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Blanca Monrós Gómez

Blanca Monrós Gómez started big—industrial-design big. When she went to school—after moving from Barcelona to Boston and living there for six years—she studied the field, focusing on furniture and sculpture. “I thought that way I could do a little bit of everything,” recalls the designer, now a Brooklyn resident. “But then I started doing silver- and goldsmithing. I don’t know—something about the scale of jewelry-making felt right. And also the time frame: I could sit down and make something and finish it. I’m not very patient.”

Just as Blanca settled on her new direction, she moved to New Haven for her husband’s architecture program at Yale. “I was a little bit scared. I wanted to do jewelry, and we were going to a little town in Connecticut,” she explains. “I was very lucky to find Derek Simpson—he has a jewelry store there and took me under his wing. He’s one of those truly old-fashioned craftsmen who fabricates

everything himself.” And on top of skills, he gave Blanca the contacts she needed to score some of her amazing stones (like rare gray diamonds) in New York’s Jewelry District.

Though her first designs were bold, playing on her sculptural training, once she got going, Blanca’s work became tinier and tinier, and she started incorporating bits of nature into her pieces, casting seedpods for a ring or branches for earrings in gold. “I’m one of those people who picks things from trees and find things on the sidewalk—other people are like, ‘What are you doing?’” The fine jewelry transformations of these scraps—well, they get a different response. —erica