The Journey of a New Jewelry Collection
I know many of you may be curious about what led me to create a new jewelry collection. Many people have asked me Why? Why have you embarked on this new venture and adventure now? Why pearls? Why antique cut-steel and what is that anyway?
All three questions are pretty easy to answer.
Why have you embarked on this new venture now?
To be candid, I longed to be involved in my own business venture again after a hiatus of a dozen years working for other concerns. It was time to return to the freedom and joy of working for myself. If you’ve never been the master of your own destiny, I must tell you the feeling is exhilarating.
I have always loved pearls. Of all the precious gems, pearls were
living. There is a romance and connection with that… they come from living creatures. Also, the unique quality that every pearl exhibits endears me to them… even the most well matched pearls always show their individual nature.
And, of course, the Baroques I use in the Collection are a riot of individuality!
Why antique cut steel?
The allure of ‘shiny, sparkling’ elements is seductive and adds another dimension to the sensual pearl. I love the fact that base steel, cut and polished like a diamond, takes on its visual glamour. I have always been drawn to antiques and their re-use. I am taking 18th and 19th Century material, transforming it and giving it another life in our 21st century. What could be better than appreciating something beautiful and falling in love with it all over again?
My Collection is composed of these elements that I have always loved: pearls, antique cut-steel, 18 karat gold and sterling silver. The very elements that ﬁt into today’s lifestyles for everyone.
Each aspect of the Collection is designed, produced, assembled and ﬁnished by hand in New York. I choose each pearl precisely for its unique and distinctive beauty, color and form. Because pearls feature such beautiful and diverse textures, surfaces and coloring, they all differ from each other, and my Collection uses these ‘mismatched’ shapes and colors as design elements.
The pearls I use in the BernardCohenCollectionNewYork™ are freshwater, cultured
baroque pearls. Throughout history, pearls have intrigued, beckoned and I have a long held passion for them. They have an innate style, a tactile luxurious touch, and lightness that make them a popular timeless choice.
As respected British jewelry historian Anne Cliﬀord states in Cut Steel and Berlin Iron Jewellery, “Cut-steel jewellery was ﬁrst made in England, and later in France, at a time when real jewellery was increasingly dominated by the diamond, and it imitated the shine and sparkle of diamonds… cut-steel developed a character and beauty of its own, which arose from the material itself and from the way in which it was worked.” The jewelry that I have created using antique cut-steel studs sprang from this inspirational passage written by Anne Cliﬀord, the authority on Cut-steel and Berlin Iron.
Using this heritage way of making, all pieces in my Collection are also worked by hand in the drilling and setting of the studs, and the gold and silver work.
As one who supports sustainability and the environment, the jewelry I am producing
makes re-use of antique elements and reclaimed gold and silver. Even my packaging is of natural linen, hemp and kraft paper. I feel reusing materials is one way individuals can contribute to the nurturing of the environment and I hope that you will re-use the packaging boxes and cording as well. I know I do. Many of the pieces are ‘convertible’ and I hope that you will use the jewelry in many different ways… allowing you to express your individual style.
The 18th and 19th Century cut-steel in the Collection has travelled to the 21st Century.
The VOGUE article
A huge thank you to my brilliant Friend Lynn Yeager. I thank you for your love and
support of this venture since its inception. And for being my ‘famous friend’.
A Final Note to Thank You
Most important, I want to thank you all for the love and support I have received as I
launch this new venture. My appreciation is beyond words…