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Behind The Scenes

Four Things that Make Blanca Monrós Gómez’s Jewelry So Special

The slender bracelets and pared-down earrings that Blanca Monrós Gómez makes might be understated, but once you know her work’s identifying features, you’ll spot it all over the internets—and dedicate more headspace to pining for it than you’d like to admit. These are four of the things that make it so standout. —erica Top of our Valentine lists: The tiny, gorgeous cognac diamond earrings that Blanca made exclusively for Of a Kind. Rose-cut Stones“I like working with rose-cuts because they are very shallow—they sit very low and work well for stacking. Large rose-cuts are really hard to find because there isn’t much of a demand for them. People traditionally want a really shiny diamond ring, and these are not as sparkly—you don’t get that blingy effect, which is what I like about them.” Pave Settings“A lot of pieces have channel settings or fake pave settings—they don’t call them fake, but they are cast to have prongs that hold the stones. For a real pave setting, you just have a plain bar of metal. With special tools, you make little holes and raise tiny beads of the metal. If you look really closely, you can see the little beads that hold the stones—it’s a very skilled job. When I started making my pieces, I was setting everything myself. Now I have a really good diamond setter in the city.” Black and Gray Diamonds“You didn’t see black diamonds much when I started using them, and gray diamonds are very rare—especially big ones. If you were looking for something like these 20 or 30 years ago, you could not find them because these were the discards. But I like that they’re not considered perfect—and that they’re opaque. I think they look really pretty if you mix them, the gray, white, and black—when they’re not matchy-matchy.” Rose Gold“Rose gold is my favorite metal. It blends in with almost every skin tone, kind of mimicking it. It almost disappears when you wear it, and I think that’s why men especially like it for wedding rings when they aren’t used to wearing jewelry.”
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Peek Inside Blanca Monrós Gómez’s Brooklyn Home

Blanca Monrós Gómez has done the whole shared studio thing. But these days she works on her ultra-delicate fine jewelry line out of her Park Slope, Brooklyn, house, which was originally built in the 1800s and has been undergoing near-constant renovation courtesy of Blanca’s husband, Aniket, since they bought the place three years ago. One perk of the home office (besides the short commute): She can be close to their twins, who are a year and a half old. “Three weeks after they were born, I was already working again—but it was easy because we have this setup,” she notes. Here, a look at her space and the changes to come. —erica “There used to be a big tannery around here, and these houses—there used to be a whole block like ours—were built for the workers. When this house was built, this was the cooking area.” “The houses had really tiny rooms because there was no central heating. The smaller spaces got less cold. My husband’s design was to open everything up. But the stairs are the original stairs—we’re doing things in phases.” “I do a lot of custom work—like engagement rings and wedding rings. We meet here. Usually I meet with two or three people a week, and nearly all of them come back to place an order.” “The actual studio in the basement has not been renovated yet. It’s going to be a big project because it needs to be totally redone—the floor needs to be dug out and everything. It’s really hard to have construction when you’re working. We actually want to have a studio entrance and maybe even an appointment-only storefront.” “For the kids’ room, I wanted to keep it simple. Also, we had a very tiny budget and needed two of everything! To make the garlands, I got this Martha Stewart hole punch, and we hung the wallpaper. I love the wallpaper.” “My husband came up with this idea to do a drawing at the top of this wall and then leave it blank at the bottom so that the kids can draw—because they can only do lines.” “I love our backyard. It’s really relaxing, and sometimes when I have meetings, we sit out here. These plants are giant—they just keep growing, growing, growing. We planted those hydrangeas three years ago, and look at how big they are!”
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Meet 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
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