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Design talk - Todd Reed
Todd Reed, known to create the most unique jewellery pieces out of uncut diamonds, finds inspiration in routine things that exist around us and that may go unnoticed. From emotions and moments to nature-Reed is adamant on making everything around us special with his creative genius that translates into adorable jewellery pieces. Preeti Srivastav brings out lesser known aspects of the designer as he shares his story.
By: Diamond World News Service
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Feb 18 2013 11:43AM
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Reference: 7613  

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Unlike many designers, who would want the best of raw materials to design a masterpieces, Todd Reed, a young jewellery designer, who changed the common perception about fine jewellery, looks for rough uncut diamonds and recycled metals to design a piece of jewellery that, he insists, should be the best.

Reed believes that to create the best piece of jewellery, one need not have best polished diamonds and fresh processed metal. Creativity has the power to create something new out of routine. Unleashing your mind to wander in the vast world and get inspired from every big and small thing around can help one create a masterpiece. Talking about his inspirations, the Designer says his designs are as simple as his logic, says, “I am inspired by the mundane. Things that are the most ordinary are the things that I am most drawn too. A sunset, a shadow, a ripple in a pond, a short meaningful conversation, a passionate moment; the way a horse tail softly brushes away an irritating fly, the way ice melts. To me there is so much wonder in the obvious.”

The designer with soul of an artist, also shares a secret as he says, “The most difficult part of the process--of getting inspired and creating – for me is that I need to be controlled in how I let the ideas come out. Apart from looking at the designs as a piece of art, I also have to consider it as a part of a business plan.”

Reed launched a collection under his name in 1992 and since then his designs have been defying all norms and taking creativity to a level beyond the top. However, when asked about the beginning of his journey into the world of designing, he says, “After high school I worked as a leather smith and in that job working with designer Eric Hodges I learned silver jewellery. Eric asked us to figure out soldering to make conchos for the hand bags, once I had a successful concho I knew I wanted to make the metal into more interesting pieces, so my jewellery career was born.” Adorable that he is, he also has interesting stories that shaped him as a designer. Recalling one such anecdote, Reed says, “I always try and learn from every experience. One interesting story that I would like to share is—I was 20-something and I used to wear my hair very long, down to waist, and wear a beard and moustache and I looked like I fell off the turnip truck. To be honest, I have never learned to speak properly, so articulating words, speaking clearly with confidence was just not something I thought was important. I was doing a retail show in New York I had this beautiful jewellery, but I was terrified to talk about it. Two raven haired red lipstick, fur coat, high heels wearing women came to my booth and really gave me the what’s what with my look and delivery. Long story short, I came to my next show, cleanly shaved, short hair, suit, and months of therapy with a voice therapist to learn how to push my words past my lips and boom! I had a totally different way of carrying myself and talking about my work. Now, I struggle to contain my excitement when talking to clients.”

Though Reed came back to present, he carried his excitement while he shared information about his latest engagement. “Most recently I have designed and built a collection that we are calling ‘900 series’. This collection is inspired by water droplets on leaves—moving, swaying, and gently rubbing against each other. This collection is modern and wearable, bold and sensitive, and like all my work should bring people to a sense of peace. Once designed, I then proceed to procure the best material. And then the studio is off to the races with building. This is followed by the marketing team putting together the press release and imagery of it. Hopefully all timed well for the first show of the year 2013 and in stores by spring.”

In these 20 good years in the jewellery industry, reed bagged many as 35 industry awards both national and international. Today, reed has been recognised by so many aspects of the craft and fine jewellery industry into the luxury field as a whole. He has been featured in over 30 coffee table books on jewellery and design. Though he gets honoured regularly in press and is revered in financial world, art world and jewellery industry alike, but he feels some of the best honours have been in being asked to speak at different conferences and symposia and judging many industry competitions. “I love this business and the small family style industry that I am in, I feel it a great honour to get to give back and contribute in these ways,” says the humble artiste, adding, “This industry taught to never stop being a pioneer.” Reed is a little more charged up, as we ask him about his clients. “People who buy my work love design and are genuinely excited about owning a unique piece of art as well as having an original work. All ages buy my pieces because I do not just have one look; I love to design with the client and for the client.”

The blush and amusement was obvious when he was quizzed about his personal style. “My personal style is not really defined. I am very happy to wear jeans and a t-shirt and also very happy in a suit. My style is derived from quality, I love quality stitching, beautiful textiles, clean and simple really translates to individual and luxurious. I recommend my jewellery for anyone who is interested in serving their personal style. I love when a woman is so taken with a piece designed by me that she wears to the farmers market and to black tie event.”

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