Lifestyle Locally Made

Laurel Weddings: Nature-Inspired Wedding Jewelry

Wedding Jewelry

Jason Janow, artist

Many brides and grooms who choose to tie the knot in WNC find inspiration for their wedding and related events in the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Those who want their wedding jewelry to reflect their affinity for nature, commemorate their woodland nuptials or capture the colors of a mountaintop sunset, can do so with the help of jewelers who also take inspiration from the outdoors.

FourElements BeadWorks
Owner and designer Suzy Johnson uses precious and semi-precious stones, pearls, coral, shell, mother-of-pearl, sterling silver and, occasionally, 14-karat gold or gold-filled components to create beaded pieces inspired by earth, wind, water and fire. “I see the sunset after a rainstorm, and a series of colors and shapes forms the basis for the next collection that I create,” says Johnson. “A trip to the ocean, the desert or the mountains gives me ideas for every new piece.”

Baby Blue. FourElements BeadWorks. Suzy Johnson, artist.

When creating wedding party jewelry, Johnson uses the colors and/or stones that the bride requests, as well as information such as the wedding theme and wardrobe choices to make coordinating necklaces in any length and color combination. Every piece is designed and handcrafted specifically for its recipient.
“My goal is to create jewelry that reflects the joy of the bride and groom, and to create a piece for each person that they will enjoy and treasure,” says Johnson. “Bringing more beauty into an already beautiful event is a delight for me.”

Find Suzy Johnson’s designs at FourElementsBeadWorks.com.

Jason Janow Jewelry
The latest work by owner and designer Jason Janow features gemstones, diamonds, river rocks, cast tree branches and bark, multiple shades of gold and sterling silver. His appreciation for nature and belief in the early Arts and Crafts philosophy that craft-makers should use materials that are local and familiar, led him to incorporate objects collected from the forests and streams he frequents.

“Custom clients who find me have a connection with nature and with my work,” says Janow. “My goal is to collaborate with them to create a design that is perfect for them and their lifestyle.”

Janow achieves this through a process of communication that begins with listening to the client and identifying details they want and then leading them through the design process. He often uses sketches to help finalize the design.

“Clients trust that the jewelry I’m about to make for them will be comfortable, timeless, durable and fine,” says Janow. “They find balance in my work, just the right amount of this or that, with nothing overdone.”

Janow’s wedding jewelry designs have included sterling silver twig bands lined with 18-karat yellow gold, a diamond solitaire engagement ring in a white gold twig setting and a princess cut diamond set in white gold cast from tree bark.

Janow’s work can be found at Miya Gallery at 20 North Main Street in Weaverville or online at JasonJanowJewelry.com.

Twigs & Leaves Gallery
This gallery in downtown Waynesville offers work by several jewelers, all of whom create nature-related pieces. Becky Smith’s jewelry features everything from birds, branches and flowers, to elk, rabbits and bears. Kim Thompson embraces an Eastern aesthetic, removing extraneous elements from her work to uncover the strength, grace and harmony of the twist of a leaf or pattern of an insect.

“The best designs reveal themselves on their own when I and my hands are simply tools through which the process unfolds,” says Thompson.
Other jewelry artists represented by the gallery include Steve Smith and Lucy and Bob Gibson. Each item at Twigs & Leaves Gallery is one-of-a-kind and handcrafted, primarily by artists from southern Appalachia.

Twigs & Leaves Gallery is located at 98 North Main Street, in Weaverville, and online at TwigsandLeaves.com.

Q Evon, artist

Q Evon Fine Jewelry Collections
Owner and designer Suzanne Q. Evon creates pieces that are influenced by shape, movement and texture. Though her classic black and gold Elements Collection is ever-expanding and evolving, her new 2021 collections are lighter in both feel and color. It was not her intention to create these collections for bridal wear, she says, but she is already getting bridal orders from sneak previews of the pieces on social media.

“After the brutality of 2020, I wanted something soothing,” says Q. “I’ve gone into a more subtle palette of pearls, pale green sapphire, aquamarine, opals and moonstones.”

With a large following for commitment rings as well as nontraditional wedding bands, she describes clients who seek out her jewelry as those who ignore trends, have found their personal style and want something a bit different.

“Nothing I do is outlandish, or tremendously cutting-edge, but I’ve found my place by blending an artistic sense with commercial appeal,” says Q. “This is where I find joy in my work.”

Find Q’s designs at QEvon.com.

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