Featured Artisan: Janet Setter

North Jersey-based artisan jewelry designer Janet Setter has been hand-making jewelry for many years. After a long career in the automotive aftermarket industry selling brake pads, headlights and truckloads of antifreeze, Janet followed the trail toward her passion: designing silver jewelry. After studying alongside a silversmith in Oregon, Janet was inspired to begin creating her own beautiful pieces.

Thus inspired, Between the Pines was born.

Janet has since built on successful trunk shows, including a showcase at Bloomingdale’s, to share her collection with the world. For the month of December, you can shop select pieces from Janet’s inspired Between the Pines collection at Braunschweiger Jewelers.

Braunschweiger was able to sit down with Janet and discuss her collection, inspirations, design and much more. Read the full interview below.

Q.Tell us about yourself, including what you do and why you chose this career path?

Janet Setter: I design and fabricate jewelry from sterling, precious metal and base metal that is accented by semiprecious stones, beads and briolettes. I started designing after taking an in-house intensive course with a silversmith in Joseph, Oregon, during a Thanksgiving vacation. I forged a set of tools and learned the basic skills needed to fabricate simple pieces from sterling silver wire.

After managing our family business in the automotive aftermarket industry, I made a sharp U-turn in my life and elected to pursue a longtime interest in designing silver jewelry. After my short but intensive study at the silversmith studio, I returned home and created a small studio and began experimenting. Building on a series of successful trunk shows at Bloomingdale’s and local venues, Between the Pines emerged.

Q.Tell us about your design style. What makes your collections unique?

Janet Setter: The fact that I use wire as a material base gives each piece a more delicate look and feel than other styles that are made from wax castings. I love the process of manipulating the wire to create simple pieces with a torch and very few tools. I enjoy the freedom of creating pieces that are similar but not exactly like one another – made by hand and with all the subtle and intricate differences that result. My pieces are described by my customers as delicate, elegant and relevant to the times.

Q.Tells us something about the woman you design for? Who is she and what is her style?

Janet Setter: She likes to have fun and explore her limits. She mixes and matches and creates a style all her own. She likes simple and unique pieces that complement, and that she can incorporate into, her overall style.

Q.As a designer, where and what do you draw your inspiration from?

Janet Setter: The outdoors and the unique simplicity that nature provides! It is an ever-changing palette of color and texture that makes you so aware of natural beauty.

Q.What does it feel like to see someone wearing one of your creations?

Janet Setter: I am continuously flattered that my customers love and appreciate the pieces they purchase with their hard-earned money. They often tell me they love how they feel when they are wearing my pieces, a beautiful compliment nodding to the handcrafted nature and intention that goes into each and every piece.

Q.In your opinion, what is trending now? How is that reflected in your most popular pieces?

Janet Setter: Vocalizing thoughts and beliefs, and wearing them for everyone to see, has been popular for some time. My take on that is finding special places on my jewelry where those meaningful words and phrases can reside. That makes them more of a design element rather than an advertised statement – something for you to enjoy and share with others as you like.

Q.Who are your favorite designers?

Janet Setter: I love the simplicity and clean lines of Georg Jensen, beauty in soft curves. On the other spectrum, the beautiful and innovative work of Van Cleef & Arpels designs through the ages always amazes me. The beauty of their designs as well as their quality and workmanship are a treasure.

Q.From your collections, what piece did you create that remains one of your favorites? And what made it so special?

Janet Setter: The prayer wheel! Every piece I create relates both a story and a beautiful intention that is spun out to the universe. People who purchase this piece love making a contribution to the overall goodness in the world, and this is one small and simple reminder to quietly do so. I love imagining how powerful it would be for everyone to spin out a beautiful intention every day; our world would be that much brighter!I think my hashtag sums it up: #SpinningOutBeautifulIntentionsOneNecklaceAtATime

Q.What do you do that keeps your creativity charged and your ideas flowing?

Janet Setter: Hiking and being outside. Fresh air, discovering wildflowers or trees and even bugs, experiencing adventure, all remind me to wonder, question and look around and see all the things that aren’t noticed or seen on a daily basis.

Q.What’s next for you?

Janet Setter: Broadening my audience – spinning out more beautiful intentions and learning new processes, techniques and skills to add to my pieces!

View Janet’s line here: Inspired Between the Pines.