Jeweler Spotlight SeriesJewelry

Angely Martinez: Jeweler Spotlight

Angely Martinez Jewelry

Angely Martinez is a gifted award-winning jewelry designer hailing from the Dominican Republic and currently based in New York. In just 5 years into her career she’s made a strong entrance onto the scene. Some accolades and accomplishments include winning the MJSA Vision Award in ’18, authoring the BIPOC Open Letter along with 30+ jewelers in ’20, and debuting at The Radiance x COUTURE show in partnership with DeBeers’ Code of Origin Diamonds in ‘22. Just recently during last year’s ’23 NYCJW she was honored with the Here We Are Exhibition award, sponsored by David Yurman. Her work ranges in materials and draws influence from many places such as nature, fantasy, fashion, as well as the Romantic, Baroque and Rococo periods. 

We’re delighted to be featuring Angely in our Spotlight series! We delve into her journey, exploring Angely’s sources of inspiration, her strategies for overcoming creative blocks, and also uncover some of her favorite tools.

Angely Martinez Vinyl Flower Earring

You have so many accomplishments at such an early age! When you first began your career, how did you navigate the difficulties of jewelry-making, such as the high cost and the immense time it takes to hand-make jewelry? Did those restraints add or subtract from your creativity? 

Shortly after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), I launched my first collection. I was able to use the funds I received from my MJSA Award to start my studio. Since then, navigating the difficulties of making jewelry has been challenging but manageable. Between 2019-2022, I had multiple bench jobs (seasonal, part-time and full-time), and gigs here and there overlapping with these jobs. It was a huge blur (laughs), but I just didn’t allow my circumstances to stop me from making and designing. Like Never. I either made the time or found the time to create in between my schedule. If I can’t afford to make something, I still have my sketchbook to design, some wire, wax, or silver sheet to experiment with.  

How do you approach challenges or creative blocks in your work?

Another great question! Let me begin with challenges.

Every time I produce a collection, it begins with one crazy giant piece or pieces I made on the bench or sketched out. That’s the biggest challenge, like what is the center of this body of work? Then, it gradually becomes a collection as I develop the smaller pieces, although these can be challenges in and of themselves (laughs). I think I did like 30+ sketches just for The Promise Ring while The Mother Earth Ring (which gave birth to The Promise Ring) was done on a whim one afternoon on the bench.

Now for creative blocks, these last like a day or so. For me, a creative block is when I cannot figure out how to design a piece. So, to get out of my head, which creates the block, I sketch the idea until it clicks, or create a mockup on paper or fabricate samples on the bench straight into silver.  I have never run out of ideas. Inspiration comes from anywhere really and an idea can sprout at any moment.

Angely Martinez Jewelry Wood Cuff

In your recently awarded Here We Are Exhibition during NYCJW you showcased a broad range of materials including resin, wood, acrylic, silver, and more. Is there a technique or material you enjoy working with most or do you prefer the variety?

Ahhhh. This is a great question. I love variety. I learned to work with the alternative materials you just mentioned during my formative years as a student, and outside of school by experimenting. These days, however, my focus is more on metals like silver, gemstones, and gold in the mix. I am also revisiting wax and still using some materials like resin. I love working in alternatives, but I realized I was allergic to some of the adhesives used. So, I have to find other ways to work with them. Either way, it was a great phase in my life and hopefully someday I’ll find my way back to more projects using alternatives.

I love how you’ve drawn inspiration from historical art movements, such as Baroque and Rococo, to name a few. Your work also feels modern and wearable. Do you also pay attention or draw inspiration from current trends?

Yes! I am constantly paying attention to the fashion world, specifically the couture collections. The Margiela show in January was amazing and needed. Robert Wun and Rahul Mishra were also favorites from this Winter.  These inspire me to keep pushing my work further while still looking for references in the past.

Angely Martinez Jewelry Island Bar Ring

You’re both a talented artist and a business woman. How do you strike the balance between your goals to build and grow your business while also staying creative and growing as an artist? 

Awww thank you.

There’s an Azzedine Alaia quote that goes like this, “The work is part of your life, and the life is part of your work.” I am doing 1 major task per day now for business work and take small steps to do this. Then, I’ll do some design work if an idea comes to mind. Currently, Mondays, for example, are mostly for administrative work, then Pilates, go home and maybe sketch an idea, then cook dinner, listen to music, or watch a show. And then I figured out the rest of my week. I still go to museums and on walks to keep ideas flowing.

I’ve burned out in the past because I was doing too much, way too many distractions. For the first time ever, my plate is cleaned and now the focus is on the present to get ready for what’s next.

Angely Martinez Jewelry El Jardin Flower Girl Basket in silver and bronze

Is there a piece of work or collection you’re most proud of? If so, tell us why!

It would have to be El Jardin: The Flower Girl Basket. It was my first time creating a sculptural object entirely out of metal. Physically, it was an incredibly challenging piece to make. It involved many different techniques such as forging, raising, lots and lots of hammering, casting, soldering, wax carving, and Chasing and Repousse. I never thought about silver and copper metals to be used on a larger scale. It opened my mind to so many possibilities within my work.

How do you see your work evolving in the future, both creatively and in terms of business growth?

I see my work evolving into sculptural pieces while also continuing to do jewelry. So, I see my business expanding into other areas in the next few years. Creatively and in terms of business, I already know where I am headed, and it will be revealed in divine time.

Angely Martinez

What are three of your favorite bench tools at the moment?

Chasing hammer (you can do so much with it)

Diamond coated burs (you can carve super soft gems and modified if needed)

3M Discs in various grits (life savers for cleaning filigree and wire-based work)

Fretz Chasing Hammer
Fretz HMR-17 Chasing Hammer
GRS Diamond and Stone Bur Set
GRS® Diamond & Stone Bur Set
3M Radial Bristle Disc Sets
3M™ Radial Bristle Disc Sets

Explore some of Angely’s favorite tools!

We’re excited to see what’s next for Angely! For more info on her work visit her website at or follow her on IG @angelymartinezjewelry.

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