Jewelry Designer Spotlight: Megan Thorne

I met the truly lovely Megan Thorne at the Couture Jewelry Show. It is always a pleasure to get to know the designer behind the artful designs, and Megan was especially fun to talk to!

Megan’s designs are all hand crafted in Ft. Worth, Texas. The Lone Star state must have a great influence, because her designs reflect a particular originality. Trained at the jeweler’s bench, Megan literally has a hand in many of the pieces that leave her studio.

Megan Thorne Jewelry

Megan Thorne Jewelry.

Looking at some of her exquisite pierced and oxidized designs, I found a clear influence of her lingerie design background. With collections named Veil and Damask, there is a tactile quality reminiscent of fabrics in the texture of some of pieces, as well as a great grasp of form.

Megan Thorne Rings

Megan Thorne Asta ring stack.

Megan is probably best known for her bridal designs, which lean towards alternative, as they are not simple bands with 4-prong settings. While her designs have a distinctive voice, they are still reassuringly recognizable–and timeless–as engagement rings. Her Picture Frame ring may look familiar, as I have featured it before in my Engagement Ring Trends post.

Megan Thorne Buttercup Ring

Megan Thorne Buttercup Ring in white gold with rose cut diamond.

Interesting halos of larger accent diamonds, colored diamonds in interesting cuts, and scalloped bezels are some of the elements found in her new designs. Most designs incorporate depth in the form of angles and layers, where light plays off of the burnished gold surfaces. Skin becomes part of the design or backdrop to some designs, where lattice-work and openings reveal negative space. Especially innovative are designs where gemstones peak through a delicate corset of gold, completely encased in their own gilded cage.

Megan Thorne Earrings

Megan Thorne Crown Cab Earrings in 18kt gold.

Megan Thorne Interview

I caught up with Megan after the Couture Show to ask about trends, her newest directions and daring brides. This is an excerpt of the full interview I did for the Contemporary Jewelry Design Group, where I am an editor and Megan is a member. You can read the full interview with her insights here.

idazzle: How was the Couture Jewelry Show for you? Every time I tried to stop by, you were busy!
Megan Thorne: Couture was great! I felt like there was real happiness and enthusiasm there.

What new collections or individual pieces did you introduce at Couture?
I debuted new bridal, that’s what we specialize in now. We filled out current collections, like adding a stud earring to an existing collection. We also explored lower or higher price points, like designing a new small necklace, or, alternatively, a statement necklace.

Megan Thorne Pendants

Megan Thorne Mosaic Pendants.

So bridal is kind of a focus for you now?
Yes, I’ve always liked to make rings, and I heard that people were wearing mine as engagement rings or wedding bands, even though they weren’t completely intended as that. I thought that the bridal idea should be explored, and started to focus on it–it’s really taken off.

When was that?
About 2-3 years ago. This year it has become unavoidable. We get so much attention for it now. Brides are so brave, and want something so unique that even my non-bridal colored gemstone jewelry is being worn that way.

How do you reconcile designing things that you know that stores or customers want, with designing what you are really fascinated with?
I try to have a healthy split of designing things I’m interested in, and also do things for my collectors that are recognizable. I think that you can take something that is bridal, and then tweak it a bit and make it fresh. But every once in a while, you get to do something really funky or a little more out there, and the retailer can help you reach that collector, too. I feel like I can still be excited and do something interesting today.

Any new materials or design theme that you are particularly obsessed or intrigued by?

I started out with the standpoint of making jewelry, especially the metal work. Metal is important to me, how it feels, how it performs. In my early work, I didn’t do lots of colored gemstones. Don’t get me wrong: I drool over gemstones, but it’s not quite as important to me as the metal work. So I find that I always come back to that.

You can read more at cjdgjewelers.org. Thank you, Megan for sharing your thoughts! Can’t wait to see your new work and see what’s next!

Find Megan Thorne’s jewelry at meganthorne.com, and at retailers like Greenwich Jewelers and Ylang23.

Megan Thorne

The artist, Megan Thorne.

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