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A Different Kind of Initial Pendant by Harold Jewelry

Jewelry Designer & Studio Owner, Johanna Ingram Shares Her Process. Interview by Amy Juneau

Johanna Ingram, Jewelry Designer for Harold Jewelry and Owner of Harold Studio recently agreed to share her original take on initial pendants and her process for designing them. 
silver initial charms on quartz rock

(View collection here

• Hi Johanna! Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule of running your studio, managing/creating your jewelry line and hosting classes, to talk some about your latest designs – initial pendants, with jewelry/jewelry design lovers.

You’re welcome, Amy. I’m glad to; let’s get started!

• What inspired you to create initial pendants?

I wanted one that had some personality for myself that I could wear everyday. All of the initial jewelry I’ve seen is either stamped or has a machine made feel to it that seems lifeless.

• Are you designing these with a specific type of letter style for each - script, serif (Times Roman), san serif (example – Helvetica), all caps, etc.? If so, why?

 I made them with all caps with a simple, elegant font. They are all the same size, but each has their own twig design personality. I wanted to keep all of them cohesive, so you could tell they were part of a line, but able to stand on their own. I might do lower case or a different font some day! It was fun designing these and with every project I do, I learn something new.

• Is there a particular type of etching method you are applying when creating the initial pendant?

 I actually carved them all out of wax by hand. Using tiny tools to give the letters shape, then when the letter was perfectly formed, using a type of scribe to remove metal to give it the look of twigs, with crevices and bumps.

• Will these pendants be made of one type of metal, or will customers have a choice between – silver, gold, or rose gold? Do you have plans to make any mix metal versions?

Right now they are in silver, I plan on having them in gold with a diamond set in each though. That was my initial vision for them. So, hopefully I’ll have that out soon! I’m making one in the letter J first (smiles). 

 • What are your favorite tools for this process?

Wolf Micro Carving Tools. They are amazing. I had wanted them for a long time, and finally treated myself with them for my birthday. They were worth every penny and I wish I had gotten them sooner! But, in a way I’m glad I didn’t, because I probably wouldn’t have appreciated them as much as I do now. I worked in the wax department of a jewelry manufacturer for years. All I had to work with was an Exact-o knife and a couple of wood carving tools. I think that gave me a certain kind of skill set and confidence that I could make whatever I wanted with pretty much anything. Along with that, I know that there are a lot of tools out there that are really unnecessary. They won’t make you magically do better work. Only practice and time can do that.

• Your process and ideas are inspiring and helpful to those in various learning stages of design. In light of your last comment about unnecessary tools – “They won’t make you magically do better work. Only practice and time can do that,” I’d like to add that people can practice the art of jewelry making at your studio – Harold Studio. Studio offerings include beginner to more advanced level classes and rental options, too. Learn more about these here 

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