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 metal-smithing 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.”
“At a very early age I was captivated by things that sparkle. Light on water, stars at night, light intrigued me in all of its forms. A diamond is only dazzling because of light. As I came to know that we are light, the magic only deepened. When I look at a jewel I still feel that innocent wonder I felt as a child. Always a reminder of the power of beauty, the power of light.”
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. “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 enjoying adding back a little bit of the ornamentation with the essential design being a total integration of form and shape.”
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. She says, “I wake up each morning grateful that I created a career as an artist”. We are equally grateful, and feel blessed to be able to experience her delightful designs.
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