Bittersweets NY

The Bittersweets NY Studio

The Bittersweets NY Studio

When did you start making jewelry? Did you go to school for it?
I started to make jewelry in 2002. I never had any official training until a few summers ago when I found an amazing teacher, Fredricka Kulicke. But I did work in foundries, and with metal for at least 10 years prior to that, so it was an intuitive transition on some levels.

Why did you decide to close your brick & mortar storefront?
I wanted to focus on making new designs rather than running a shop. I’m so glad I had that experience and I have so much respect for shop owners: It’s not an easy job!

Do you still have your rabbit? If so, what’s his name, how old is he and does he cuddle? Does she cuddle?
Yes, he’s alive and well and approximately 12 years old. He’s more of a floor cuddler, with his head in your lap. I call him; “Bean-Bean,” “Mr. Buns,” “Little Rascal,” and of course, everyone’s favorite go-to bunny name, “Bun-Buns.” He is really spoiled. The name I gave him when I adopted him was Ferdinand, because he kicks his legs out, and does this cute little jump with his head down: It reminded me of a little bull!

You live in Staten Island. Any cool things we should know about it? Or snake related fun facts?
Yup, lived in Staten Island since 2000. Wow, there are a lot of really good pizza places out here; Lee’s Tavern, Tony’s Brick Oven, and Pizzeria Giove, are my favorites. Other cool things about Staten Island: Serpentine Commons is within walking distance to the studio. If you look up serpentine rock, it’s a pretty cool geological phenomenon that is rare to NY region. The top of the hill offers this amazing view that spans the Verrazano to NJ. Another snake-related Staten Island fact is that the Ouroboros ring was loosely based on a building that we pass daily, and have admired for years. I didn’t want to make the ring exactly like the snake heads at the top of the “snake building” because they are fairly chunky, but I did borrow the angular aspect of the design and used that as inspiration for the ring pattern when carving it in wax.

What are your year after year most requested items?
My Letter Rings started out strong and just seem to get more and more popular. I love making them. I think people like them because even though they are delicate, they are sturdy. Letter Rings have a personal message stamped in the teensiest, tiny, letters that only someone very close to the wearer can read.

What’s the favorite piece you’ve ever made?
My favorite pieces are some of the stuff not on my site that I made in Freddie’s class. That stuff is really special to me because each one represents me learning something new.

What does the next year hold for you?
Expect more snakes, more memento mori, and more floral.