Meet The Maker: Questions and Solutions with Jilian Maddin

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How did you become a jewelry designer?

I started studying environmental design, which I really liked, especially the practical aspect of model making. In the meantime, my friend in the jewelry design program has bought a building and I’ve moved in as a tenant. She and I spent a lot of time together doing our “homework” – I designed architectural models and she made jewelry. She taught me some advanced jewelry skills and I started making pieces that sold instantly. Seeing how well my designs were going, she suggested that I use my obvious talent for design and move on to the goldsmithing program.

This was perfect timing as I realized that my favorite part of the architecture (the hands-on modeling) was only a small part of the job. Jewelry had both the design and the practical elements that I loved minus the computer work.

So I finished my architecture studies, started the goldsmithing program and have never looked back. It’s been about 15 years now – I have two daughters, built a business that I love, and designed tons of pieces. Meanwhile, I’m still in the original studio (Made You Look), working shoulder to shoulder with my best friend. We’re so grateful that we were able to build these incredible careers together – it’s a little piece of heaven.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The stone is always my starting point of inspiration. I find a stone that I love and let the lines, the colors and the cut inspire the design.

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