Amber creates eco-friendly jewelry close to the Santa Cruz mountains. Each piece is carefully crafted of largely reclaimed materials, meaning each piece holds a story. The look books on her website extend the tale and let our imaginations run wild.
We love that Amber’s jewelry makes us a feel a little closer to nature, wherever we are.
Get to know Amber and her process through her words bellow—
Mountainside jewelry is based in the Santa Cruz mountains and focuses on reusing materials through creative reconstruction. Each piece is handmade using a mixture of metal work, repurposing vintage jewelry, lapidary work, and the ancient technique of lost wax casting. Inspired by my love for treasure hunting, wilderness, folklore, and world cultures – Mountainside Jewelry tries to bring a rustic aesthetic into the modern times with pieces that strive to be timeless cherished amulets.
I’ve always been drawn to natural materials, so many designs are inspired by California flora and fauna. I’ve recently begun cutting and shaping the stones for my jewelry. Learning about the minerals and materials that make up the earth along with the lore and mythology that has accompanied stones and gems throughout history has been fascinating. I also like to use vintage parts for my designs whenever possible. Finding a broken piece of jewelry in a pile of random objects at the flea market can be endlessly inspiring. An item that may have been extremely special to someone at one time that has been lost or discarded will now be repurposed and renewed for someone else to appreciate.
I love that jewelry always tells a story, when you ask someone about a necklace or ring they’re wearing, people often have found memories of where they got it or who gave it to them. I believe in talismans and the ability of objects to hold a little magic and good luck, I love that wearing a special piece of jewelry can feel empowering. Making it has felt empowering for me – as well as extremely frustrating, challenging, intimidating and rewarding. Some days I feel stuck and overwhelmed but inspiration is all over and going out on an adventure or exploring a new place always refuels me.
Photos courtesy of Amber Duncan.