Jewellery Masters: Jesse Watson

Jesse Watson

Jesse Watson is a jewellery designer and owner of Noctis Custom Jewelry. Born in Colorado Springs, and now living in Austin, Texas, USA, Jesse’s day career is in engineering. However, his passion in life is making jewellery and he happily spends his evenings in his studio. Few jewellery designers can say that it was true love that brought jewellery into their life, but Jesse can. His partner did jewellery part-time and as one of their early dating activities, they both shared a ring making class together. He hasn’t looked back since, both in jewellery and love.

Although Jesse is a self-confessed nerd during the day, like a marvel superhero, he transforms into an extremely talented artist in the evening.

His ability as a silversmith, is ever growing. But you can see that he is already very talented and on an incredible journey. Developing high quality traditional skills and using them in the most beautiful and contemporary way.

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Sterling Silver Butterfly Filigree and Patina Pendant

Jesse’s love of jewellery making is very evident. Particularly in the way he uses different techniques such as stone setting, hydraulic metal stamping, filigree, silver clay moulding and metal work. All used in combination with various influences and inspiration such as nature, geometric shapes, movement, and love.

Jesse was kind enough to do a Q&A with me. He chatted about his work, jewellery and design, and much more.

 

Tell us about yourself, and your love affair with Jewellery.

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Sterling Silver Offset Square Filigree Earrings

I am a native of Colorado currently living in central Texas (Austin). I have always had a strong slant towards the more creative aspects of life which is ironic seeing as my career is in engineering. Throughout my life I have always needed some sort of creative outlet. I have expressed that in many different mediums – drawing (graphite and charcoal), painting (oil and acrylic), sculpture (clay, wood, metal), etc.

However, life steered me down a different path. I went to school for business and then electrical engineering. Despite that, I always kept in touch with my artistic side as a necessary part of my life. In terms of jewellery, I never had any ambitions as a jeweller, it was just something  I enjoyed wearing.

Sterling Silver Bangle With 14K Gold Puzzle Piece

That was until I met my love and life-mate who did jewellery part-time in addition to having a day job. She is also a very artistic person, and when I asked her out it was to take a ring making class with me. We went on several dates before the actual ring making class, but it was because of her that I was introduced to metal-smithing. It has really taken off from that time, and with her encouragement  it has become a true passion of mine. While I still have to have a day job, at night you will find me happily creating shiny things up in my studio.

When did you first realise you wanted to make Jewellery as a career?

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14K White Gold Band With Rose Gold Rails And Diamonds

Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I am still required to have a day job in the engineering field and cannot make jewellery making my full time pursuit. However, I am in my studio whenever I have the opportunity and am hopeful that at some point in my life I can make my passion my full time gig. The best thing about doing something that you love is that it never feels like work. Sure, there are times when I am struggling with a difficult problem or doing a custom piece that doesn’t excite me, but in the end I am still doing what I love.

As a designer, where do you draw your inspiration from?

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Fine Silver Flower Cluster Necklace

Inspiration is a very interesting and shifting thing in my eyes. What I get inspiration from can change from day to day. Sometimes it will be something I have seen made which gives me an “ah ha” moment of a direction to go. Other times it can be learning a new technique from a class or fellow jeweller. Or it can be something as simple as a leaf on the ground or image in a book (unrelated to jewellery). I guess what I am saying is that inspiration can come from anywhere. It will just click when you see it.

 

How would you describe your designs?

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First Set Of Sterling Silver Filigree Earrings

My work really spans a large variety of things, however, there are certain themes that seem to be pervasive in many of the pieces. That theme is the combination of geometric forms with free-flowing elements. There is something about the combination of curves and angles that speaks to me. I also do a lot of work that tends to have fine detail integrated into it.

What is your favourite piece you’ve ever created?

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Sterling Silver Textured And Riveted Cuff

I would find it very difficult to choose a favourite piece. I have many pieces that I love for many different reasons. A lot of the pieces that I would call my favourites aren’t the ones that turned out the best or that are the prettiest. They are the ones where I had to really think through them to figure out how to make what was in my mind into reality. Or, pieces where I came up with something novel or very creative that I have never seen done before. It is ironic that my favourite pieces are not usually the ones that customers or friends love the most.

What are you currently working on?

Tension Set Rough Diamond Ring

Well, as a creative person I find that I always have to have at least 2 or 3 projects in flight at the same time. It helps to keep me motivated and prevent boredom and frustration. So I am currently working on a series of men’s wedding bands in a variety of metals as well as a custom pendant for a young lady who is about to graduate high school and head off to college.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a jewellery designer?

Fine Silver Butterfly With Heavy Patina

The best advice that I could give to a new/young/novice jeweller would be to get a mentor. I have the luxury of having a fantastic local school that teaches courses throughout the year in a wide range of topics. Through these classes I have met many master jewellers and have become  friends with them. This is invaluable for learning techniques and tips for solving problems that you will encounter.

The creativity side of things you have to do yourself, but these types of mentors will increase your craft enormously and help guide you in the right direction through their years of experience. 

You can find Jesse’s talent and creativity at:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/noctisjewelry/

Email: noctis.jewelry@gmail.com

Jewellery Masters: Marisa Shuta

Jewellery Designer: Marisa Shuta

Jewellery Designer: Marisa Shuta

Marisa shuta is the jewellery designer and owner of Small Roar Studio. she is a self taught eclectic artist, currently living in Pennsylvania, usa, and who has a huge love for all things creative. She is a silversmith and metalsmith who treats all her designs like a blank canvas. Organically growing from nothing and each developing into a unique piece of jewellery.

She blends together different jewellery designs and styles from various sources, from bohemian vibes, to Native American culture, to punk metal. Never being scared to explore something new.

Sterling Silver Petal Symbol Ring

In all her art you can see her attention to detail. Using elements of nature, symbols, patterns, cultures, precious metal and gemstones in beautiful combinations. Creating unusual and stunning statement jewellery pieces that really speak to you.

If you are looking for jewellery that has a unique style and has the ability to communicate your own individual voice then look no further.

Marisa was kind enough to do a Q&A with me. She chatted about her work, jewellery and design, and much more.

Tell us about yourself, and your love affair with Jewellery.

Sterling Silver Stone Jewellery Being Made

Sterling Silver Stone Jewellery Being Made

I’m Marisa and I am such a mixture of so many different adjectives and verbs! I’m a combat veteran, mother, artist, and social worker. I started making jewellery at 8 years old, selling bracelets made of string at summer camp, to pay for vending machine snacks! It’s kind of comical as my bracelets at summer camp got so popular the camp counsellors had to shut it down as all the campers were asking their parents for money all the time!

 

 

 

When did you first realise you wanted to make Jewellery as a career?

I never honestly thought about turning jewellery making into a career.

Sterling Silver Stone Bangle

Everything kind of fell into place. I started practicing with copper and was practically begging people to buy my items so I could purchase silver to start working with it.

Eventually I started drawing my own designs and was very surprised when I started to sell things. So I don’t like to think of it as a career, just a hobby. I think that is important for someone like myself. If I ever think of anything I love doing as a career, I start to get bored and resist. So, I just kind of go with the flow and keep making, and thankful that people keep purchasing!

The best thing about making jewellery is meeting and talking to people. It’s really an enjoyment for me to interact with similar artists, or customers.

As a designer, where do you draw your inspiration from?

Sterling Silver Onyx Baphomet Pendant

My background is in painting and other mixed media art. So a lot of my ideas just come from my doodles. I try to think of every piece of jewellery as almost like a canvas. I don’t want to paint the same piece every time much like I don’t want to make the same item every time.

How would you describe your designs?

I find comfort in small details. I pull a lot of inspiration from bohemian vibes but I’m also not afraid to approach my darker punk/metal side.

What is your favourite piece you’ve ever created?

Sterling Silver Cremation Memory Pendant

One of my dear friends trusted me make her a piece with her significant lovers ashes. It was really important for me to create her something so beautiful and intimate. I made her a pendant with his initials and an opal on it.

It was really crazy because while working on it the ashes got very hot and I had intended to put a different stone on it to begin with. But something told me to put an opal on it, and I’m glad I did because I didn’t even know it was his birthstone! We were both so shocked.

She wears it everyday, and I then made one for their daughter as well. I love the fact now that she can carry around a little piece of her father and hold him close.

What are you currently working on?

Sterling Silver Labradorite Pendant

Currently I’m working on a bohemian engagement/wedding set. I’m also playing around with stamps and trying to get a feel for Navajo influenced style.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a jewellery designer?

Sterling Silver Green Amethyst Ring And Labradorite Ring

Don’t make things to “sell” just do what you love. Sure, we all want to make money but don’t lose your vision. Be weird! Be unique! It’s really a piece of art that you make for someone else to express themselves on their body. Your pieces will be passed down for generations, so make it something like a little story being told. Oh and also – have fun! Don’t take anything too seriously!

 

 

Sterling Silver Rhodochrosite Pendant

Sterling Silver Rhodochrosite Pendant

You can find Marisa’s talent and creativity at:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/smallroarstudio

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/smallroarstudio

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/smallroarstudio