We met up with jewelry designer Joanie Landau to talk about her newest jewelry line. With a passion that was unknowingly sparked at a bead store in Santa Fe, NM., Joanie’s driving force is her love of unique and beautiful designs.
TrueFacet: We would love to hear a bit more about your journey into jewelry design and how you got started.
Joanie Landau: In Santa Fe I found this store and I had to stop. Much to my husband’s chagrin, we were in the store for hours. I spent $1000 retail on beads and stones because they were too beautiful to leave behind. My husband asked, “What are you going to do with all of that?” I said, “I don’t know, I’ll go home and figure it out.” And that’s what I did.
TF: Could you tell us a bit more about the gems you choose and the sourcing of the materials behind your designs?
JL: Everything I do is difficult for the manufacturer because it’s always very intricate designs and little stones. I’m always drawn to the colored stones like tsavorite. I use sapphires, pink sapphires etc. Women, especially from my generation, are very boho-esques and they love the look and feel of nature elements likewood and lava. Lava really drives people wild because it has that cool, unique feeling. Moonstone and labradorite may be my favorite materials. You get that beam when held up to the light and that is just extraordinary.
With the new line, we are really trying to up the quality of the diamonds. In my metalsmithing class, I wanted to make a shield, which is a big part of my line coming up. I am very fascinated by amulets and shields; my very first ring was a sterling silver shield with three stones in it and it was my private protection. I have all these designs for shields that aren’t necessarily screaming out “shield,” but they have a center and the center is supposed to be like that eye that’s going to protect the wearer.
TF: Is that shield design your favorite design, or do you have another one?
JL: I do have a couple pieces that I love because I love the way they feel. I combine all the jewelry with either quartz or leather, so there’s always this combination of soft and hard. And that’s my niche.
TF: What would have as advice for someone coming into the jewelry world, a newbie?
JL: I would say, stay focused, think outside the ordinary, and always do something original. It’s going to come back to haunt you if it’s not really yours. At the end of the day, you put your own spin on it, but that moon is not yours, somebody else has it also…
Everything has to be started from a piece of paper. That’s what I would tell somebody…
You have to start from scratch. You have to have your own vision and focus. There’s so much out there to love and there are so many different styles to love but you have to hone in on one. You could have two different lines, or three different lines, but they have to, at the end of the day, connect.