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New jewelry designer discovery: Mettle Shop. #TinaTang #Jewelry

tina tang

The little kid inside all of our spirits continually thrives.  When I saw this necklace at the Bust Magazine Craftacular this weekend, my little spiritual girl inside quickly scurried to the vendor who turned out to be Maria Cooper of rarely buy from other jewelry designers since I started my own business as I must represent my own advertising.  However, this beautifully handmade necklace spoke to me.  It literally said, "Stop, Tina, and look at me, feel me, wear me."I'm wearing it today!  I had "hello, beautiful" engraved on it. Introducing Maria Cooper, the designer and artist of MettleShop:You can tell by looking at this photo that Maria is hip and artistic.  1.When did you start making jewelry?I started making jewelry when I came to America 5 years ago.  I have always loved ‘art’ jewelry – work that somehow tells a story  -that goes beyond just being pretty (2 of my favorites are New Zealand jewelers Jane Dodd & Ash Hilton). The blood necklace is in the center2. What is your favorite piece of jewelry?My most memorable piece of jewelry – that is a tough one!   I think perhaps my blood necklace is that piece  - I think It was the first time I matched a clear conceptual idea I had in my mind, with a new skill I was learning at the time, and it all came together for the dramatic effect I was looking for.  I find it very satisfying to understand the different materials and techniques, and the explosion of possibilities that open up every time you learn something new.  3. Where did you learn to make jewelry? Her pieces are so affordable considering they are handmade silver pieces with hand enameling.Before FIT, I studied a lot at the 92nd street Y, doing their short courses over the course of a couple of years.  I have taken a range of their general jewelry technique classes, as well as specific enameling classes.   The Y is a really amazing resource, and the quality of teaching there is excellent – if people are interested in learning new jewelry skills, I would highly recommend the Y!   I decided early on I wanted to keep making regularly, so I sorted out a studio setup of my own, and kept working beyond taking classes – it allowed me the freedom just to keep practicing and experimenting with what I had learned.4. Where do we find your work? At the moment, people see my work via my website And I I periodically have things on Etsy (which will have a link on my website shortly!).     I will be wearing my Mettle Shop heart as part of my stripes uniform all winter.

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