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Designer Spotlight: Jane D'Arensbourg



How did you get started ?


I’ve always been pretty crafty and artistic and loved to make hand made gifts since I was a little girl. I started making glass jewelry in college for fun and as gifts for my mom and close friends. I had a studio visit from an art collector in NYC around 2000, and they spotted some glass jewelry on my workbench. They suggested I show it to a shop owner they knew and it pretty much snow balled from there! Around this time I also was in a group show with my fine art at The Museum of Art and Design, NY. The jewelry curator also noticed my work, which gave me a real boost of confidence to launch a glass jewelry business, and take it a bit more seriously.


 What is your background leading up to your collection ?


I started working with glass while studying sculpture at California College of Arts in 1996. For my senior show I created an installation with life size glass fishnet stockings precariously hanging from the ceiling with glass chain link. The glass chain was surprisingly strong. I then started experimenting with making glass necklaces with the chain. One of the first glass necklaces I made had small hour glasses filled with sand attached to the glass chain. I also made glass knuckle rings with blood red glass streaks of glass fused to the top. I called these “Instant karma rings”. I’ve always thought of my jewelry as an extension of my artwork.


Where do you find your inspiration? how has this changed over time since you began to design ? 


It’s hard to say exactly where my inspiration comes from. When I work it is very intuitive. I try to listen to what the glass wants to do. I love working with glass, because it is so slow and calm, and you have to be laser focused while working. I am almost in a meditative state while working. I can totally loose track of time. I try to capture the fluid and organic nature of glass in my work. Some of my first metal rings were inspired by seeing the Miro museum, in Barcelona. There was a room with a mercury pool, contained behind glass. My goal with my metal rings is to capture a similar feeling of dripping mercury or mirrored glass.



What is your hope for the future of this industry and/or in general  ? 


I hope that this time for everyone to reflect and slow down will come with many changes for the best. I think slow fashion is getting more momentum. More brands are making smaller collections and also keeping a permanent collection of greatest hits. I have always designed jewelry with the goal to make work that is timeless and not about a shallow fleeting trend. I think my customer is someone who is looking for something different and a unique experience. I have always kept the pieces of jewelry that I feel are still relevant in my current collection. I now have a pretty large collection of classics that I am known for. The artist in me is always experimenting and needing to make new things to keep things fresh and interesting. So I rotate my greatest hits along with new work each season. I think more designers are making their own business model that fits their brand, without worrying about fitting into a constricting fast fashion model.


What is your main source of calm/distraction during these stressful times ?


I've been spending a-lot of my free time gardening.  I moved my family from Brooklyn to Long Island in March. It was perfect timing to get started on a backyard garden. We turned a large old bookcase into a raised garden bed and all the shelves into two more raised beds. We now have veggies and herbs for the Summer. I've also been watching a-lot of you-tube videos and listening to pod-casts on gardening. A few favorites @self_sufficiant_me , @epicgardening , @growingyourgreens and @fruition_seeds . Its been so rewarding growing our own veggies. I just stepped it up and put together two more 4’x6’ raised beds. It's a little late in the season, but I am hoping to squeeze in some more lettuces and have an early jump on next season. I’ve learned quite a-lot about gardening in the past couple months. 


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