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Episode 137: Part 1 - Tess Sholom: From the Runways of Paris to the Goldsmith’s Studio with Goldsmith Tess Sholom

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station description From Antique to Art
Jewelry Journey Podcast
Duration: 22:07
What you’ll learn in this episode: What it was like to design jewelry for high-fashion runways in the 70s and 80s How the right piece of jewelry can transform the wearer  Why creative problem solving is the best skill you can have as a goldsmith How Tess’ work wound up in the Metropolitan Museum of
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What you’ll learn in this episode: What it was like to design jewelry for high-fashion runways in the 70s and 80s How the right piece of jewelry can transform the wearer  Why creative problem solving is the best skill you can have as a goldsmith How Tess’ work wound up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution and other museums How the jewelry field has changed with the popularization of social media Additional Resources: Website Instagram Facebook Photos: Blue Sky Chalcedony Byzantium Earrings Byzantium Necklace Circes Circle Necklace Illusion Necklace  Ionian Necklace  Its A Wrap Necklace Naiad Necklace About Tess Sholom Warm and malleable but also strong and enduring, gold shines with the spirit of life itself. For designer and jeweler Tess Sholom, gold is both medium and muse. Tess Sholom began her jewelry career in fashion jewelry in 1976, designing pieces that appeared on the runways of Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar de la Renta and James Galanos, and the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Her fashion work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, Museum of the City of New York, the Racine Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and other museums. After two successful decades in fashion jewelry, she trained as a goldsmith and fell under the spell of high-karat gold. She decided to stop designing high-volume fashion jewelry and begin again as a hands-on studio artist, creating one-of-a-kind 22k gold jewelry in the workshop. Tess Sholom always had an eye for accessorizing, but she didn’t realize it would lead her to a long and fruitful career as a jewelry designer. While working as a cancer researcher, a long-shot pitch to Vogue opened the door to a 30-year career as a jewelry designer for fashion runways. Her latest career move was opening Tess Sholom Designs, where she creates one-of-a-kind, high-karat gold pieces. She joined the Jewelry Journey Podcast to talk about how she designed jewelry for Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass and Karl Lagerfeld; why problem solving is the thread that runs through all her careers; and how she plays on gold’s timeless, mystical quality in her work. Read the episode transcript here.  Sharon: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Jewelry Journey Podcast. Today, my guest is Tess Sholom. Many of you may have been aware of her fabulous statement pieces she designed for the runway, or you may have drooled over the pieces without knowing who the designer was. Today, she has taken a different path and is now both a designer and a jeweler in high-karat gold. She operates Tess Sholom Designs. We’ll hear all about that today, her whole jewelry journey and about what she’s doing. Tess, welcome to the program.   Tess: Thank you. It’s good to be here.   Sharon: So glad to have you. Tell us about your jewelry journey. It must be an interesting one, because you’ve covered a lot of different areas.   Tess: It has covered a lot of different areas, and it’s been on for a long time. When I graduated college, I actually went into cancer research. I was working in a laboratory and found that I didn’t like the isolation, so I went to Physicians and Surgeons Medical Center for a year to become a physical therapist. That I liked; solving problems, helping people.    Then, the year I married my husband in 1976, we were invited to a wedding in the woods. We were told to wear jeans because we were going to be in the woods and rolling around in the woods, and I thought, “This is awful. A wedding? This is when I try to get all dressed up in my best, and I’m wearing jeans?” But I complied. I bought a pretty gauze top; they were in style in the 70s. I made a necklace of beads and seeds and ribbons, and I made a belt to go with it. At the wedding, people kept saying, “That’s beautiful. Where did you get it?” Every time I said I made it, they would say, “Well, you should be doing this professionally.” It’s crazy. It put a
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