Check Out the Fly Catbird Studio in Williamsburg
Catbird may have started with a retail store, but now so much of the action happens away from customers, in the workshop responsible for the brand’s amazing house jewelry line. “We have two spaces in this big warehouse building right near the Williamsburg Bridge, and it’s a total throwback to the old manufacturing days of this neighborhood. Plus, it’s just a five-minute walk from the store and is next-door to our web HQ and offices,” says owner-designer Rony Vardi—who, like a mama bird, is in all three of the company’s spaces every single day.
“This is Genne, senior jeweler, and Liz, assistant jewelry manager, conferring. The tubes are our custom ventilation system, which we built so everyone would stay healthy. There’s a fan built into the window, and each station has its own adjustable vacuum source so jewelers can position them however they need for the piece they are working on.”
“Here, Laila is quality checking our Threadbare Rings. A quality check is important to make sure all the pieces look uniform and that they’re strong. We QC each piece before it leaves our studio. We make sure they are the right size and are hammered evenly and that they are work-hardened, which means they’re really strong despite being so delicate.”
“Here is where our lovely jewelers eat their lunch—and sometimes tag some jewels.”
“This is production-style soldering for our 14-karat Alphabet Rings. By production-style we just mean that we batch things out in steps, rather than make one ring, then another ring, and so on. Though they look really simple, they are extremely difficult to make so that each letter is straight.”