featured Designer | Gretchen McHale
Featured Designer: Gretchen McHale
Company Name: Studio 320 Jewelry
City & State: Philadelphia, PA
Q: Do you have a method or source you look to use for inspiring your designs?
A:I get a lot of my inspiration from fashion, and what I wear…I normally start out with an outfit, and then design my jewelry to compliment it.I also love the sea, and incorporate lots of seashells from my travels into my work.
Q: How often do you work on your jewelry designs?
A: About 5x per week.
Q: How would you describe your design style or technique?
A:Urban eclectic chic…I love beautiful gemstones and raw elements and I love mixing the two together into elegant designs.
Q: Do you work in any other mediums beside jewelry design?
A:I'm an avid iPhoneographer, and love to shoot my jewelry and my daily life.Hipstamatic is my favorite medium.
Q: What is your favorite stone to work with and why?
A:Lately it’s been diamonds….I’m obsessed with their sparkle and all the history and controversy that surrounds them.And I love rough….it’s so cool to tell people that the piece they are admiring is actually made out of diamonds because it’s so incredibly different than what their perception of diamonds may be.But besides diamonds, I really do love all gemstones.I love earthy colors and girlie colors, and I’m intrigued by unique cuts, facets, and imperfections.Oh and I also can’t get enough of rosebud pearls (also known as druzy pearls).They look like these lustrous beautiful pearls that have the mumps.I think they make the stones more beautiful.
Q: What is your favorite shape/ size to work with and why?
A:In the past I’ve always designed with really huge stones.I can wear anything and was designing based on my own aesthetics.I have come to realize that most people aren’t as ready to take as many risks, or are as willing to be so fashion forward.I still design big, but I’ve also come to really appreciate small beads with stunning facets and lots of sparkle.I’d have to say that rondelles are my favorite shape, and usually anywhere from 2mm to 10mm.I like to look at different shapes if I’m working with really large stones.Lately I’ve been consumed with hand wire wrapped linked pieces, which is incredibly time consuming, but the results are beautiful, and it’s a great way to show off your workmanship.The designs are versatile, as I make long pieces that can be layered, or worn around the neck 1x, 2x, or 3x.
Q: If you could pick one person living or not to wear your jewelry who would it be and why?
A: Uschi Obermaier, the famous model and Rolling Stones groupie.Her style seems so effortless and bold, and after seeing the movie 8 Miles High about her life and world travels I was totally inspired…she truly was the essence of bohemian style!
Find Gretchen Online at:
studio 320 Jewelry Etsy
studio 320 Jewelry on Pinterest
studio 320 Jewelry on Facebook