Midway through our visit to Erin Considine’s Greenpoint, Brooklyn apartment earlier this summer, we began talking about her parents, who — no surprise here — are interior designers. She told us a story about her father being on a job site in Connecticut in the 1980s, where a company was giving away all of its Knoll furniture. With a set of Mies van der Rohe Brno chairs here, a Saarinen Tulip table there — these are sorts the things the Brooklyn jewelry designer grew up with. When my jaw drops, she shrugs. “It’s just being in the right place at the right time.”
Considine should know. Her home is filled with the spoils of an expert thrifter — major pieces of fiber art, a paint by numbers horse, light fixtures picked up at stoop sales for less than a tenner — and since 2009, she’s been making jewelry that often takes as its starting point metal forms or pieces that were found, either in deadstock warehouses or on the street.
But Considine’s jewelry practice doesn’t rely entirely on luck. The other side of the equation is discipline and healthy dose of self-education. Considine is known for her natural dyeing capabilities — she even teaches a class at New York’s Textile Arts Center about it — but it’s a skill she learned only recently. Each collection is inspired by a different place and time in Considine’s life; last year, a girls’ vacation to the Southwest inspired both her weaving techniques and the palette.