After learning goldsmithing at her father’s jewelry shop, the Southern California native studied sculpture at USC and graphic design in New York. The resulting collections take influence from Aztec and Mayan artifacts blended with her personal style.
Designer Joanne Tagorda’s penchant for oxidized metals, geometric pendants, and tangled steel made her an instant hit with edge-loving collectors. Thankfully, her prices play nice: Most pieces come in under $50.
After stints with Manon von Gerkan and Philip Crangi, designer Kathryn Bentley decided to fly solo. Her Victorian- and Edwardian-inspired cocktail rings make us glad she did. Diffusion label Dream Collective is a mix of architectural, earthy spinoffs with just as much soul.
Echo Park ceramist/bonnet maker/jeweler Kathleen Whitaker takes an understated approach to earring design. Mix-and-match dots, dashes, and staple studs leave even the staunchest commitment phobe weak in the knees.
The design-world icon delighted fans with a highly anticipated (and very recent) foray into accessories design. Pyrite cube bangles and lapis and brass rings are right at home at her midcentury-glam Melrose digs.
Proof that pretty isn’t always as pretty does: In addition to working with raw turquoise and gold thread, designers Nat Mauro and Cole Morrall melt recycled bronze bullet casings and cast molds from fox, shark, and rattlesnake vertebrae to create their wild, stylish works.
Flight-driven themes (from precious metal cracked eggs and twigs to bird and nest charms) take flight throughout Kelly Dent’s jewelry line. And just so we don’t ruffle any feathers: Her arrow-themed pieces are beautiful, too.
Designer Amanda Thomas has a knack for statement-making body chains, and other pieces that toe the line between tough and sweet. Sound too hot to handle? More familiar silhouettes (pyramid bolo ties and sheet metal cuffs) are easier to wear but no less intriguing.
Paris-born, Santa Monica-based Hortense Bonneau made a graceful transition from fine jewelry to more affordable (but no less precious) adornments via a collection of colored-string bracelets dotted with precious metal bits and beads.