Santa Fe, New Mexico
Denise Betesh, originally from Brooklyn, moved to Santa Fe in 1989 and began to design and produce her signature jewelry collection featuring matte 22K recycled gold, conflict-free diamonds, cascading sapphires and bold garnets. Working from her Santa Fe studio, mused by the high desert landscape, Denise takes painstaking measures to create amazingly intricate and detailed pieces that are all truly one of a kind.
As a teenager in the 60’s, Denise created woven gold wire macramé wedding bands. Her creations were seen by Cartier jeweler Aldo Cippullo, creator of the “screw bracelet” and the signature “love” bracelet, who then commissioned work from Denise and encouraged her career. Bolstered by this support, she attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, specializing in ancient jewelry techniques and went on to study in New York at the Jewelry Arts Institute, specializing in granulation and chain making.
When starting a new piece, Denise mills and draws the gold, then fuses individual tiny granules of gold onto the surface of the metal without solder. This delicate and detailed process, called granulation, was refined by the Etruscans and has been used since the third millennium BC by goldsmiths of the eastern Mediterranean regions. Denise uses a hand turned rolling mill to make the wire that becomes the individual links in the chains. The making of these chains are a true labor of love, taking 15-30 hours to complete because each link is fused rather than soldered.
The simple design elements and flawless gems reference the best of contemporary jewelry. Classical yet modern, her pieces are subtle, intricate and elegant, each reflecting the dreamy and enchanting desert of New Mexico.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe artist Karen Melfi specializes in naturally colored diamonds set with 18K and 22K gold. Her dynamic artistry is greatly inspired by the elegant lines of Japanese design and artifacts from around the world, particularly Tibet, China and North Africa. These various elements are combined to create a unique, contemporary handcrafted opulence for any occasion.
Polished, cubed and faceted diamonds of earth colors strung with gold accents and clasps create dynamic and delightfully distinct necklaces which bridge both day and night, casual and formal, with ease and great style. Each piece reflects the natural beauty and atmosphere of Santa Fe, creating a one-of-a-kind aesthetic that makes a beautiful addition to any jewelry box.
Karen Melfi has been living and creating in Santa Fe for nearly thirty years. She began selling her collection at her eponymous gallery on Canyon Road twenty five years ago and in the years since has become renowned nationally for her work. She recently closed her gallery to devote herself to further developing her collection, which is currently sold exclusively at Santa Fe Dry Goods.
London born, Barbadian raised Disa Allsopp creates stunning pieces inspired by the ancient jewelry of the Etruscan, Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations. White and colored diamonds are set on unique bands while rough and rare cut gemstones make Disa’s work contemporary and current, maintaining a timeless charm.
Disa holds Jewelry degrees from both Middlesex University and Edinburgh College of Art & Design in the United Kingdom. After her education, she set up her first studio in Barbados, then moved back to London in 1996 to expand her business. Today each piece is individually handmade in her London studio.
Disa’s time spent in Barbados and traveling to East Africa can be seen in her use of golden citrines, warm garnets, rubies, sapphires and morganite gemstones. She uses the traditional techniques of forging, reticulation and patination to give the 18K gold and sterling silver unique finishes. A large percentage of the metal used by Disa is recycled and she can provide Certified Diamonds on request. Her metal work is reflective, intricate and organic with a personality that radiates an absolutely singular beauty.