Designing a Collection

Course Description

About this course

So many jewelers call themselves designers, without so much as giving a second thought to what exactly a designer is and does. The concept of what is good design and what is bad design is very subjective, but in this fast paced, highly interactive, fun and creative class you are going to learn first-hand some answers to these questions. You will learn the basics of designing or expanding your own cohesive collection with some fun hands-on exercises. Also you will look at your jewelry with new eyes and see how you can improve and strengthen your own individual “designs” and become a more successful and thoughtful “designer.” 

Marlene Richey who is known for her business and marketing classes will reveal another part of herself most people don’t know. Her father was head of the art department at a couple major universities. Her uncle was head of the art department at Central Washington University. Between her father and uncle they published numerous books on art, design and art education. And Marlene majored in art and metalsmithing in college and did post-graduate work on Russian icons. Marlene grew up in an environment where at the dinner table “less is more,” Scandinavian design, Alvar Aalto and the post-modern movement were common topics. Marlene knows design.

Meet the Instructor

Marlene Richey

My father was a college art professor and my mother a free-lance writer, neither of them had even a rudimentary knowledge of business. I graduated from Central Washington University with a degree in art and jewelry, without anyone ever suggesting I might sometime want to make a living at what I had studied for four years. A few years later William Richey and I joined forces and we naively started a jewelry design firm with absolutely no idea of how to run a business. And that was the beginning of a long journey on learning the do's and don'ts, ups and downs, ins and outs of becoming art entrepreneurs.

During my 30+ years career in jewelry, I have run a wholesale business and a retail gallery, done hundreds of shows – craft and trade, indoors and out, juried and not juried, dreadful and successful. I traveled for nine years to every nook and cranny of America selling our line. I have served on numerous board of directors (currently Society of North American Goldsmiths), am an award-winning consultant to emerging artists (Contemporary Design Group's 2009 Designer Advocate of the Year), teach seminars and classes, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, participate on panels, a free-lance writer for jewelry/craft publications, contribute an on-going column for Art Jewelry magazine called "Business Savvy" and authored an award-winning book about running a small jewelry design/craft business - "Profiting by Design" through the MJSA Press.

Students should bring 
  • Pens, colored if you prefer
  • Lots of drawing paper
  • Your jewelry
  • Simple displays
  • Marketing materials (if you have them)
  • Packaging materials (if you have them)




Marlene Richey


January 12, 2019


10:00 AM -4:00 PM


1 day

All Levels
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