Jewelry as Architecture
(*feature photo is Emily Minto, wearing her Particia Pedestal Ring)
When can jewelry be more than just jewelry?
When it's both jewelry and architecture, according to architect and jewelry designer, Emily Minton.
Jewelry reflects style, mood, purpose and function.
Emily Minton happens to approach all these attributes from the same unique angles she uses to design buildings.
Metal and Smith 2018 Winter Edit Jewlery Show
It was a cold day at the beginning of this past February.
The alarm didn’t need to wake me up – I was ready, and coffee was all I needed for the 4:30 am drive to the airport.
It was the morning of February 5, 2018, I was on my way to my very first Metal and Smith Show in New York City.
I didn’t know what to expect, I just knew I was flattered and grateful to be invited, and was really excited to visit with the designers listed as exhibitors.
One of the designers I met was Emily Minton, and as she told me her jewelry started from the concrete castings of her master’s architecture thesis, I was intrigued, and knew I needed to share her story.
Full time architect by day, jewelry designer by night and weekends, Emily merges design elements between jewelry and architecture in her eponymous jewelry line, Minton.
In our conversation I recorded for my podcast, Jewelry Navigator, Emily shared that although she's a full time practicing architect, her jewelry designs and business are her passion.
The firm and co-workers where she works are very supportive, and mixing the two interests have worked in her favor.
Architect, Jewelry Designer, Model and Photographer
Besides the fact that Emily is an architect and designs jewelry using the same concepts to create buildings, she's also the model and photographer for her line, Minton.
All photos in this post are by Emily Minton from her “Studio” on her website, shopminton.com
Originally from Nebraska, Emily poses with and captures the nuance of her jewelry as both model and photographer for her jewelry.
I was thrilled when Emily agreed to share her story with me on the Jewelry Navigator Podcast.
An alumni of both the University of Nebraska, and University of South Florida, Tampa, Emily received her master's degree from the latter.
While her peers were designing buildings and bridges, Emily's project proportions were significantly smaller.
She proposed applying architectural concepts to jewelry designs.
After clearing the idea with her thesis advisor, she began her designs, and the result: Jewelry cast in concrete.
Her original designs, like Bent Ring Wide, and Oval Ring Solid are still the cornerstones of her collections, even to the point of using Bent Ring as her logo.
She shared she's always had a strong interest in fashion, so pairing jewelry design with architecture is her signature M.O.
While another architect's blueprints include linear and directional instruction, Emily's are formed from a 3-D printer partially contributed by her architectural firm, then cast in New York City.
Fashion Show Dream Comes True
The day Emily and I recorded the podcast, she had just returned to her Baltimore apartment in the early morning hours from New York.
I had seen posts on her Instagram feed sharing her excitement and arrival into the city for an upcoming event.
As I followed her posts, I realized Minton was being featured in a fashion show with Flying Solo, a collaborative retail space on 434 West Broadway Street.
It was so exciting to see her jewelry paired with styles that sync with and complement her designs so perfectly, even on the male models.
Emily confessed, had she known her jewlery was going to be modeled by the men as well, she may not have participated in the fashion show.
She had never considered her jewelry to be for men, but it's easily a line that's not gender specific, and looks just as handsome on men as women.
I was delighted and thrilled to have Emily as my guest on the podcast.
Tell Me More…
What questions or jewelry conundrums do you have, but are too confused or scared to ask?
Part of why I started Jewelry Navigator is to help shoppers break through the fear barriers of entering jewelry stores, and knowing where to go when you want jewelry that's special or unusual.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your jewelry concerns, worries, and stories.
I'd love to hear from you!