Julia Failey Talks Shop, Loves Her Tools

For Julia Failey, making her ethereal, hand-wrought jewelry is an opportunity to fuse two of her great loves: art and nature.

With an undergraduate degree in art from Davidson College and a graduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America, the thoughtful designer sees her delicate rings, earrings, and necklaces as "little sculptures." She's particularly inspired by the unappreciated complexities of insects, which she first explored through painting and now reveals in various ways in her work, such as the ever-popular Butterly Pendant ($168).

Since she draws so much of her inspiration from nature, it seems especially fitting that Failey uses eco-friendly practices in her design, principally by using recycled and reclaimed metal versus sourcing newly mined items. On the consumer side, she explains that gold vermeil is a solid bet for shoppers looking for accessories that will last because it's more durable and less likely to tarnish than pure gold.

We recently caught up with the artist in her West Loop studio. In the video, she's wearing her current favorites, the Vine Crystal Bullet Earrings ($245). Take a peek to find out more about she goes from inspiration to creation—and what tool she couldn't live without.

Related stories on The Feast:
Julia Failey's Eye-Catching Spiderweb Cuff
In the Studio with Designer Elise Bergman
In the Studio with Milliner Tonya Gross

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