Jean is the talented designer behind “3squares” where you can find elegant & minimal jewelry designs inspired by her passion for cooking. So, if you browse through her gallery you’ll find pieces entitled “Fettucine Puttanesca”, “Banana Foster”, “Pancakes”, “Triple Donuts” and many more amusing and original names. Today she lets us in her creative life, views and inspirations.
Hello Jean, what triggered your passion for jewelry design and what does “3Squares”, the name of your brand mean?

I’ve been creating ever since I can remember, but had a hard time finding the best medium for me. I tried painting, sewing, ceramics… but when I held a sheet of metal and a jeweler’s saw in my hands, it just felt right.

The name 3squares comes from my culinary obsessions. I have a busy husband and a 13-year old daughter who I am always encouraging (nagging) to eat better. I love to cook, but with our crazy schedules we often just have to fend for ourselves.  Our goal is to get in 3 square meals each day. And dessert occasionally, of course. 
What are your favorite materials and techniques when you assemble your pieces?

I’m a freak for metal, especially sterling silver. I’m attracted to clean architectural lines, and metal allows me to create interesting pieces without adding a lot of frilly details. I like to play with different shapes and finishes while incorporating accents such as hardware and leather to inject a little attitude into my work.

I create jewelry using only cold connections such as rivets, bolts, wire and screws. No solder here! It’s challenging to think through the engineering required to make everything fit together.
Where do you find inspiration in order to start creating?

I have a collection of more than 100 cookbooks, and I read them like novels. Really, at least a couple are sitting on my nightstand as we speak. A recipe or ingredient can spark an idea for a shape, color or texture. I generally sketch out my thoughts, and those often mutate into other ideas until I have pages (or envelopes or napkins) full of variations on a theme.

Can you share your top 3 favorite jewelry designers?

Well it changes daily, maybe more often than that. Today I will say Thomas Mann, Susan Lenart Kazmer and every member of the Jewelry on Etsy team.

How would you describe your selling experience in Etsy and what are your opinions concerning online promotion and advertising?

I learned quickly that the “build it and they will come” approach just doesn’t work. When I first opened my shop, I was a little nervous about approaching other sellers for advice and bloggers for feature requests. But once I reached out, I found a huge global community of generous artists more than willing to share lessons learned, give advice, and spread the word about my work.
What was the last art / craft exhibition you visited and what were your impressions?

Not exactly an exhibition, but I visited the Robie House in Chicago recently. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1908, and it is simply a masterpiece. The level of detail is incredible, and Wright designed everything – the lights, furniture, gardens. Fantastic!
How do you see yourself in 5 years from now as a crafter?

I try different techniques all the time, so I see my line continuing to grow in all sorts of new directions. I’m so lucky to do this every day, it’s so rare to really love your job. At this point I can’t imagine doing anything else.

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