Jilian Keenan

Jilian Keenan, a custom jewelry designer at Ouray SIlversmiths, inspects diamonds for their use in a piece of jewlery. 

Custom jewelry designer

Ouray Silversmiths

312 E. Main, Montrose

More About:

Jilian Keenan

Age: 30

Experience: 13 years hands on experience

Hometown: Longview, Texas

Education: GIA - AJP, Diamonds Graduate

What inspired you to become a custom jewelry designer?

When I was about 4, my dad had taken me to the shopping mall to find a present for mom for Mother’s Day. We stopped at a store and were able to string beads together and make a custom necklace for mom. The joy on her face when we gave her something we designed, made me want to learn how to create jewelry. Years later in high school, I was working for Melanie Kline who started Ouray Silversmiths, and she said I had a good eye and encouraged me, and things took off from there.

What is most challenging as a jewelry designer?

I love the challenge, but trying to take what a client is saying they want, looking at a client to see their style, and interpreting the ideas into a finished design, can be challenging.

Why?

When I create something for a client, I want their jaw to drop when they see it and for them to say “This is me!” I want the excitement my mom showed years ago, every time I create a jewelry piece for a client.

What custom jewelry designing moment is most memorable to you?

The first time I got to use the torch and was melting metal and watching it form into something that I had only seen in my mind before. After that I wanted to learn everything that I could, and I feel that my training helps me design pieces that work. I understand what metals can do, how they work with gemstones, and what the finished product can be. I think that helps our jewelers be able to follow my designs and create the perfect piece.

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