Jordan Harrison

2017 Emerging Jewelry Artist 18 Years of Age or Younger - Second Place

For Jordan Harrison, architecture is one of her main passions in life, at least so far in her freshman year in college. However, she doesn’t feel she would have chosen this field if it hadn’t been for her love of jewelry. Jewelry and architecture have much in common, as they both revolve around the human body; Jordan’s work is inspired by and promotes this concept. She studied jewelry in high school and has set it aside to pursue architecture, but she has no doubts that she will return to a smaller medium once she completes her studies. Which is good news to us all.

The Winning Piece:

Nickel silver, brass bead and two stone beads.

Soldering. I bent the four main pieces; from there I made the corner braces. I put the bracelet in water and then soldered on the part that was above water to keep the stones from getting too much heat. Then I tumbled the piece.

I wanted to create a geometric piece that wasn’t just a bracelet, but an interactive piece of jewelry.

It took me two weeks.

What did you learn from the piece?

I learned a lot about soldering and how difficult it can be. I also learned about how to pick your problems and to work through them.

Are you going to sell it?

I don’t think so. I will probably keep it. I am not really doing jewelry at the moment so I would like to have it around.

Do you think this piece will influence your work going forward?

No. I am studying architecture at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

What do you like most about the piece?

I like how unified it looks. This piece and others influence my designs now when I am in college. With architecture it is similar to jewelry; you are designing around the human figure, and I feel it is one reason why architecture appeals to me.

The Artist:

Where do you live?

San Luis Obispo, California.

When did you discover that you loved making jewelry?

In high school. I started taking jewelry classes and I loved it. I really enjoy art and just making things. I studied jewelry for three years in high school, beginning when I was 15.

How long have you been making jewelry?

Three years.

Do any of your other passions influence your work?

I grew up in the Northwest, and nature has always been my biggest source of inspiration in nearly everything I do. I think design is a medium of expressing my experiences from the outdoors.

Who is your design/jewelry mentor?

Wendy Woldenberg and Kyle Rees. They were my teachers at Auburn Riverside High School in Auburn, Washington.

When are you most creative?

Honestly, it comes at random times. I have a sketch book with me all the time and jot down ideas when I get the inspiration.

Saul Bell Design Award:

What made you decide to enter the competition?

Because of Wendy Woldenberg; my jewelry teacher encouraged me to enter.

What other design awards have you won?

I have won a couple at my school and I won the Passing the Torch award in the jewelry category, First Place, which is a statewide high school competition put on by the Seattle Metals Guild award.

How did you hear about the competition?

Through the school and Ms. Woldenberg.


What do you love about making jewelry?

Putting in a lot of hard work and seeing your work turn into something you can show to others. I realize how proud I feel about sharing my work.

Studio and Surroundings:

What is the one thing you most love about your studio?

I don’t have a studio at the moment. I will absolutely have a jewelry studio when I get out of architecture school.

What is your favorite tool?

I love my pliers; they are so useful and are used in nearly every project I do. They are there for what I can’t do with my hands.

Do you listen to music, book on tape or watch tv when you work?

I like to have a little noise in the background, mostly music.


What one word of advice would you give beginning designers?


What achievement in your jewelry life are you most proud?

How far I have come. That is huge even in itself. Starting with no knowledge and continuing to grow in design is something to be very proud of and this award is something I will remember forever.

What designer would you most like to have dinner with or visit their studio?

Zaha Hadid.

Interview by Marlene Richey