With an exuberant spirit, an artful eye and a strong dedication to fine craftsmanship, designer Jamie Kole offers a wildly creative, romantic and original take on period-inspired jewelry.
Smitten by the intricate and lavish looks of bygone eras, Kole, a Parsons School of Design graduate, began fashioning jewelry in 1984. “My first inspiration stemmed from the beautiful hand work and details of the 1800s and early 1900s. I taught myself techniques to create my visions,” says Kole, who personally hand loops and hand wire wraps each piece. “If I didn’t do it myself I would feel cut off from my creativity,” she says, adding, that after thousands of creations, seeing the designs come to life by her hand is still a magical experience.
That magic translates into an evolving aesthetic that is at once modern and vintage. Her five-plus collections share similar sensibilities, allowing designs to be fluidly layered together. The jewelry’s common thread begins at the worktable in Kole’s decidedly messy Maplewood home studio.
“Sometimes I look down and see elements that have landed beside each other and they become a new piece.” Unlike designers, who create new collections from the same materials, Kole readily incorporates new elements. “I reinvent the wheel every time,” she says.
The Swarovski Crystal collection is a staple of Kole’s work, while recent innovations include the Antique French Metal Lace line, which uses preserved 100-year-old lace in earrings and necklaces; and the Intaglio line, which showcases intricately engraved vintage findings. Find Kole’s designs at Tenth Muse in Maplewood, Theo in Red Bank, jamiekolejewelry.com and on Instagram @jamiekolejewelry.