Jill Popowich Designs: Since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved jewelry and was intrigued with designing and making it. I attended the Maryland Institute College of Art where I received a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration. Since 1994 I’ve been working as an Environmental Graphic Designer having the opportunity to travel the world working on large scale retail environments designing signage, sculptures and architectural details. It is this large scale 3-D work that re-sparked my interest in jewelry design and the opportunity to build something that can be interacted with on a personal scale.
All of the jewelry in my shop is handcrafted by me. Since each piece is hand made they will all vary taking on a personality of their own making each one unique and special. Please wear and enjoy each of my creations for its individual personality, shape, texture, material and craftsmanship.
Eastern Market, the legendary open-air arts, crafts, and antiques market on Capitol Hill, is absolutely full of gems. The market is huge, and visitors will find something a little different every weekend, but there are also some pretty amazing regulars. One of those delightful fixtures is Mann Made Designs, an eighteen year veteran of the Market.
Mann Made Designs is the brainchild of full time artist Jimmy Mann, a Florida native who has been making things out of silver, aluminum, glass, and whatever else strikes his fancy since 1989. The Mann Made line is brimming with pop culture references, bold color, and clean, modern lines.
While I was browsing the booths at Eastern Market, Jimmy’s colorful jewelry for women is what caught my eye. Bright, apple green on just about anything is like a magnet for my eyes, but combined with sleek sterling silver? In such an elegant, yet still playful setting? It was like he made this pendant just for me!
The designs at Mann Made go far beyond pretty things for ladies. Jimmy creates an extensive line of cuff links, ranging from the whimsical and irreverent to the elegant and classic. How to categorize the cuff links made from Pabst Blue Ribbon beer bottle caps is probably up for debate in some circles, but there’s no doubt they are popular.
In addition to his collection of cuff links and ladies’ jewelry (including pendants, earrings, rings, bracelets and watches), Jimmy also directs his considerable talent with metal smithing and his eye for color towards creating wall art.
He combines recycled aluminum and stainless steel and patches of bright color to create three dimensional works that are simple and modern, but quite dramatic. All the wall art is made to order, so that means you can request custom colors to match your decor!
Heather and Kerry Alice Collins, Silversmiths
Twigs and Heather is Kerry Alice and Heather Collins, twin sister silversmiths and casters. We opened our studio in 2000 and have been creating one of a kind sterling silver jewelry ever since. Using the lost wax casting method, and a few new tricks of our own, our pieces are cast from plant life native to the Atlantic Northeast, and hand carved wax models.
Heather’s earthy and natural pieces are subtle reminders of just how wonderful something as simple as a twig can be.
There is nothing subtle about Kerry Alice’s pieces. They are bold, modern and urban. Made for the person who isn’t afraid to express themselves.
Our collection incorporates our different styles and personalities with a complementary mix of natural and modern pieces.
Gorgeous sterling silver jewelry by Twigs and Heather.
- Big Spiney Heart Pincushion
- Maple Seed Earrings
- Sterling Silver Beaded Square Green Sea Glass
- Sterling Silver 6 Pin Pincushion
- Lovely Sacred Heart
- Star and Safety Pin
This will be the last post this week as I’m taking time to be with the fam and have good times involving hot cocoa, letters to Santa, and frantic, last-minute toy-assembly followed by (or perhaps accompanied by) cocktails. Wishing similar happiness for you :)
I’m a total sucker for cute and kitschy accessories and Cute Creations certainly fits the bill. Kate, the woman behind Cute Creations, is a graphic designer from the south coast of England and creates acrylic jewelry and accessories that she sells online and through local craft fairs.
Kate has been into arts and crafts since school, where art was her favorite subject. She’s been creating since she was a child, making anything and everything from Christmas decorations to papyrus paper for a school project on the Egyptians! As an adult, Kate became fascinated with “cute” things and started by experimenting with charms made from clay and acrylic paints. These turned out so well that in February 2007, after some detailed research, she decided to sell online via Etsy.
Kate squeezes crafting into her life, quite literally! She is currently living with her boyfriend and her family and has only a small desk to work on. However, she doesn’t let this stop her and finds working in front of the TV or while listening to music relaxing. Kate also crafts part-time and fits it around her full-time job as a graphic designer. Like many designer-makers, at the moment it doesn’t make financial sense for her to craft full-time.
Like me, Kate’s least favorite part of the crafting process is getting the products ready to put up for sale online. I find it so difficult to get good photos and always, always need to do extensive Photoshopping! I’m trying to take comfort in Kate’s view that all the hard work is definitely worth it. Also like me, Kate loves getting customer feedback, especially with repeat business.
Kate’s inspiration for Cute Creations comes from Japanese characters, like those created by Sanrio and San-X. Already enjoying success in accessories, Kate is also planning on branching out into other areas such as plushies and homewares, eventually aiming to craft full-time. I don’t know about you but I’m brimming over with Christmas present ideas!