c o n t e m p l a t i o n s a n d i n s p i r a t i o n s o f a n a r t i s a n j e w e l r y d e s i g n e r

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Studio

My studio is an ever evolving space. Having just completed multiple selling shows in October, I have been busy putting things back into order. Now that the boxes are unpacked and the surplus packing materials put away, I am feeling ready to create.

I find that my creativity is very sensitive to my environment. As I get busy making pieces, I pull out lots of materials, keep them around, re-arrange them, examine the juxtapositions. Before I know it I am in a frenzy. And then, just as quickly I have to stop and clean up. Clear my head and focus. And the cycle repeats.

Thought I’d share some with you about my studio. First, it is a private space. I am not an artist that works publicly. My friend Anita (who is with me at shows and many of you know her) always wants me to do demonstrations, saying that customers would love to see me in action. But being on display crimps my creative processes so I have never done this. In fact, I don’t open my studio to the public. For me, the creative process…getting into the “zone”…is something that requires a certain focus and degree of solitude.

It is November in North Carolina. A really beautiful time of year, the foliage is turning amazing shades of orange, yellow, red and purple (carnelian, citrine, coral and amethyst). This is always very inspiring for me. It started with the skylight over my desk in the office this morning. Yesterday’s rain brought down a lot of leaves and some were plastered to the window. In the background, blue sky and tall trees. That caused me to go to each window and photograph the view. So here are some views out the skylight and windows of my studio. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Recipe for Cleaning Tarnished Jewelry

I have had numerous requests for an easy way to remove tarnish from metal jewelry. Of course there are many commercial products to polish both silver and brass and these are all reasonable choices. This technique uses ingredients you most likely have on hand and is very easy to perform. It works for silver, brass or any metal jewelry that gets tarnished. It does not result in a high shine but it does remove tarnish. This works well for pieces you might have from the Artisan Collection and will bring it back to a nice finish if it has "aged" too much for your taste.

>glass dish
>aluminum foil
>baking soda
>boiling water
>tarnished metal jewelry

First, line a glass dish with aluminum foil. Then place the jewelry on the foil in one layer (don't overcrowd the pieces). Be sure that all of the jewelry is in contact with the foil. Sprinkle the jewelry with a heavy layer of baking soda. Pour boiling water (and I mean boiling!) over the whole arrangement to cover and let it sit for 10 minutes. Remove the jewelry, rinse, dry and wear!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Interview on the Savvy Designer

I met Anne Rush online through her Savvy Designer blog when she recently selected images of some of my Patina Collection to illustrate a current trend in chains. I was delighted to be on her blog (read the entry below for a link to this blog article). She contacted me last week and asked if she could interview me about my business, designs, approaches, etc. Of course I agreed. She asked some really wonderful questions and I am thrilled to be able to share some of my experiences and thoughts. Here is a link to the interview...

Thanks again Anne for shining a spotlight my way!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Savvy Designer Picks Judith Altman Designs

Thanks to Anne Rush for her recent blog entry on The Savvy Designer about Judith Altman Designs Patina Collection. From her blog..."Anne Rush has been a professional designer, director and leader in the Fashion Accessory industry for the past twenty years. Most recently she was the Vice President of Design for Liz Claiborne Inc., New York City. Anne’s talent for identifying trends, directing specific product development,and creating marketing concepts has been at the root of her success."

Anne's blog tracks fashion industry trends from an insider's perspective. Thanks for picking Judith Altman Designs to illustrate the "top chain trend..."!

Read about it by clicking here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A New Collection - {SWEETS}

Sweets - pleasing or agreeable; delightful; amiable; kind or gracious; dear; beloved; precious; something pleasant to the mind or feelings...

The {sweets} Collection is jewelry that is all of the above. Highlighting a singular precious stone or two on delicate gold dipped chain, these necklaces are both easy and delightful to wear. They are sophisticated, understated and elegant. Wear them alone, or layer them. Either way you will feel great. Shop for them at our new online store.

Here are a few samples...

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Another highpointMARKET has come and gone. It is the most intense show ever...with showrooms open for seven consecutive days, eleven hours a day. It is reported that 85,000 buyers come into town for this show (really, a collection of shows). After doing this Market for a number of years, I enjoy it more and more. The highlight for me is visiting with my customers and meeting new customers. We take out family photos, share pictures of kids and grandkids, and in some cases dogs!

Here is a picture of the Judith Altman Designs showroom before the buyers arrived.

Thank you to everyone who purchased Judith Altman Designs! I especially want to thank and welcome my new accounts.

Here are a few of the items that were available at this market:

Friday, February 29, 2008

From A Busy Studio

I have been delighting in a long stretch of uninterrupted studio time. Flush with loads of new materials, and having completed a move into a new, larger studio space, I have been creating many new pieces for spring. As usual, themes have developed. I have become interested in ethnic pieces incorporating ornamentative components from indigenous cultures. I have also been exploring some new structures for necklaces and bracelets. Here are some recent pieces.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Artisan Collection Available at Soft Surroundings

We are so pleased that our Artisan Collection is highlighted in the current catalog from Soft Surroundings and is available online at softsurroundings.com. While we call it The Artisan Collection, they are calling it the Nile Collection. Like the designs of ancient Egypt...they say that this "style could have been worn by someone gazing on the Nile River. While the design is simple, its elegance is beyond reproach." Take a look...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I am so often asked where I get my inspiration. First I would have to say that I am inspired by the beauty of forms and shapes in nature. The stones inspire me. Ethnic traditions and cultures are major sources of inspiration for my designs. Architecture and structural design is a fascination to me. Current design and fashion are inevitable influences. I try to avoid trends and consider my designs trend-sensitive rather than trend-centered. Inspiration is all around and for me design is an intuitive process, a process of discovery.