REBECCA MIR GRADY: When did you start your jewelry line? What lead you to jewelry making?
TODD REED: While on a family vacation in Bisbee, Arizona, I saw a working silversmith and it forever changed the way I viewed design and my life.
I watched in awe as this man turned sheet metal into body adornment in what seemed to be a very short time.
After designing furniture, clothing, leather work, creating sculpture and painting and graduating with honors from culinary school, [I] became good friends with a well-known diamond collector.
TR: He completely took me under his wing. His love for diamonds was infectious, and he showed me the artistry and miniature sculpture that appeared in the rough stones.
I was riveted and wanted to know and see more. I realized that my aesthetic was to create jewelry that would push the boundaries of what precious pieces could be, and to merge the freedom of artistic expression with the allure of fine jewelry.
RMG: How did you get exposure for your line early on?
TR: I sent Polaroids of my designs with personal notes to everyone - a personal note goes a long way. I kept following my passion and didn’t compromise.
RMG: What lessons have you learned over the years? Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?
TR: Go with your passion, do not compromise!
RMG: What are you working on right now?
TR: My men’s division - I am putting much of my energy into that. Also, my new studio on Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, California - I am designing the space with the talented Mike Moore from Tres Birds - he also helped design the Boulder space.
RMG: How long have you been in Colorado? Does the landscape inform your work as a designer? Are there any places in particular that you return to for inspiration?
TR: I have been in Colorado a long time, but settled in Boulder in 1996.
Everything around me is inspiration - nature, interactions and moments in time.
RMG: What is your favorite material to work with?
TR: I work primarily with 18ky gold, sterling silver and Palladium. Currently I’ve been doing a lot of work with leather which has been fun.
RMG: Do you have a favorite tool in the studio?
TR: As far as favorite tool, I have a portable chase and hammer I like for setting. Laser welders are pretty good too.
All photos: courtesy Todd Reed.
“R&Design" is a monthly interview series that features jewelry designer Rebecca Mir Grady, who launched a debut jewelry collection under her eponymous label in 2013, in conversation with new and established designers. The monthly guest column is a platform for the exchange of ideas, advice, and fashion-focused research and development strategies. This post first appeared on Past Fashion Future.com