Have you been to Cayuga Lake? It is one of the beautiful Finger Lakes in upstate New York. And right there on its eastern shore is the small town of Union Springs. And right in the middle of Union Springs, in a building tucked near the lake, 46 very talented artisans spend their days (and some nights!) creating so many of the Jay Strongwater designs.
Yes, each design begins with myself and the designers in the New York studio, and yes, our metal continues to be poured in Rhode Island foundries, but it is here in this tree-edged building that each design comes to life. Layers of enamel are meticulously applied either with fine needles or brushes. Crystals are picked up one at a time and hand-set on the metal, whether the design has 30 stones or 3000.
A few weeks ago, I was visiting, and was very excited to see the first production pieces from our upcoming Chinoiserie collection being worked on.
The Dynasty Horse, so beautifully being enameled by an artisan as if it was an ancient glazed piece of porcelain.
Along the wall on the drying racks were the three tiers of the Triple Pagoda Box, accented in vibrant Chinese reds.
I watched another artisan setting the topaz crystals on the giraffe figurine (a Neiman Marcus exclusive!)
And even though it was 90 degrees outside, the 2013 dated snowman box and jeweled holiday ornament were coolly drying on their racks.
How fortunate are we to find these accomplished craftsmen and women to work with every day, that they can realize our designs and deftly make them into glorious finished pieces. In our fast-paced world, handcrafted and refined designs remain a true luxury.