By Natasha Anderson
Though the wedding itself is fleeting, the union and the jewelry are meant to last forever. To ensure your engagement ring, wedding bands and other commemorative pieces will stand the test of time, choose a jeweler who takes the utmost care in their designs and craftsmanship. Read on to find a few who fit the bill.
Sweet Magnolia Gallery
At Hendersonville’s Sweet Magnolia Gallery, home of Melinda Lawton Jewelry and Studio, couples can work with Lawton to create a one-of-a-kind design or purchase a piece from one of her collections.
“More and more, couples have a desire for their rings to tell a story and mean something to them and their families,” she says. “I work with them from the beginning of the design process to the final product to create the rings of their dreams.”
The incorporation of heirloom jewels continues to be popular as do colored stones as alternatives to diamonds. With an extensive network of vendors throughout the world, Lawton is able to locate nearly any gem in existence.
Sweet Magnolia Gallery is located at 1406 Greenville Highway, Hendersonville. To learn more, visit MelindaLawton.com or call 828.697.2212.
FourElements BeadWorks owner Suzy Johnson has always been inspired by the natural world around her, but she has also begun creating more holiday and event inspired designs. Her recent work includes a fundraising Solidarity Series for World Central Kitchen Ukraine featuring blue aventurine, citrine, cultured yellow seed pearls and other beads in shades of blue and yellow; a limited fundraising series in hues reminiscent of the Florida coast for Hurricane Ian victims; and pieces in gold, silver and white, the colors symbolic of the winter solstice. Johnson also frequently creates jewelry incorporating clients’ own belongings.
“I absolutely love to create custom pieces,” she says. “It’s sentimental for the clients and fun and challenging for me.”
Echoing Lawton’s observation about wedding jewelry, Johnson notes that couples are using more color in both their wedding dresses and in wedding party clothing and décor. Blue is a popular choice and one that Johnson is happy to work with due to the many gemstones available in various shades of the hue.
“Blue is one of the most versatile color groups,” she says. “It plays well with others both in color contrast and energy.”
Learn more at FourElementsBeadWorks.com.
Jason Janow Jewelry
Jason Janow’s creations are based on his awareness of nature’s inherent beauty and his belief in the early Arts and Crafts philosophy that makers should use materials that are local and familiar to them. He typically returns from fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities with his pockets full of river stones, twigs and other found items. In his studio, these materials come together with precious metals and gems to form his designs.
Janow’s collections include Bark, Twig Riverstone and Love Love Love, a collection of engagement rings and wedding bands. He also works with clients to create custom pieces.
“My newest collection that I’m building upon consists of white and yellow gold, with diamonds, colored stones and thin branches,” he says.
Learn more at JasonJanowJewelry.com.
The Gallery at Flat Rock
The Gallery at Flat Rock offers jewelry for many tastes and budgets. Delicate designs by artists Jan Durand and Kay Bonitz incorporate semi-precious stones and glass beads. Metalsmiths Lisa Colby, Joanne Davis-Woods and Meredith Middleton create bolder pieces. Christine Stanley uses freshwater pearls in her necklaces and earrings, making them a great choice for a classic wedding look. Most of the gallery’s jewelry artists are also open to commissions.
“One of our artists just completed a commission of ten unique pieces of jewelry that incorporated sea glass the client had collected over her lifetime, to gift to each woman in the family,” says The Gallery at Flat Rock owner Suzanne Camarata.
According to Camarata, couples like to know a bit about the people who made their jewelry and are hiring artists they connect with to make their wedding pieces. She also notes that diamonds aren’t always the most desired stones anymore, as brides often favor stones that are meaningful to them or that have a particular significance.
The Gallery at Flat Rock is located at Flat Rock Square at 2702-A Greenville Highway, Flat Rock. To learn more, visit GalleryFlatRock.com or call 828.698.7000.
Marthaler Jewelers, in Fletcher, specializes in custom jewelry design. The team, led by co-owners Andy and Tonya Marthaler, work closely with clients to create new pieces from scratch, restore heirloom jewelry or redesign an existing piece. Options include placing vintage or antique stones in a new setting, melting gold to design something new or creating a fresh design by combining multiple existing items. Marthaler also offers many jewelry lines in its gallery, including Venetti, Sylvie, Precision Set, Benchmark Rings and Vintage and Estate Jewelry.
Marthaler Jewelers is located at 3578 Hendersonville Road, Fletcher. To learn more, visit MarthalerJewelers.com or call 828.676.1625.