"The whole concept of alchemy and jewelry as a power object that means something different to everyone -- I love that," Suzannah Wainhouse says. In no way could the person behind these assertive, hand-sculpted metal pieces be anything but the kind of potent artist that could be squeezed into a single box. I first laid eyes on one of Suzannah's chunky bracelets at Maryam Nassir Zadeh's LES store and it hit me in that way that I don't feel happens enough anymore (except for Masai wedding necklaces). Fussy as hell when it comes to buying anything new, Suzannah's bracelets have the intensity to work with everything antique and tribal that I already own. "My jewelry does the best in the position where I am, " Suzannah explains. "It's the avant-garde woman who's in her 40s/50s and she's well educated and she travels and she buys artwork and weird things and she doesn't want to be a commercial." This is me, and I am officially obsessed!
Vermont born, the daughter of a defiant hippie mom and French intellectual dad, Suzannah, a mom herself, will never succumb to life on any terms other than her own. She stumbled into her craft of jewelry design when, while studying at Pratt, she meet a 60-year-old jeweler who learned his craft on an Arizona reservation. Quickly, Suzannah went from apprenticing for others to her own business. Her Brooklyn loft belies her intoxicating originality, with indigo fabrics, southwestern artifacts, a closet of rare goodies that's out in the open, and a permanent painting station for she and her toddler daughter. When Suzannah's mom told her that she had to protest, her response, "That doesn't work anymore. Look at what happened to Occupy Wall Street?" While revolutionary marches may be obsolete in America, Suzannah continues to make seismic shifts in her own mystic way -- just take a look at her lightning bolt pendant, my latest and most prized acquisition.
You can see more of Suzannah's jewelry here.