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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our Very Own Metalsmith: An interview with bmjnyc

This week's interview features Barbara Polinsky - Owner, Designer, Metalsmith of Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry (BMJNYC.)

Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Barbara Polinsky and I started selling on Etsy less than 2 years ago. I feel fortunate to have experienced a few different careers before starting my own business as a metalsmith and jewelry designer. My journey has been interesting, to say the least. I never formally studied design (I studied marketing and more recently metalsmithing techniques) and didn’t learn “the rules” of aesthetics and styling. My process originates from within, allowing me to incorporate lessons learned from life and experiences gained by working in different fields.

I try to make jewelry that is beautiful but more importantly, jewelry that has emotional significance as well. I have 2 groupings. The first is called Beauty in Imperfection™, which carries a message of acceptance of others and of our selves. The second is an organic collection I refer to as Twigs. Twigs are made from reclaimed gold and silver, often incorporating repurposed gemstones. It is a tribute to Mother Nature and organic magnificence.

What special things do you create for weddings?
Most often Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands. I have also made custom gifts for the wedding party and Jewelry for the Bride.

Who or what sparked your interest in making wedding-related items?
I started by making new wedding bands and stacking rings for myself– I’m embarrassed to say how many I have. Friends and friends of friends began commissioning me to make rings for them and encouraged me to post a few styles on Etsy. The response has been incredible.

What is a little known fact, or something unique about your work that is interesting? Most of my work comes about by mistake or by accident. Beauty in Imperfection was born when I was trying to make a “perfect” bangle. That day, I kept making careless mistakes and I got so frustrated that I squished the entire piece in a rolling mill! When it emerged from the other end of the mill, I was astonished at the graceful irregular form. It got me thinking about how much time and energy we spend in pursuit of perfection.

If you are married, what’s the one thing you wish you had for your wedding that you didn’t?
Alan and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Back then we considered having a video made but never did. I regret not having captured the moment live. Some family members are no longer with us and our children would love to have gotten a glimpse of our life before they were born.

What is your favorite wedding song?
Tonight I Celebrate My Love by Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson

What is your favorite part of the wedding journey?
I really enjoy collaborating with young men – guiding them in designing the perfect engagement ring for their Brides to be. They are so sincere and genuine in their wish to please their fiance and their promise of building a wonderful life together. I’m honored to help them fulfill this wish and it’s so rewarding to be a part of it.

What advice can you share for all the brides getting married this year?
Keep in mind what is really important and don’t get bent out of shape about supporting details.

What is your perfect honeymoon spot?
A quiet beach.

If you could pick anyone famous that would purchase your items for their wedding, who would they be?
My customer is thoughtful and compassionate. She (and he) has a strong sense of self and how they fit into the world around them. If she is famous on the red carpet or only in her own family, it doesn’t matter to me. I try to treat everyone with consideration and sensitivity.

If you could choose 1 item from your shop that you wish every bride could have, what would it be?
A pair of small Twig Hoop Earrings – they go with everything and also make a nice gift for Bridesmaids.

Thank you so much for your interest in my work. To find out more please check my website , my Etsy store or contact me directly at


agoodbuild said...

love your work!

AuroraRose said...

I'd love that gold and diamond ring as a wedding ring!! sigh....

parsi said...

I love the gold ring. You are a great artist!

Nutfield Weaver said...

Thanks for sharing and for allowing us to get to know you! You have such a gift.

Barbara Polinsky said...

Thanks so much for all your lovely compliments - I love being a part of The Etsy Wedding Team!

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