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  • Cara Croninger

    from Garnerville, NY

Cara Croninger

About Cara Croninger

If you don’t know the name Cara Croninger, you should, especially if you have even a passing interest in jewelry. Back in the early 1970s, Croninger, a single mother of two young girls, moved to Manhattan’s Tribeca, then an industrial no man’s land in the process of being colonized by artists. A self-taught sculptor, she began experimenting with polyester resin—pouring it into molds (she used whatever she had at hand, including ice cube trays), then carving it into jewelry, something that hadn’t been done before. Though she hadn’t thought of selling her work, a chance encounter with a neighbor led to an introduction to a buyer at Henri Bendel, who was enchanted with what she saw. As soon as they went on sale, Croninger’s pioneering pendants and cuffs were a hit. Customers became avid collectors, buying Croninger’s heart pendants in as many colors as she could make them in.

Along with artists like Robert Lee Morris, Croninger was at the center of the art jewelry movement. In fact, her work is in the permanent collection of the American Craft Museum in New York, and she’s since collaborated with designers from Geoffrey Beene to AHAcurator Jenni Kayne, who commissioned Croninger to make a series of clear resin pieces for her spring 2011 collection.

Along with her wearable pieces, Croninger also makes spectacular resin bowls. Like everything she produces, each is a one-of-a-kind collectible. The artist first pours clear liquid resin, pigments and dyes into a handmade mold, before carving and sanding each piece by hand (some are polished, others left matte). We’re proud to offer three Cara Croninger originals: a substantial olive green bowl, which we can imagine as the centerpiece of a chicly minimal living room; one of her signature heart pendants, here in graphic black and white (other colors available, see below); and a striking clear cuff with hand-painted abstract black striping on the inside that looks as spectacular off the wrist as it does on. All of which make a major style statement without you having to utter a word.

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