Light. Shadows. Changing seasons. The landscape of San Francisco is where Tura Sugden collects and cultivates ideas for her eponymous fine jewelry collection. Every element of every piece is made by hand in her atelier, from initial sketch to final polishing and everything in between. Stories are told and secrets are shared in each distinctive heirloom.
Launched in 2013, the collection includes limited production and one-of-a-kind pieces featuring recycled high karat gold and natural, ethical diamonds and gemstones.
Inspiration can strike at any moment. In the color schemes of a sunrise or sunset. In the patterns or repetitions of nature. In the way shadows play on surfaces. It is here, with this mindset for creativity, that Tura Sugden begins to build the vision for each light, airy, feminine piece. As she works, a deep respect for tradition and a profoundly modern design aesthetic guide her point of view. She draws upon her experiences—seven years apprenticing and studying advanced techniques in Belgium, Maine, Tennessee, Kansas and California and earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2008.
The Studio + Technique
Old World methods meet thoughtful design. Artisans sit at handcrafted maple benches outfitted with custom-carved pliers and specially polished hammers. Fresh cut flowers and inky sketches sit on the center table. A traditional German blowpipe is mounted at the left of each bench, an ideal instrument for intricate gold soldering. With it a fine flame is manipulated by the breath while the flow of propane is controlled simultaneously by hand. Like learning a language, this ancient technique is difficult to master yet once attained feels intuitive and immersive. The breath of the artisan is captured in each piece. Signature hallmarks of this distinctive collection are brought to life by this technique.
Tura Sugden believes in ethical sourcing and supports only socially and environmentally responsible suppliers. The collection features recycled and Fairmined gold and platinum, both purchased from a responsible source and recycled directly in the San Francisco studio. Natural, ethically-sourced diamonds and colored gemstones are handpicked from a post-consumer certified seller and a handful of trusted dealers who purchase and cut their own rough stones, which creates an ideal short supply chain from mine to market.
The studio also consults with an environmentalist and biologist to ensure safety and environmental responsibility in the workspace.