Jordan Adam Designs jewelry studio opens in Lincolnville

By Susan Mustapich | Oct 13, 2018
Photo by: Susan Mustapich Jordan Adam Designs in Lincolnville, a versatile jewelry studio owned by Jordan Barnett-Parker, offers custom jewelry services, engraving, repair and more.

LINCOLNVILLE — Jordan Adam Designs, a new jewelry studio, specializing in custom jewelry services, engraving and repairs, is opening in Lincolnville Oct. 13 and 14.

Owner Jordan Barnett-Parker discovered jewelry-making in high school, when a class with artist and then teacher Simon van der Ven sparked an interest he has pursued ever since. That class led to working for other jewelers, training in Germany as a master goldsmith, and teaching at Dartmouth College and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle.

That spark was evident as he spoke in his new studio Oct. 4, about working with metals, how he goes about creating what customers really want in a custom piece and recycling unused jewelry into something new. The passion he discovered in a small art room at Camden-Rockport High School, continues to fuel his fascination with materials and techniques, from modern vacuum casting to the ancient art of making Damascus steel.

The casual opening of the new studio, located at 40 Meadowlark Lane, minutes from Lincolnville Center, will coincide with the Maine Craft Weekend, a statewide studio tour, that takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tours are free and open to the public.

At 1 p.m. on Oct. 13 visitors will see a demonstration, where scraps of bronze and silver are melted down and poured into ingots, and formed into sheet, wire, and casting grain. During this demonstration of recycling scrap metal into usable stock, Barnett-Parker will use old-world hand techniques passed down to him by the German master goldsmiths who taught him.

At 1 p.m. Oct. 14, Barnett-Parker will demonstrate the technique of lost wax casting,

There will be baked goods by Marissa Kelly, cold drinks, and hot coffee by local roaster Dan Dishner of Coffee on the Porch.

New studio

Barnett-Parker began Jordan Adam Designs five years ago, creating custom and repurposed jewelry, engraving and jewelry repair.

With the new studio location in Lincolnville, which is now his home, he will be open Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and have items for sale for walk-in customers. He will continue to work with customers by appointment, including early morning and evening hours, and traveling to their homes.

Custom work

Barnett-Parker enjoys the process of working with customers who seek him out because they want or need something -- a custom ring for a special occasion, a new piece created by melting down and repurposing jewelry that is never worn or broken, or repair of a favorite or historical piece.

Having studied many different techniques and methods, as well as metallurgy, Barnett-Parker is open to the possibilities and ideas that customers present.

"Because every customer has a different aesthetic it's helpful to be like a chameleon, because then I can figure out exactly what they like," he said.

That same background gives him the breadth of experience that allows him to translate customers' ideas into reality.

"I can take any metal in any form and melt it down and alloy it and change the character color or do whatever. I spent a long time accumulating certain skill sets so that I don't have to say no, or shop out the work," he said.

Barnett-Parker likens his process to a "ceramist who digs his own clay so he can make the custom mixture that works well for him."

When creating a new piece, he first provides the customer a drawing. The next step is the creation of a 3D model. The customer has the model in their hand, he said, and "they ultimately get to say go before I start any metal work.”

One of his recent custom creations is a Craftsman ring. Barnett-Parker bought a small Craftsman wrench as a model for his design. He created the ring using the vacuum casting kiln, which replicates the detail of a design with great precision, he explained.

Recycling and repurposing

While Barnett-Parker makes many new pieces, he realizes they are difficult to afford for most people. Recycling and repurposing pieces also makes up a significant part of his business.

"A lot of people have an earring that they lost, but they have the other half or they have a ring that their mother gave them, but they never wear because of the style, people have handfuls of broken chain, a broken clasp here and there," he said.

"Most of what I do is recycling that, and repurposing it into a completely new piece."

In jewelry making, recycling and repurposing is nothing new, he pointed out.

"All the gold that's ever been on earth is here and it's going to be here and stay here," he said. "People talk about it like it's infinite, but it's finite. People either find it or they remelt it."

Repair

The studio fills in a need in the area, for jewelry-making and repair, Barnett-Parker said. "Now, people can stop by in Lincolnville, chat and check out what's going on, and drop off jewelry," he said. "Most repairs usually take from an hour, to a day to complete, but it usually doesn't take very long."

Engraving

Engraving is another mainstay of Jordan Adam Designs. Barnett-Parker does engraving of any kind of metal from aluminum to steel. He engraves knives and guns and custom hardware. Like other parts of the business, his work covers a diverse range. Currently, he is working on a backsplash made of marble, which is purposely cracked to make room for an engraved silver insert between the pieces of stone.

Background and training

Barnett-Parker mentions many mentors when talking about his career. The first is his dad who "made him" take an art class at Camden-Rockport High School, and the art teacher van der Ven. Then came George Holmes, the owner of By George in Rockland. Holmes, who died in August, gave him his first job in the business, selling jewelry and doing some repairs. Holmes introduced Barnett-Parker to Michael Good, which "began a momentous relationship that spurred me onto serious metalsmithing," he said.

He apprenticed and worked with Good for about a decade, and there he was introduced, by a German co-worker, who was a master goldsmith, to a goldsmithing and watchmaking school in Germany, which just celebrated its 250th anniversary. There he underwent a rigorous education in metallurgy and laws, under an old guild system run and overseen by the government. In two years, Barnett-Parker earned his mastery in design, returned to the United States and went back to work with Good. When the jewelry business ground to a halt after the financial crash hit in 2008, he left Good's business, because no one was buying jewelry and "he felt like a burden."

When jewelry production began again, "everyone started reworking everything in silver because that was more affordable," he said. He then worked with jewelers in Colorado and New Hampshire, and secured the opportunity to teach at Dartmouth College. At that point, the jewelry business and his career began to take off, and he participated  in several big shows in New York and Chicago.

After 12 years of moving every two years or so, Barnett-Parker was ready to move back to Maine. "I missed a lot of things and wanted to come home and put my roots down," he said.  At the same time, he had reached a point in his career, where he felt he had the knowledge and experience, and "wanted to do his own thing, which led him to form his business, Jordan Adam Designs.

For more information, see jordanadamdesigns.com, contact jordanadamdesigns@gmail.com or call 200-4302.

 

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