skills. "I still turn to him for input. In Europe one learns to become a jeweler through the master/apprentice system. Knowledge and skills are handed down from generation to generation, and you invest years in learning this craft. There is something sacred in that process. It's done very differently in the United States, but with Jason I've had an apprenticeship of sorts while developing my own design vision."
Susan's designs are constantly evolving, and her line of jewelry continues to become more refined. Her commitment to quality is an obsession. "Far too much jewelry being sold is poorly crafted using inferior materials. It’s become an unfortunate trend. My goal is to design modern, minimalist, sculptural beauty. I want my clients to own a piece of jewelry that is timeless, made with great care from exquisite raw materials- their own little piece of art. I want them to fall in love with it!