5 Questions with the Designer, Temple St. Clair

1. When did you realize that you wanted to become a jewelry designer?


I fell in to the jewelry world completely by chance. While in Florence in the 1980’s studying art and literature, my mother came for a visit and was intent on finding an ancient coin to set in a jewel. At a local antiquities dealer, I found for her a rare 4th-century BC Carthaginian coin. She left me with the task of getting the coin made in to a jewel. I discovered the hidden world of the Florentine artigiani. I was (and still am) captivated by the story of gold and jewelry. The rest is history!

2. What is your inspiration?

The cultural arts and nature meaning… everything from painting, architecture, textiles to dance, music, and mythology to the incredible creatures that inhabit the natural world. Through jewelry, I study and explore all the things that I love. I am incredibly fortunate to be occupied with beautiful rare materials, exceptional craftsmen, and an endless bounty of topics that the world offers.

3. You say that you are a storyteller. How is that conveyed through your work?

I spend my time exploring the big universal stories that tie us together. My jewelry is rooted in history and tradition yet modern. It is typically women who collect my pieces for themselves, as their own personal talismans. In the jewelry, I reference and reinterpret themes and concepts that are close to all of us. Whether in a pattern, a choice of gemstone color, or signature details, my jewelry seems to touch people in a subtle way, in a way that only a true jewel and keepsake can. It is hard to explain in words: it’s more ephemeral, a feeling, something familiar yet new. It’s our past and present all blended into a jewel.

4. What’s in your (personal) jewelry box?

An assortment of treasures: ancient Greek and Roman coins both loose and set in rings, my very first Rock Crystal Amulet, my first gemstone ring – a cabochon emerald in one of my classic settings, my angel pendants with my sons’ names engraved on them, my serpent ring, my treasured Australian Lightening Ridge Black Opal Tolomeo Ring, my granulated hoops (fondly known as “my yoga earrings”).

5. If you were not a jewelry designer, what would you do?

A naturalist, an explorer, a painter, a yogi and a linguist….I speak Italian and French….Japanese is next on the list…. And forgot to mention I’d like to master a little Bach on the piano….