With each piece of jewelry Cary Stefani designs, he creates more than a trendy accessory - he fashions a work of art.
"My approach is clean and architectural," said Cary, owner of Stefani & Co., a metalsmithing jewelry studio in Birmingham. "Whether I'm creating a piece that's traditional or one that's contemporary, I focus on the relationship between forms and materials. For example, the stone and the way it's set against the band."
Cary originally opened Mettal Jewelry Design Studio in 1985. Twenty years later, the former crafts major now works under the Stefani name with his son, Jesse, a recent graduate of CCS' industrial design program.
Cary's love of art began as a child and continued during his high school years. As Cary began exploring college options, a metalsmithing class at CCS would help narrow his choice.
"The instruction I experienced during my classes at CCS was invaluable, through the crafts department and in each of my electives," said Cary. "But it was the camaraderie with other students that inspired me the most. I feel lucky to have been part of such an exceptionally strong group of metalsmiths."
The Stefanis complete every aspect of the design process inside their studio - from meeting with clients to producing the finished piece. They are best known for unique engagement rings and wedding bands, and the designers are preparing to launch two new collections of jewelry this fall. Cary is working on a sophisticated line of gold and platinum rings adorned with colored stones and diamonds, and Jesse is working on a more fashion-oriented line aimed at younger customers.
"My favorite aspect of this business is that it is constantly changing," said Cary. "New directions and styles evolve, and there are always new concepts to explore. When you're successful at integrating these innovative ideas with beautiful, quality craftsmanship, you know you've created an exciting piece."
- Graduation Year: 1976
- Major: Crafts
- Employer: Stefani & Co
- Title: Owner
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