Jeanette Lai Thomas Moratorium geometric jewelry

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In the Studio With the Geometric Girl

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Photos by Eric Luc

Designer Jeanette Lai Thomas creates meticulously handcrafted jewelry inspired by geometric shapes, both organic and man-made. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, and cuffs welded in precious metals feel delicate, yet strong; gothic, yet radiant—transcending gender, trends, and seasons. We hung out with Thomas and her 120-pound South African Mastiff, Baron, at her Williamsburg studio and talked about records, pyramids, and living like a gypsy.

DB: When did you start making jewelry?

JLT: Since 2009, and I started Moratorium in 2011. I started taking a silversmithing class in Amsterdam and I just fell in love. I love using my hands and I’m very into accessories. Accessories make the whole outfit—it’s the details! 

DB: What types of materials do you use to create your pieces?

JLT: I work exclusively in precious metals. I do vermeil—fine plating gold over silver. I don’t use brass. It’s more of an intrinsic value. The process of sanding down and polishing silver, it’s very time consuming. Some artists would rather work with gold so they can charge more. But I don’t believe in that.

DB: Can you talk about the shapes of your work?

JLT: Math is a universal language. Creating these geometric shapes, the pyramids, forces me to get good at my craft. Everything is so precise.

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