Dec 23, 2013
12:57 PMStyle & Design
Glittering 'Rock Candy' From Connecticut Jewelry Designer Holly Shannon
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It was shortly thereafter that she began experimenting with jewelry design. Over the years, she has taken several classes at the now reorganizing Brookfield Craft Center, but she said she’s largely self-taught. She employs a variety of artistic techniques in her work from engraving and embossing to sculpting and painting.
“All of the techniques inform each other,” said Ms. Shannon. “It makes it mine. It’s my signature.”
One of her favorite techniques is to take something she’s created at her home workspace, fire it in a kiln and have it plated in pewter, 18 karat gold or silver. She uses local artisans to see her vision through completion.
In addition to her various artistic techniques, Ms. Shannon incorporates an interest in gem stones that she has had since she was a child into her work.
“I’ve always been in touch with the natural state these gems began in,” she explained, “and I would be riffling in my grandmother’s jewelry box. It was a good marriage.”
Ms. Shannon has seen significant success with her jewelry. J. Seitz and Co. has carried her Cleopatra line for a number of years, and her work has appeared in other local boutiques over the years.
This past summer, Ms. Shannon took a leap in her career by booking a series of trunk shows at the Warren Tricomi Salon at The Plaza in New York. That is where she was off to when she stopped by Marty’s for a quick coffee and an interview in October. She explained that she would spend all day in the salon, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., showing her work and meeting customers. She has one more trunk show this year at the salon, and it's this Friday, Dec. 27.
“I’m in the very fortunate position of having these trunk shows,” said Ms. Shannon. “I think people are looking for handmade jewelry. Yes, you can go to Bergdorf’s and find something beautiful but you don’t necessarily get to meet the artist. That’s what’s great about the trunk shows; you get to meet the artist.”
She’s more than just the artist. As she put it, she’s a “one woman show,” doing all of her own publicity and selling in addition to the design and fabrication.
She’s pleased with her success and amazed that so much has happened in such a short time, but Ms. Shannon isn’t about to stop here. She can see her jewelry lines being expanded into an entire brand complete with home décor, shoes, belts and other accessories.
“I can see the scarab being made into a cool hammered vase,” Ms. Shannon said. “I always think big. I grew up in the big ’80s.”
This “one woman show,” has come a long way from dabbling at her workbench and there seems to be a bright future for the Litchfield County mom. Her fine jewelry is refined and elegant, perfect for the working mom looking to go from, “desk to dinner,” or the weekender up from New York City. Her fashion jewelry is a little more versatile, and reasonably priced, which allows the customer to play with her look every day. Her ultimate goal is to inspire people to have fun with their accessories regardless of occasion.