Mathematician turned Jewelry Manufacturer

This week we visited an amazing jewelry manufacturer in the flower district of Chelsea, NYC. Christine McPartland has set up her manufacturing space for her business, EarWings, in a small studio that still carries the spirit of its former use as a children’s theater.

Christine has been in the jewelry business for over 30 years now. However, before jewelry, she was involved in a few other unique pursuits. She was a mathematician and taught for 10 years in New Mexico. She also had the experience of living on a Navajo reservation where she learned much of the beautiful jewelry making craft she carries with her today. She saw an opportunity in jewelry making and went for it, choosing a great time to meet the unexpectedly high demand of the niche business.

Christine is a unique jeweler as she is truly a designer at heart. She can refine a client’s design or create an outline completely from scratch. Christine says her intuition and knack for reading people helps bring each piece to life for her clients. She is truly passionate about the work she does, handling it all in her studio, from design to casting to metal fabrication and production.

Christine notes the jewelry business is fast-paced, another aspect that keeps her work interesting. Christine told us she’s awaiting the last minute orders that will inevitably come in right before the fashion shows. It keeps the business exciting, she noted. She said it’s the type of business where Oscar de la Renta will call and say “I need 10 earrings tomorrow.”

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Notes on EarWing’s business:

– Christine will walk you through the process from concept to design to production

– All designers levels are welcome from large brands to novices

– Metals used range from pewter to silver to gold and are all handmade

Check out some images from our visit:

EarWing's studio has walls of these individual molds used to form the melted metal of your choosing into the designed shape.

EarWing’s studio has walls of these individual molds used to form the melted metal of your choosing into the designed shape.

Jewelry Factory NYC

Christine showing us how the molds are used to create each unique piece of metal.

Jewelry Factory NYC

Pieces are customizable with all different materials. Here, leather is used in combination to create a one-of-a-kind bracelet.

Jewelry Factory NYC

Each piece is hand-made to perfection.

Jewelry Factory NYC

Christine McPartland, owner of EarWings, and Tanya Menendez, co-founder of Maker’s Row.

To learn more about EarWings: