Conversations with an Artist: Adeline Jewelry

Lindsay Olson of Adeline Jewelry Oakland Ca

We love the modernist, geometric and architectural  profiles of Lindsay Olson's jewelry. Her Adeline Jewelry collection is gender fluid– she creates both bold and elegant jewelry for any body's adornment. We were introduced at another one of our designer's gatherings and thrilled to have met another super creative, thoughtful artist pushing the boundaries of her design language. Diamond encrusted gold eternity rings hold space with multi-colored sapphire signet rings, stacked pearl earrings and sterling silver single stone pendants. For any design-lover!

Describe the moment you realized art fed your soul. 
Wow what a great question. For me, it was probably the time I first experienced flow state. I can still picture myself in my childhood bedroom, sorting my bead collection and playing with color combinations. Completely immersed, completely present. I was a very anxious and cerebral kid, and discovering something tactile and meditative was grounding in a way I’d never experienced before. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since. 

Adeline Jewelry__Fine Jewelry from Oakland California at Poet and the Bench

What themes do you pursue in your jewelry designs? 
Aesthetically speaking, I am drawn to forms that are balanced between the “masculine” and “feminine.” I don’t think jewelry needs to be gendered in any way, and I try to keep that in mind when I create new pieces. I’m also hugely influenced by themes in modernism and the Bauhaus movement, from visual art to architecture. My hometown of Oakland, from its landscape to its community, is also at the forefront of my mind when I’m designing. 

Adeline Jewelry__Gender Inclusive Jewelry at Poet and the Bench

Tell us about what influences the direction for your jewelry collection.
I’m always interested in the infinite possibility of simplicity: lines, shapes, and colors, combined with asymmetry, unexpected proportions, and imperfections. I think the combination of all of these elements can bring a deceptively simple object to life in a way that will be interesting forever. 

How has your work developed over time? 
Adeline has experienced a few transformations over time. When I first launched the collection, I was experimenting with several different techniques, having so much fun discovering. While I loved this process of experimentation, the jewelry that emerged wasn’t anything I would want to wear–it was much darker, organic, heavy, and overwrought. I needed a transition from what was interesting from a process standpoint to what could be interesting as a finished piece. So I decided to think more about who my ideal customer is. I reined myself in a bit, paring down, and finding meditation in more minimal forms. 

Another shift occurred much more recently, toward the end of 2020. I had struggled so much of that year with finding any kind of inspiration or energy to create. I was seriously considering abandoning my business in favor of a 9-5 office job. Luckily, I found my way back to it after a lot of therapy and work. I’m so happy I did, because the next creative surge burst out with such exuberance. I really believe you can sense it in the pieces: more bright color and unexpected stone combinations. I was having fun again, like when I first began making jewelry: designing and creating for myself, as I had in the beginning, but with a more refined eye and years of skills at my fingertips. 

Adeline Jewelry__Modern Architectural Jewelry at Poet and the Bench

What’s the most indispensable item in your studio? 
My wax file. Almost every piece in the collection is created using the lost wax process, which involves sculpting the designs out of wax and casting them into precious metal. There’s an arsenal of tools that jewelers use to form wax models, but the balance and weight of each piece is so important to me that I prefer to use hand tools exclusively. My simple file is my favorite, it feels like an extension of my hand at this point. 

Do you collect anything? 
I have an ever growing T-shirt collection, ranging from random vintage tees to band merch, and prints from small businesses. I am also slowly building my personal collection of artwork (mostly from friends and often through trade). And I love to collect pieces from other jewelers. My favorite recent trade was with an LA based artist named Vonn Cummings Sumner. He reached out to me at the beginning of the pandemic about acquiring an engagement ring for his partner, and I ended up with one of his gorgeous oil paintings. It’s one of my most prized possessions, and I’m so honored and amazed that I get to hang it in my home. 

What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen, read, watched or listened to recently?
I am an avid reader of fiction and Shirley Jackson is my favorite author. She’s one of the few writers I go back to over and over. Recently, I fell in love with Her Body and Other Parties, by Carmen Maria Machado. A beautiful blend of imagery, language, and content that is timeless yet so relevant to today. I love film too–Portrait of a Lady on Fire left me absolutely speechless. It’s one of the most visually stunning movies I’ve ever seen. 

What advice would you give to your younger self about your artistic journey?
Trust. Your. Instincts. When it comes to the creation of your art, listen to your own voice over anyone else’s. Take risks. Focus on what feels energy rich, and affirmative. Because that’s why you’re here, making the choice to do this with your life, instead of anything else. 

Adeline Jewelry__Fine Jewelry at Poet and the Bench

Bonus Question: 
What role has music played for you during COVID or while you work? 
I love this question, and I honestly thought of many ways to answer it! In May of 2020 one of my favorite artists, Phoebe Bridgers, put out a new record, and it sort of became the soundtrack of my quarantine life at home with my partner. We played it while experimenting in the kitchen, and we tuned in to every one of her streaming performances over the course of the year. I had her in my ears while working at the bench in my makeshift home studio, while watering my garden, walking the dog, basically all the time. She explores themes that were so relevant to this time: mental health and depression, the apocalypse, loneliness. We recently saw her perform live at the Greek Theater in Berkeley and each agreed it was one of the best live performances we’ve ever seen. To have that isolated year of enjoying her music privately culminate in a live show was just incredible.

 Adeline Jewelry White Diamond and Black Diamond Halo Rings

Come see these beauties in person at our Mill Valley HQ or peruse the collection online. Happy to answer any questions or arrange sizing. 

~ Bonnie & Jeffrey

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