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Fashion Force

Jewelry’s big moment

The craft is thriving in Boston, thanks to great schools and a community that’s wild for handmade.

We’re in the midst of a handmade renaissance, and jewelry making is at the forefront. Yvonne Markowitz, the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry at the Museum of Fine Arts, cites a blooming in all major cities. “I’ve seen more and more jewelers and jewelry dealers at the shows recently,” she says, but notes that the market is especially strong here in Boston. Programs at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Rhode Island School of Design all train and cultivate young artists. “Artists like to be in communities that support artists,” says Markowitz, who gives students and instructors tours of the MFA’s jewelry gallery nearly every semester. “These schools have a lot to do with young people choosing to live and work here,” she says. The Society of Arts and Crafts, which organizes the juried Craftboston show and runs a store and a mentorship program, feeds the local culture, too, as do studio events, the SoWa Open Market, and even the development of live/work lofts. Here’s just a sampling of the pieces Boston’s emerging talents are creating.

Concave ringCrustacean series concave ring in sterling-silver with yellow topaz by Monique Rancourt

$400 at the Society of Arts and Crafts


175 Newbury Street, Boston


Infused Studs

“Infused Studs” oxidized sterling-silver earrings by Leah Meleski

$150 at MassArt Made

625 Huntington Avenue, Boston


Apple charm necklace

Apple charm necklace in gold plate over sterling silver by Hannah Blount

$106 at Topaz

11 Dunster Street, Cambridge


Gold Stems

“Gold Stems” hammered-gold fill on sterling-silver chain by Ripegoods

$96 at 13 Forest Gallery

167A Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington


Feather bracelet

Feather bracelet in brushed onyx, sterling silver, and pave diamonds by Lee Essex Doyle

$500; to purchase, e-mail

Kathy Chapman


“Braque” oxidized/brushed sterling-silver earrings by Dev Bennett,

$230 at Alchemy 9.2.5


48 Leonard Street, Belmont



“Jim” oblong brass and snakeskin bracelet with waxed cotton by Beatrice Kim,

$225 at Good

133 Charles Street, Boston


D. James Dee


“May” stackable rings in 18-karat gold by Becca Straus,

$870 each at Michele Mercaldo

276 Shawmut Avenue, Boston



“Bullet” earrings in sterling silver by Sophie Hughes,

$160 at Fire Opal

320 Harvard Street, Brookline