Ocean State

Local Artist

About the Author

More about I Heart Rhody

Artist of the Month: Julian De La Garza

  1. Tell us about your work:

I create darkened modern jewelry for men and women made of bronze, sterling, and gold. I use fabrication methods, 3D printing, and casting to create my various designs and hand finish each piece so no two are exactly the same. I only use local casting sources, and when I use gemstones, I pick them myself at gem shows, or from reputable sources and set them myself as well.


  1. Is there a story behind the name of your business?

I got the “2nd” from Julian and Jewelry being double J’s when put together. I playfully call it “J Squared” on occasion.


  1. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?

I received my degree in Jewelry/Metals from Rhode Island College and haven’t stopped creating since!


  1. Where do you draw your  inspiration?

I draw my inspiration from an interesting combination of sources, Brutalist architecture, Dark Fashion clothing or even raw crystals and minerals. I also like a touch of darkness and mystery, things with surprising pops of color, obscured surfaces and raw textures.


  1. What’s your favorite item to create?

I have always had an affinity for making rings. In my opinion rings are the most important piece of jewelry we can own. It is often the piece we keep closest to our bodies or that we will wear most often, they’re in a lot of ways like a talisman and. can be a source of comfort and security. Rings have a large history of meaning depending on the finger they are worn on and can have so much character or detail put into such a small surface area.


  1. What’s your best seller?

My current best seller is my Jotunheim Ring or my Skull stackers


  1. How long have you been in Rhode Island?

I have been in Rhode Island for 27 years


  1. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?

Oh man, there’s a list! Sunsets at Colt State Park, Scarborough Beach at night, SO many good restaurants…SO MANY, the best tattoo artists around, the art scene around Providence, Opera at the Newport mansions (oh yeah I said Opera!), Free Play arcade bar, and the thriving jewelry industry still present


  1. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?

I can’t pick just one! Usually it’s places to eat, Mesa Cafe for breakfast and usually one of our incredible pizza places or maybe Rasoi or Thai Cafe if they’re adventurous! Can you tell I love food?


  1. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?

Find a good studio space to work in, ideally one with other artists. As artists we stand on each other’s shoulders and it’s important for us to be able to learn from each other! Don’t be afraid to try something new or experiment with a material or technique, and always use proper eye protection 8)


  1. Please include anything else you’d like to add:

I currently have a studio space at The Bench RI and I am teaching jewelry classes there. It’s a fantastic space for people who are beginners or advanced.

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