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Art for the Cash Poor
June 13, 2018

Crafting Reality – A Conversation with Forge & Finish- Philadelphia-based Jewelry Designers & Vendor at Art For the Cash Poor

About the Author
Imani Miller

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InLiquids 19th Installment of Art For the Cash Poor is just a few days away, and we couldn’t be more excited! It’s an arts & crafts fair meets summer block party, with food, drinks, live music, and, of course, art–all priced under $199! InLiquid’s Signature Summer Event will be making a special move this year to the Callowhill District just behind Union Transfer.
Today we introduce Philadelphia-based craft jewelry designers Forge & Finish!
Imani: I’ve been so intrigued by the minimalist quality found in your jewelry. Every design seems so simple, yet holds an incredibly complex chicness. Could you describe how your artistic education lead to crafting jewelry?
Forge & Finish: As a brand consisting of three women we have traveled different paths to arrive at this journey. However, there are some common factors that we find to be serendipitous. We each graduated from Temple University-Emily Kane & Carly Mayer from Temple University Tyler School of Art and Desiree Casimiro from Temple‘s main campus. Emily gained her experience working in the field for over 13 years before joining F&F. Carly delved into the craft during college, where she received her degree in Jewelry Design and Metal Smithing. Although Desiree did not receive formal training in the field, she apprenticed under Carly about 8 years ago, picked up the techniques rapidly, and began designing her own jewelry. Additionally, we broadened our repertoires by working in various production/manufacturing settings, while steadfastly maintaining personal studio practices. Our combined experiences transferred into our current work space, and prepared guidelines for structuring our company.
I: There is almost a literal translation when it comes to the titles of your collections and the pieces that are then produced. Is there any particular starting point? What inspires a collection?
F&F: Several collections were carried over from our independent jewelry lines before the inception of Forge & Finish. We define these designs as classic pieces, that carry the essence of the Forge & Finish modern metal look. We currently design and produce as a unified brand. The process of developing a jewelry line varies from collection to collection. Our creativity ranges anywhere from organic doodles and random prototypes; to evolving existing collections by adding components and/or reshaping dimensions; to setting design conditions by material or concept which can present healthy challenges and interesting outcomes.
Our latest release the “Ripple Collection,” stemmed from a deconstructed ring. Its texture when unfurled emulated ripples in water and transformed into two earring styles. Sparked by this motif, we set to create a full collection with a focus on streamlined, fluid composition. Each piece took on names inspired by the bodies of water they likened to such as the “Fjord” earring, the “Confluence” necklace, and the “Channel” ring.  Since we were drawing on influences from water, we decided to give back to our inspiration and donate 10% of proceeds from each piece sold to the Clean Water Fund-an organization that has been helping to protect our nation’s water sources since the 70’s.
I: There are three designers behind Forge and Finish…how are pieces then chosen for selection? Is there a jury process? Do you ever run into any creative friction?
F&F: At Forge & Finish, each designer has complete creative freedom, however, we try not to stray too far from our core, which is “modern metal jewelry.” A few seasons ago, we released a collection with various semi-precious stones. Some of the pieces survived, but most stretched too far from our core aesthetic and didn’t fit our brand. We aim to provide a consistent style for our audience while maintaining freshness and innovation in our designs.
As we are each a distinct balance of bold and gracious women, we run into friction every now and then from our differences, but we firmly uphold communication and respect for one another. We have implemented weekly meetings to ensure everyone’s voice is heard, and that all issues are addressed whether personal or business related.
I: What pieces of jewelry do you feel you should never leave the house without?
F&F: For the past year, Carly has stacked the Enoki Ring and Double-finger Satellite Ring almost daily. Emily wears her python cuff everyday but recently has been mixing it up between statement pieces-the Warrior Choker in bronze and the Fjord Earrings in the brushed oxidized finish. Desiree loves to rock the two-tone look-adding the Channel Ring in bronze to her recent repertoire of Notch Rings, Micro Bangles in gold-filled, and Python Cuffs in both bronze and sterling silver.
I: What are you most excited about presenting at AFTCP this year?    
F&F: We’re very excited for our latest release. The “Ripple Collection” is prime for this season. Each piece can stand alone as a sculptural, statement piece, yet can be worn casually in vogue.
You can catch Forge & Finish at AFTCP 2018 this weekend!
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