It’s a rainy, cold day in NYC when I visit Daphna Simon jewelry studio. I’m really looking forward to this cause I’ve been an admirer of Daphna’s jewelry for many years and visiting her space is a special treat. And I know there are more treats waiting for me: Daphna’s new collection (with gemstones!), her new dog Lila and of course seeing an old friend.
Daphna has a deep rooted love for nature and wild animals that she translates into jewelry. Her signature pieces are these beautiful animal rings that detail to perfection a grizzly bear or a leopard. Or any animal really, because she’s that good in wax carving. Daphna’s studio is a small space with a big bench and lot’s of wax carving tools and wax pens. Everything is neatly organized, clean and in perfect order. On her bench lie some beautiful drawings and a new collection of necklaces and rings with gemstones. I’m happy to see that this new line in brass includes some beautiful topaz, amethysts and druzies that complements her beautiful (and solid) 18K gold collections. On the side of the bench lies an unfinished leopard cuff carved in wax that I will soon find out it’s Daphna’s dream jewelry piece (read the questionnaire below for the full story) to be casted in gold.
Daphna trained with one of Israel’s top goldsmiths and opened her own namesake jewelry business – Daphna Simon Jewelry – in 2007 when she moved to NYC. She started selling to stores and galleries nationwide and also privately to customers. Her designs have been featured in top magazines like W and Elle and spotted on many celebrities. But despite her success she remains very grounded and still she’s happier when seating at the bench creating new pieces and getting covered in wax dust.
I try in vain not to get distracted with Lila, Daphna’s playful new puppy, while Daphna tells me about her new projects. She’ll be teaching a wax carving class at the 92nd Street Y on May 31st/June 1st and June 10th. Some lucky New Yorkers will have a chance to learn some wax jewelry techniques with this master carver.
I met Daphna years ago when both of us started our jewelry businesses and did our first tradeshow. It was an awful tradeshow for business but a good one for making friends. I’m happy our paths crossed so that I could meet such a talented jeweler and have the privilege to visit her studio space.