Bethany jewelry designer sparks celebrity interest
Hammered-leaf treasures earn coveted invite to Fashion Week and Emmys
Its been a busy month for one Bethany jewelry designer.
Andrea Procida, owner of Andrea Wysocki Jewelry, teamed up with The Artisan Group to gift 75 pairs of her hammered sterling silver earrings with a leaf motif and tunduru sapphires to celebrities who attended GBKs Styling Lounge during the 2013 New York Fashion Week.
Wysocki was also selected to participate in GBKs 2013 Emmys Gifting Lounge, where members of the press were given a pair of her triple open leaves with champagne citrine earrings and celebrities walked away with Wysocki Jewelry business cards tucked away in their swag bags.
Procidas handcrafted jewelry also earned the designer a nomination for Martha Stewarts American Made Award.
With the launch of her fall Leaves Collection, the Bethany businesswoman, artist and mother is embracing the bounty of attention her creations are captivating.
The lines signature hammered textures and matte finishes add interest to the classic shapes I favor, Procida said of what women of all ages find appealing about her work. These are pieces that are as comfortable as a trusted friend and that you can count on to add a feminine touch to any outfit.
Her jewelry is meant to be worn every day, she added.
The Canadian native would love to say she grew up dreaming about designing jewelry, but she initially went to college to study graphic design.
During her second semester at the Academy of Arts in San Francisco, she took her first jewelry-making class and was drawn into the craft.
Once I figured out the sawing and soldering, I realized I really liked working with my hands and kept going, she recalled. I was drawn to working small. I took welding and learned that I didnt like to work big. I enjoyed more intricate work that had a lot of detail.
Nearly 12 years ago, she started making chainmail jewelry, beach glass jewelry and bezels. She also sharpened her tools in the industry doing production work for another designer for nine years.
I started slowly doing my own line, Procida said. I started selling pieces in wineries and at shows, but I never fully went for it.
Despite the slow start, the simplistic, modern beauty of her work caught the eye of The View from the Bay television show, which invited her to make an appearance in November 2006.
Around the time she and her husband, Ralph, welcomed their eldest son Logan, who is now 5, Procida stopped working full-time for the other designer, and the family relocated from the Bay Area to Oregon.
Being surrounded by nature in the Pacific Northwest as well as motherhood has proved to be the greatest inspiration to Procida, whose youngest son, Conor, turned 2 in September.
It was when Conor reached his first birthday that Procida truly focused on building her business.
There was just something about him turning 1 that made me want to really go for it, she recalled. I kept seeing all these circles around me. I tend to pick a shape that serves as the motif for a collection.
Play on shapes
She carved out hours in her studio sometimes late into the night and early in the morning to create shimmery silver pieces incorporating circles around colorful stones.
My pieces tend to have an organic feel to them, which comes from the incredible environment around me, she explained. You will notice a lot of sea greens and blues, as I am drawn to subtle, soothing colors. I started adding a hammered texture to my work a few years ago, which has now become my signature look. It is a way for me to leave my mark on every piece.
It was a walk in her Bethany neighborhood in March that led to her fall Leaves Collection.
I found these tiny pinecones in my neighbors yard and decided to cast one, she said.
That got her thinking about pairing the pinecones with hammered sterling silver leaves. Bringing the beauty in nature indoors to her studio, Procida crafted a collection of 26 pieces, some with sapphire, garnet or feldspar accents. It breaks down into what she called mini-collections that center on solid hammered leaves; long, thin hammered leaves; triple open leaves and large, open leaves.
Between making each piece and promoting my business, its a lot of work, but it is so rewarding to be doing what I love every day, Procida said.
Andrea Wysocki Jewelry is available online at andreawysocki.com and locally at the Japanese Garden in Portland. It is also available at retailers in Alaska, California, and Wisconsin.
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