Barbara Westwood made her first wax model in a jewelry making class at Pasadena City College in Los Angeles at the age of 19. Westwood originally enrolled in the class because she thought it would be "interesting." By the time she was halfway through it, she had found her calling and never bothered to look back. To gain experience, she promptly completed a degree in jewelry and metalsmithing at the University of California in Long Beach, launched a career in retail sales in Beverly Hills, and began developing her own line of designs. "I was young, but I already knew what I wanted."
Barbara Westwood has manufactured her jewelry collections in Beverly Hills for thirty years and owned her own retail salon for 10 years. As a designer, Westwood's works are marked by their distinctive use of shape and color. It's impossible not to use the word "style" when describing Barbara Westwood's jewelry. "Dramatic" comes to mind as well. The majority of her pieces feature colored stones as the centerpiece in either 14 karat or 18 karat gold. "Design is all about flavors; the stone is an accent in one flavor, the metal is another flavor, the design is a third flavor," she says of her approach.
"As shape and color came, I began to integrate the new shapes of the stones with the simplicity; the stone was as important as the mounting. Now I'm finding that I'm enjoying adding back a little bit of the ornamentation with the essential design being a total integration of form and shape." This "Woman of the Year in Design" award-winner uses bold shapes, consequential gemstones and a generous sprinkling of diamonds to create pieces with definite fashion-forward flair.
"Spirit integrated with eternity exposed as style by human effort." These are the words written by Barbara Westwood to reflect the honor of her craft and her creativity. Westwood served as Vice President of the Woman's Jewelry Association for 8 years; she also served on the board of directors of the California Jewelers Association, The Contemporary Design Guild, and New Life Beginnings, a privately owned home for homeless pregnant women.
Barbara Westwood entered the national level in 1984, through the Designer Room at the Jewelers of America show in New York. Barbara Westwood received the "Woman of the Year in Design" award from the Woman's Jewelry Association in 1993. In 1995 the Jewelers of America honored her with a "Continued Excellence of Design Award."
Barbara Westwood is a member of the prestigious American Jewelry Design Council. The council's purpose mirrors her own belief that jewelry is Art and her association with the council creates additional opportunities for her to contribute her talent.