Kindred Artist of the Week: Michelle Starbuck

"My favorite time saver is to plan on tumbling jewelry overnight ... It really feels good to have work getting done even while I’m sleeping!"

Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

This week’s featured artist is Michelle Starbuck - the illuminated creative hustler behind Michelle Starbuck Designs. Michelle's jewelry has always captured our attention for its nostalgic and elegant composition and we loved getting to know more about the woman behind the work in this interview! 

Who are you?

My name is Michelle Starbuck Amos.  I’m a Chicago- based jewelry designer.

What do you do?

I’ve been making jewelry for Michelle Starbuck Designs for 14 years, full time for the last 5 years.  My designs are a blend of old and new and use a mix of vintage metals and new bronze cast pieces made using CAD design and 3D printing.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by materials.  My design process is sort of backwards.  I look for materials first and then design around them.  I use a lot of vintage findings from old warehouses that I visit a couple times a year.  I’ve definitely reached a point where I can look at a piece of metal or beads at a gem show and know immediately what I want to do with it.  I get on certain tangents with shapes and colors which makes for a naturally cohesive collection.   I’m currently on a circle and square combo tangent which I never would have expected, but I can’t get enough of the two shapes together right now.  Oh, and stripes.  I’m really into stripes.  

What’s your favorite moment in the process?

My favorite moment is when each piece is completely finished.  The experimental phases when I’m working on new designs is good too, but ultimately, I’m the most satisfied when I’m holding a finished idea in my hands.  

What’s a trick of your trade, or a piece of advice for other artists in your medium?

My favorite time saver is to plan on tumbling jewelry overnight.  This is really easy to plan for now since I moved my studio into my apartment, but when I rented a studio, I would still have one tumbler at home to use.  I’ll solder and sand jewelry parts all day, then tumble overnight and get to wake up to mostly finished jewelry.  It really feels good to have work getting done even while I’m sleeping!

What’s next?

I just launched the Summer Collection, so I need to finish designing Fall 2019, Holiday 2019, and Valentine’s Day 2020.  I just recently started playing around with crushed stone inlay, so expect to see some of that in the upcoming collections.

See more of Michelle's work here

Leave a comment