Artist Spotlight Series: Brent Neale
I am a jewelry addict. It brings such joy and beauty through the quality and craftsmanship. The art and creation of this creative field has always fascinated me.
My recent OBSESSION in jewelry is today’s feature. I literally want everything and am blown away by the unusual designs featuring whimsical motifs in colorful stones. Fine jewelry can be fun!
I need more rainbows, mushrooms & doors in my life!
Enjoy getting to know the beautiful
New York, New York
Brent Neale Winston is a New York City based designer whose love of jewelry started when her mother would bring her to gem shows near her native Baltimore. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, and with the encouragement of jewelry historian Penny Proddow, she enrolled at Fashion Institute of Technology, where she received an associates’ degree in jewelry design. There she honed her design & rendering skills studying under esteemed professors such as the late Maurice Galli. Winston then started her jewelry career at Kara Ross New York, working directly under the eponymous designer, eventually becoming the jewelry director.
Here, she oversaw the design and product development of over 25 collections, including fine jewelry, costume jewelry and runway collaborations with Tory Burch, J. Mendel & Naeem Khan, among others. After eight years, Winston left to concentrate on her growing family and make her own mark in the jewelry industry with Brent Neale. She lives with her husband and three children in New York City, where she proudly designs and makes all her pieces.
What is your training?
I went to John Hopkins University and started making jewelry by hand during college. Upon graduation I moved to NYC and started working for a large company that did private label for big box retailers. After two years there I decided self taught just wasn’t enough for me. Penny Proddow – who was a jewelry historian, author and at the time a jewelry editor at InStyle suggested going back to school. I took her advice and was accepted to the jewelry design program at FIT which is two year program. FIT was incredible – the professors are all working professionals and people that I still reach out to today if I need some advice or sourcing. After FIT I started working for Kara Ross and was there for 8 years as the Jewelry Director running product development, production etc for the Fine Jewelry collection as well as the Costume Jewelry Collection. The experience I gained there was immeasurable and Kara was one of the first people I showed all my sketches to before I decided to start my own thing.
What inspires you and your designs?
Art for sure – Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Yayoi Kusama, Daid Hockney, & Damien Hirst. Anyone that embraces color I seem to be drawn to. I love textiles as well – Josef Frank is a favorite.
What is your favorite piece?
Right now my favorite pieces are the Door and Mushroom Pendants. I’ve so enjoyed the process of making them come to life and they just really make me smile.
How has your area influenced your work?
NYC is such an incredible place I live very close to Museum Mile and you can pop in just to see something for 15/20 mins and go about your day. I didn’t grow up here so to me that’s just the coolest thing it never gets old.
What is your favorite restaurant in NYC?
I am not a foodie at all I like egg sandwiches from the diner around the corner but I think the best restaurant right now is Le CouCou – it deserves the hype.
What is your favorite cocktail?
I usually drink Cabernet but I love a very spicy tequila drink (preferably with jalapeño infused tequila)
How do you balance personal life and work?
Balance? What’s that? I’m just trying to hold it together each day!
Japan, Egypt, India etc etc etc I hate to fly but I love new places
Maybe a massive opal mushroom?! But truthfully, I love them all because no matter the budget I really like working with people.
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
Claiborne Swanson Franks new book – Mother and Child
& Micaela Erlanger new book – How to Accessorize. They stack so nicely together!
Who is your style icon?
Tough call. Lee Radziwell,
Diane Krugar – they are all so different so that seems random but I love anyone with a strong sense of personal style.
Your favorite up and coming artist/ designer/ jewelry designer?
Artist – Jason Bereswill – check out his landscapes – just insane talent.
Designer – I’m not sure if she would be considered up and coming but I love what Mira Mikati is doing.
What is your most treasured possession?
This is going to sound horrible but its my phone because of all the pictures and videos of my family. I’m told they are in the cloud but to be honest I don’t even know what that is.
What are you reading?
My mom saved all my old Berenstein Bears – I think I had every one of them and now I’m having the best time re-reading them with my three kids.
What are you listening to?
Fleetwood Mac always, I also love the “Today at Apple” on the Playlists section on Apple Music. Its always different and there is a lot of new music I haven’t heard before which I love.
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
Too many to count I wish I had more time to read them all!
Be sure to check out Brent’s beautiful website, her portfolio, Instagram (where I stalk her daily stacks) and her current collection for sale on Moda Operandi. I want it ALL but most especially THIS and THIS.
A few favorite Instas…
Shop the collection:
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Thank you to Hidell Brooks Gallery for introducing me to this designer.
Shop my “Bright Eyes & Bushy Tails” Collection with LeighDeux!
Follow Florence Broadhurst on Instagram. I am their proud Brand Ambassador.
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