MEET Our makers
We proudly feature the exceptional work of some of the finest independent makers out there today. Hailing from right here in Maplewood to California, Canada, Japan and beyond, these designers and artisans embody our vision of preserving and celebrating the art of all things handmade. Come meet some of our very talented superstars…
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Amáli designer, Sara Freedenfeld, based in New York City, discovered her passion for making jewelry while backpacking through South America.
Drawing inspiration from the natural landscapes and vibrant textiles that colored her travels, Sara set out to create a line of jewelry that delicately unites the natural simplicity of handcrafted artistry with the sophistication and glamour of high fashion. She is often inspired by textiles, and many of her pieces have a fabric-like sensibility, created by intricately weaving chains and stones to create rich textures.
Birch House Candles is a small-batch soy candle company based in Short Hills, New Jersey dedicated to hand-pouring beautiful soy candles with premium fragrances that are environmentally safe. Inspired by simple and natural beauty as well as an obsession with candles, Emily Gunselman set out to make a luxury candle that is accessible, handmade and 100% sourced in the USA. After hours of burn testing, wick selection and perfecting fragrances, she is proud to offer her soy candles for all to enjoy. “Candles are a simple luxury everyone can enjoy!”
Each candle is made entirely by hand. Birch House Candles uses renewable U.S. grown soy wax, which burns longer and cleaner; eco-friendly and non-toxic cotton wicks; and premium phthalate-free fragrance oils. No color dyes are added, which allows the feature to be pure cream soy wax.
>> Be sure to check out the signature scents, “Maker” and “Muse,” which Emily created exclusively for Maker + Muse — available soon!
Maplewood-based Pamela Bloom creates lovingly handcrafted jewelry that is sophisticated and relaxed, timeless and chic. Her classic, versatile jewelry is specifically designed to be stand-alone statements — but can also be layered for a more dramatic look.
Pam's passion spans from initial design to the handiwork and craftsmanship that goes into making each one-of-a-kind creation. She loves exploring different materials to incorporate into her designs and she draws inspiration from things old and new, modern and vintage.
Gemologist Elina Bromberg, based in New York City, is the mastermind behind Atelier Eline’s stunning high-end, custom made fine jewelry. Elina previously held the role of High Jewelry Grand Vendeur at BULGARI and continues today creating her own line of beautiful heirloom jewelry.
She has always been mesmerized and intrigued by the exquisite beauty of gemstones and the superb craftsmanship of fine jewelry. Every piece in her collection is an example of extraordinary creativity, exceptional mastery, and design.
Based in Montclair, New Jersey, the roots of Johanna Howard’s products are in her native Sweden. There, as a young girl, she sat in her mother’s atelier as she meticulously crafted dresses by hand — and she learned to appreciate the quality and versatility that only hand work can achieve.
Johanna took these influences with her to America, attending fashion school and then establishing herself as a successful clothing designer, working for such companies as BCBG, Katayone Adeli, Express and Gap.
Now, Johanna has turned her eye to designing for the home with her line of luxurious throws and textiles. Through her travels, she has discovered talented artisans and collaborates with them to elevate their traditional craftsmanship with refined composition and a nod to the clean elegance of Scandinavian design.
Designer Jamie Kole, who’s been a proud Maplewoodian for many years, spent much of her childhood in New York in pursuit of all that glitters.
Upon graduation from Parsons School of Design, she began her career designing perfume bottles and packaging. Before long, she realized that the opportunity for expressing her true artistry was not possible within that context, so she switched gears and began designing jewelry that reflected her unique personal style.
Each piece is handmade with meticulous care paid to every detail. Her hand-sculpted silhouettes are inspired by original vintage motifs while semi-precious gemstones and tiny Swarovski crystal elements frame each piece, expressing Jamie’s signature style of ethereal sparkle and femininity.
Mier Luo was raised in Shanghai and Phoenix in an artist family. She now lives and works in New York City after receiving her BFA in Environmental Design and Graphic Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Mier Luo is a small batch brand that focuses on one-of-a-kind porcelain jewelry. With a background in ceramic art and love of craftsmanship, she draws inspiration from texture and form of nature to create quality porcelain accessories with a modern aesthetic. All creations are handmade from porcelain clay, fired to over 2000° Fahrenheit, accented with 22k gold and assembled with 14k gold filled hardware.
Lisa Pressman, an American abstract painter specializing in encaustic, oil and cold wax, hails from our own backyard of West Orange, New Jersey. She earned a BA in Art from Douglass College of Rutgers University and an MFA from Bard College. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad. Numerous private and public collections feature her paintings.
In addition to teaching hundreds of independent workshops and private mentoring programs, Lisa’s credentials include R&F Handmade Paints Core Teaching Artist and instructor for Gamblin Artists Colors. She is an annual presenter and educator at the International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, MA.
From her light-filled studio above the Maplewood Theater — just a block up the street from Maker + Muse — Tara O’Leary captures nature’s essence and communicates it through her paintings. Her work has been greatly influenced by an ancient healing form called Reiki. At one time a Landscape painter, after experiencing multiple sessions of Rieki, the healing and powerful visions took on a venue within her work. Strong, healing colors and shapes morphing in and out of ethereal space. The act of painting has turned into a meditative and cathartic exercise, while the results are infused with pure and authentic energy. At times the painting turns into an abstract landscape.
Ever curious about the world around her, Page Sargisson seeks out objects whose texture, shape and history inspire her. With her ability to see beauty where others might not, Page repurposes and transforms these found objects into uniquely textured, handcrafted jewelry, and in doing so, helps bring out the artist in those who wear these special creations.
Page grew up working in her grandfather’s woodworking studio and learned to carve, sand and make dovetail joints with him. After graduating from Brown and working a corporate job, she took a wax carving class that brought her back to the childhood passion of creating and carving.
Page’s pieces are all handmade in Brooklyn using recycled metals. Her work has a distinct look as she transfers textures from old letterpress blocks, textiles and woodblocks — which attract a clientele who like to collect her pieces.
In a world where so much is mass produced and 3D printed, the ‘brushstrokes’ of her carvings allow the end customer to connect with the artist and imagine the work that went into creating each piece.
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A native of New Jersey, Gary Bodker graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009. Five years later, he founded his studio, Gary Bodker Designs, in Portland, Oregon. He creates from a foundation of traditional, hand-blown glass techniques, taking much of his inspiration from mid-century and classical art glass periods.
His work is clean, elegant, and timelessly modern with his use of color and the way in which his pieces diffuse light. He prides himself on precision craftsmanship and simplicity, making his pieces fluid and delicate — perfect for any decor. Each piece is unique, durable, and intended for everyday use. [Coming soon to Maker + Muse — stay tuned!]
Designer Michele Scholnick uses wax as a sculpture medium. Her jewelry line, Branch, is influenced by all things nature — from the pristine to the decayed — and is characterized in some instances by a soft minimalism, and in others, the use of painstakingly applied texture. Her designs dance between delicate and petite to bold and statement-making featuring a smattering of diamonds for good measure.
Michele carves each piece by hand in her sun-filled Venice, California studio while consuming vast amounts of caffeine (followed by slightly smaller amounts of bourbon) in the process. Michele’s adorable dogs, June and Olive, provide expert assistance.
After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1987 with a BFA in glass sculpture, Carla Caruso moved to the hills of western Massachusetts.
Jonesing for the bright lights, Carla moved back to New York City and spent a few years slinging drinks and waiting tables in the early days of Williamsburg's hipster migration. But the call of small town living led Carla back to western Massachusetts. Deciding between pastry chef and jeweler, Carla found her creative outlet in the latter and she founded Carla Caruso Jewelry in 2001 (she still loves to bake).
She lives in a farmhouse in Ashfield, MA with her faithful pup Birdie, works in a studio above her garage, and continues to design and make each and every piece by hand.
CLAY PATH STUDIO
Every great story starts in a basement, right? Well, their’s does. Seven years ago Brooke Teter and Kirsten Firlik decided to jump of a cliff and turn a long time hobby into a business — Clay Path Studio. Along the way they knew they needed to make a decision as to what they needed to focus on. But the decision came easy — make pots of course, because that is where their gifts and talents clearly laid.
From their studio in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, they focus solely on making simply elegant handcrafted pottery. They aim to create products that are not only practical for everyday use, but also artful and elegant enough for special celebrations and entertaining. From brainstorming to executing designs, to glazing and firing, there isn’t a piece that leaves their studio that hasn’t been worked on by both of them. They’ve discovered they work best as a team. And let’s face it, it’s just a whole lot more fun that way too! [Coming soon to Maker + Muse — stay tuned!]
After an inspirational trip to South Africa, Dean Davidson discovered his love of jewelry, where a dream soon became a reality. Since launching his collection in 2007, Davidson has become an industry leader with his creative designs and his superior craftsmanship, catapulting him to becoming an internationally celebrated designer.
Based in Toronto, Canada, Dean made international headlines when the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, wore his Signature Midi Knockout Studs while making several public appearances recently in London.
Corey Egan creates hand-carved, wearable works of art filled with personality to be enjoyed for generations. She’s fueled by the belief that the things we own should be thoughtfully crafted to tell our stories. The right jewelry is a powerful way to express yourself everyday. When you clasp one of her textured, geometric necklaces behind your neck, or slide on an edgy ring inspired by nature, you’ll feel ready to take on the world.
A love of texture, color, and shape intersect with her jewelry-making passion to form pieces that are edgy yet elegant; beautiful and yet entirely individual.
Her hand carved designs are cast in recycled precious metals and adorned with ethically sourced (recycled or conflict-free) diamonds and all thoughtfully crafted in her studio in Berkeley, California.
Founded in 1949 in Poggibonsi, near Siena, Italy, luxury glassware manufacturer Egizia has grown from its beginnings producing decorated wine bottles for the neighboring Chianti region to an innovator in the field of decorative glass. Utilizing a proprietary process, each piece is hand screen-printed, with their signature work involving the application of silver which is fused onto the glass. Relief detail is also applied with powdered crystal that is fused onto the surface of the glass. All screen-printing is heated to over 500° Celsius to form a permanent bond.
Under the leadership of Chiara Merlo, Egizia boasts collaborations with contemporary designers such as Ettore Sottsass, Paola Navone, Karim Rashid and others. Each work bears a signature or credit to the designer who created it, printed subtly as part of the decoration.
THE FLORAL SOCIETY
Moved by the changing seasons of the natural world and the collaborative spirit of the floral community, The Floral Society makes creative tools and objects to inspire the design enthusiast at home. They believe that everyone with a vision can be both creator and curator — from the budding florist to the skilled host, and all humans in between.
Founded by Sierra Steifman of New York boutique floral house Poppies & Posies, their focus is on time-tested essentials infused with a heavy dose of aspiration. They aim to open up a world of flowers, gardening, and casual entertaining to all from their Dobbs Ferry, New York home base.
Graf Lantz — founded by Holger Graf and Daniel Lantz — is an unconventional lifestyle brand creating classic styles in merino wool felt and quality leather hides. All items are made in their Los Angeles studio and factory. Good design and strong, sincere values are the core of their progressive fair wage workplace.
Steeped in traditional Japanese and German aesthetics, blended with SoCal design elements, Graf Lantz produces an approachable, functional collection crafted from the highest quality materials and honest production practices.
Robin Haley has been making jewelry for over 35 years. Born in Southern California, she got her degree in fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise. Three years after graduating, she started her own business.
She moved to Nashville in 1995, where she became a successful published songwriter. Throughout the years, she continued handcrafting fine and fashion jewelry with the intention of creating the most beautiful jewelry possible. Jewelry has been her life, and that passion is reflected in every single piece.
Her pieces continue to be constructed by hand in her studio in Nashville. All of metals are recycled; gemstones are conflict-free; and her African Glass Beads help ensure jobs in a small African town.
Honeycomb Studio is a small batch, handmade porcelain shop created by Courtney Hamill. Working from her backyard studio in Atlanta, Georgia, she designs and executes small-scale porcelain sculptures by hand. Each piece that comes from her studio has been hand-made, either on the wheel or cast from an original mold, one-at-a-time so that no two pieces are ever exactly alike.
Courtney discovered ceramics later than most. On a whim, she signed up for an introductory ceramics class on the wheel her Junior year in college and developed an intense love-hate relationship with clay. Over the course of many late nights in the studio, the hate melted away and was replaced by a life-long passion for pottery. In 2012, after a brief hiatus from ceramics, Courtney walked away from her career in non-profit fundraising and hasn’t looked back.
After years spent working in the fashion and magazine industry, Dana Kellin’s avocation became her vocation when she founded her jewelry company, with sister and partner Elizabeth Kellin, in Los Angeles in 1994. Kellin’s ingenious and artful approach to the age-old craft of wire-wrapping brought it to the forefront of the designer jewelry market.
Her collections have become known for their artistry, elegance and fine details. She cites Byzantine, Victorian and Elizabethan design influences, yet her creations are infused with undeniably modern undertones. Intricate twists of fine-gauge wire in gold or silver are a signature element of her jewelry, a painstakingly delicate technique that imparts refined femininity.
Clocks keep time and create space.
We look at a clock countless times a day, even unintentionally. Thus the goal of Japanese clockmaker Lemnos is for the clock to enrich the space that you’re in — sometimes like a graceful flower or sometimes like a shiny gem.
With this in mind, Lemnos presents a large number of high-quality items in collaboration with many famous designers. Lemnos products are underpinned by their craftsmen’s refined skills to bring out the best of the material through their interaction with it. The result is a design that will never become obsolete in spite of the passage of time. Their innovative designs and products made carefully in Japan have received high acclaim and won a number of awards, including the Good Design Award.
The origins of LSA International can be traced back to the fashionable ‘swinging sixties’ in London, when Janusz Lubkowski and his wife Ewa were inspired to approach Terence Conran at Habitat with traditional brightly colored enamelware from their native Poland.
Having established the company with co-founder Tony Saunders, the success of their enamelled coffee pots, mugs, kettles and colanders led Janusz to explore other avenues of Polish production — natural wood, leather, porcelain and mouthblown glass.
Today, Monika Lubkowska-Jonas shapes and refines LSA International’s identity, continuing her father’s passion for contemporary design and traditional craft — guided by the creativity and innovation around which the company was originally built. As a result, the products celebrate Monika’s aesthetic, her continued inspiration from artisan processes and the original materials her father championed.
Designer Chan Luu began making jewelry as a young girl, stringing together shells collected on the beaches of her hometown of Nha Trang, Vietnam. Two decades later—after a career in fashion buying and retail—she founded her namesake brand, making her first pieces of jewelry out of her garage in Los Angeles.
A lifelong traveler, Chan’s deep love for traditional handmade crafts have formed the inspiration of many of the brand’s iconic pieces, including the wrap bracelet. Today, Chan Luu encompasses a men’s line as well as women’s accessories in addition to the core women’s jewelry line. Then, as now, the idea of jewelry that is deeply personal to the wearer remains central to the brand's identity.
After graduating from the Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Colleen Mauer moved to California. She began working at a small furniture design company but then decided to change course and follow her dream of traveling the globe. After spending extensive time in Asia, with those vivid experiences on her mind, she was inspired to take her passion for design to the next level.
Fast forward nearly 12 years, and jewelry has become a part of her daily routine — it is the source of her inspiration. She uses texture, color, sounds and tones as tools for transforming a simple section of material into a unique piece of jewelry. Her designs celebrate clean geometries and effortless angles. She loves creating collections that complement any style, from casual and everyday to chic and timeless.
Her studio is located in the bustling Mission District of San Francisco, and she has recently expanded and now has an additional production studio in upstate New York.
Born in Africa, raised in Europe, having lived and worked in Asia, and now residing outside Washington, D.C., Odaybea Morrow is the creative designer of her eclectic jewelry collection. Odaybea’s jewelry reflects her passion for creating unique and exquisite jewelry inspired by the cultural diversity of her background and international experiences.
Combining individually selected precious and semi-precious gemstones and fresh water pearls, Odaybea provides a vast array of color, texture and dazzle to her jewelry. Odaybea’s collections bear the logo of the dragonfly, and embody the dragonfly spirit of taking charge of your life and pursuing your dreams.
Coming from a long line of artisans, it was a natural choice for Sarah Richardson to follow her passion for art. She studied metalsmithing at Rhode Island School of Design, with further design studies in Germany. After graduating, Sarah moved to New York and designed custom jewelry for a gallery in the West Village. In 2006, she returned to Northern California and set up her own studio.
Using traditional wax carving techniques, each piece is hand carved, then cast in 18K gold or sterling. Using heat to bring the fine metal to the surface, each piece is then polished on the edges creating an interior glow.
Philippa Roberts has been designing and creating handmade jewelry in California for over 20 years. Her clean lines, use of colorful stones, and timeless, classic style has stayed true throughout her years in the business.
Moving to the U.S. from South Africa as a child, Philippa never dreamed that her future would lie in jewelry making. It was by accident that she ended up taking a metalsmithing class in college, where she immediately fell in love with the medium.
A move to San Francisco in 1994 led her to work with designers who showed her that a woman could be an artist as well as a business owner. It has been a dream come true for her to be featured in such esteemed art museums as the SFMOMA and the DeYoung Museum among others.
Jill Rosenwald is a designer and maker of colorful, graphic ceramic tabletop goods. All her pottery is handmade in her downtown Boston, Massachusetts studio, located in the Fort Point neighborhood. She loves being surrounded by an amazing community of designers and makers.
Each piece is made to order, handcrafted on the pottery wheel then drawn and painted by skilled artisans. She uses a creamy white earthenware that provides a smooth white canvas for her vibrant and chic patterns. Her dynamic collection includes olive and tapas trays, vases, candy and dip bowls and of course, orchid pots (which can be used for chips in a pinch!) — all trimmed in 14 karat gold and dishwasher safe. If you need to add to your collection of party pieces — or give the perfect gift — her collection will certainly fit the bill! [Coming soon to Maker + Muse — stay tuned!]
Robindira Unsworth is a ‘California dreamer’ and designer of handcrafted jewelry. Her carefully curated collections are as organic and natural-feeling as they are chic and glamourous.
The daughter of an independent filmmaker and a clothing designer, Robindira’s design sense was formed at an early age. As a child, she spent her afternoons in her mother’s atelier….sorting buttons, color coordinating her mother’s vast collection of fabrics and laces and reading countless issues of Vogue and Bazaar.
Upon finishing school, being unconventional like her parents, she chose a different path by working in social services. For many years she worked with diverse populations such as AIDS dementia patients and adults with developmental disabilities. She learned to truly appreciate the strength and beauty of the human spirit and the amazing resiliency of the people around her — and in the process found the desire to create.
Robindira lives with her husband and business partner Robbie and their daughter India in an 1858 Victorian in Petaluma, California — situated in a beautiful valley between the rugged Northern California coastline and wine country.
Acclaimed jewelry designer Vasant, based in California, has been a citizen of the world her entire life, and yet, it wasn't until her decade long annual visits to India began that her inspirations blossomed in to a lifelong artistic quest for perfection. She soon found herself pouring through trays of precious and semi precious stones in search of perfect adornments for herself, her friends and her clientele.
She loves to see how women ‘know’ exactly which stone and piece is right for them. Whether it is the depth of the color or complementary properties of the corresponding stone, she looks for the exact qualities inherent within the gem and its bearer. She gets great pleasure out of seeing her designs light up a beautiful woman!
Minneapolis-based Cym Warkov creates limited edition, timeless ceramic vessels that are imbued with qualities of both that of an archaeological find and a sensual modernity. Her process can be best described as an organic collaboration between herself and the materials involved in making each piece.
That ongoing conversation between imagination/construction, artist/elements is fully immersed in the concept that there is elegance in simplicity and beauty in imperfection. Art and alchemy are in constant play as she extracts the most essential and harmonious aspects. Stillness and movement is equally reflected in each hand-made vessel. They are textured, sculptural forms born out of an intuitive authenticity. [Coming soon to Maker + Muse — stay tuned!]