Set in Stone

Lauren Reidenberg’s jewelry first caught my attention when I passed the Viracocha Antique Store on Valencia road – her creations were displayed inside. I was intrigued to find out more so I found her studio to ask her a few questions.


How did you become interested in designing your own jewelry?

I am from New Jersey, and growing up right outside of New York City definitely had an impact on my perceptions of culture, fashion, and art.  When I was 18 I moved to Arizona to go to college outside of Phoenix, and it was there that I became exposed to the gem trade, which is centralized in the American southwest.  So while I should have been going to classes, I was hunting for gemstones and figuring out how to string necklaces.  My interest grew from there.  What attracted me the most was the raw beauty of the materials, especially formations in the rocks and desert landscape, which I think is still visible in my work today.
Which materials do most enjoy working with?
I like to work with gold because it’s very soft and easy to manipulate– it’s very expensive but its beauty lasts forever.
I also love silver, but it doesn’t have the same qualities as gold. It is a harder metal and a little more difficult to work with, but the colours are amazing.
Do you think jewelry can reflect a particular person’s character?

Yes, I think it says a lot about someone. It can be a symbol of confidence or something subtler. It depends on the material you use and how the person chooses to wear it. Mixing and combining outfits with earrings and necklaces can also make a huge impact.

I think you can tell a lot about a woman by the style of her jewelry. How people see themselves is important and jewelry can be used as a way to present certain personalities to the world.

Do you have a favourite jewelry designer?

I love Alexis Bittar’s line of lucite jewelry. Lucite is a form of plastic that became very popular in the 1950s. His work is unique because he carves the Lucite as if it was stone. He transforms a material that was considered worthless into fine jewelry, and that’s very special.

Where does you inspiration come from?

Artists who execute their work with clean lines and simplicity inspire me. I particularly relate to sculpture, in that it has dimension and is similar to jewelry. Traveling is also something that is culturally and aesthetically stimulating. Many artists are inspired by nature, and for me it feels like I am taking something from nature and turning it into something that people can wear.

 You use so many different types of stone for your jewelry – which one is your favourite?

I really like geodes. The natural growth pattern inside the stone is really beautiful. The only way to tell what’s inside the stone is to break it open – that’s what I like about it, the surprise of not knowing what’s inside. Most contain some variety of quartz, including clear quartz, rose quartz, amethyst, jasper, agate, chalcedony, calcite, Celestine, pyrite and so on. These stones all have different colors, textures, and patterns, so each is exciting to work with because they are all so different.

3 thoughts on “Set in Stone

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