Andy Lifschutz grew up in Oregon and later Portland, USA. He was afforded a very artistic upbringing, which was encouraged by his parents and strengthened by the powerhouse that was his grandmother. The Los Angeles-based artist creates endearing designs under the brand name Andy Lif Jewelry.
The 18-karat yellow gold Etta pendant looks striking in green translucent enamel and accented with diamonds. The pendant suspends from an Italian Franco chain.
The perfect huggie earrings in 18-karat Italian yellow gold dressed in Robin’s egg blue plique-ájour enamel and pave-set diamonds.
Top: Pendant set with Eye Clean African tourmaline and diamonds on Italian yellow gold.
Facing (top): Cobra ring set with diamonds and accented with cognac plique-á-jour translucent enamel windows. Cobra earrings in yellow gold and diamonds with plique-á-jour enamelled windows in red.
Facing (below): Sima ring in translucent green enamel and diamonds. Primary Contrast – Purple garnet ring with blue sapphires.
I had a thing for collections as a child. I amassed a collection of coins, baseball and basketball cards, and treasured rocks and keys. The keys were passed down to me by my father, and some of those really old keys helped me start my first collections. I have a Leo rising so I’ve also always liked to adorn myself! It was through travel that a more profound love of jewellery was sparked.
I began by apprenticing under Kristen Hanson in New York City, as well as at a company in New York’s storied diamond district that catered to high-end jewellery designers and brands. I later moved to Mexico for two years to study at Sterling Quest. Upon my return to Portland, I continued my studies, studying at Portland State University under Gunnar Adamovics, and I was also challenged to continually improve my craftsmanship because I began selling my work. When I moved back to New York, I continued to supplement my education through impromptu apprenticeships. I consider my art an ongoing learning process, and I will forever be studying as a craftsperson.
I feel like I have a unique point of view and I want to share that in order to bring happiness to people’s lives. Well-made jewellery that is intentional in every aspect of its design and craftsmanship can be cherished and can help bring joy to the world. I want my creations to have a larger impact on the lives of more people. Having my own brand allows me to buy stones from smaller vendors who pay top dollar for the rough they are buying directly from communities in developing countries.
I didn’t just want to add more colour to the universe but rather, it’s about the specific combinations of colour, how enamel and gemstones look set in gold; it’s the exact hues of colour and taking the time to think about how my pieces are going to be lived in. I feel my designs have a strength and sexiness to them.
What really fascinates me about pliquea- jour is that it attracts light. It shoots colour onto your finger or onto your shoulder if it’s in the sunlight, and that effect is unique and awe-inspiring, both for the wearer and the people in the company of the wearer. I first learned plique-a-jour enamel with a renowned Southern California-based enamellist and I was attracted to it initially because I felt like it was the one enamelling technique that hadn’t been updated. The pieces that I’ve created with plique-a-jour are very contemporary and are made for every day wear.
The ‘Speed of Color’ collection is the first for Andy Lif Jewelry. It was formed and curated when I built this all-star team of industry experts that have helped me focus my creativity. It was inspired by my grandmother and her love of colour – my grandmother was a gallery artist, who was renowned in Oregon. She made elaborate patchwork quilts and woven tapestries; she was an expert weaver and a painter and a writer, and her work perfectly showcased how important the combination of colour is, how exact hues and shades and textures are important.
Inspirations in Life:
In addition to my grandmother, both my parents inspired me. They were hard workers and they were determined to create a good life for my sisters and me. I look to Oregon as a huge source of inspiration. Growing up I was so immersed in nature; and I consider being immersed in the natural world is one of my biggest foundational pillars.
Collaborating with Craftsmen, Artists:
Everyone I work with has their own bit of magic; I pride myself on seeking out people to work with that have a unique point of view. With the precision stonecutters specifically, I see them as the next generation of an important part of the fine jewellery community. These precision cuts give the end consumer a higher quality gem – and to me that means that the beauty of the stone is more enhanced, and the stone sits better in its setting.
Gems: I love gemstones.
At the moment, I’m really infatuated with tourmalines and all of the different colours that exist within that stone group. I’m also drawn to garnets and colour changing garnets.
Exhibiting in Design Atelier is a great opportunity to share my work with the COUTURE community. I couldn’t be more excited to meet the esteemed attendees, as well as my peers, and I’m excited to take this first step forward in what I hope will be a long career within this celebrated design community.
“THE ETTA PENDANTS ARE ACCESSIBLE AND UNDERSTANDABLE, BUT THEY’RE STILL INCREDIBLY IMPACTFUL.”