Posted: May 26, 2020

Much like choreography, designing jewelry is an artistic process that can take on a stunning shape of its own once started, resulting in flowing, endless movements and intricate patterns… or maybe that’s only when it’s created by a ballet dancer!

Principal Jermel Johnson is not only an artist on stage, but a talented jewelry designer, creating timeless wire-wrapped pieces for his line Inspired Adornments by JJ. These one-of-a-kind pieces start with wire woven hundreds of times into a unique frame that often encases crystals, minerals and gemstones sourced from local gemshops. Each piece is then oxidized in a patina solution and polished to a shiny finish exposing each striking detail.

Jermel can trace his love of weaving jewelry back to his childhood where he learned to create lanyards in the Boy Scouts. It wasn’t long before these lanyards quickly turned to colorful bracelets and necklaces for his family and friends. In more recent years, Jermel rediscovered this interest when experimenting with paracord bracelets that finally led to a desire for something more intricate and substantial. Several YouTube how-to videos later and Jermel was creating mini works of art.

Sometimes inspired by the stone itself, Jermel prefers to go with the flow when creating each new piece. “How dancing sometimes reacts to music is how I try to weave and coil the wires. It’s relaxing being able to move the wires in ways that they seem to have slid themselves into place.”

How does he find time to do it as a principal dancer and father to two young children? Jermel uses every moment he can to imagine and create new designs and patterns. “In between rehearsals, while I’m commuting on the train into work, and now [while staying at home] between naps and meals for the kids. Most of the time I’m not able to complete a piece from start to finish in one sitting, so I continue doing bits and pieces when I can until it’s finished.” Each design is a real labor of love!

Jermel’s jewelry is available for purchase on his Etsy shop Inspired Adornments by JJ. Have a piece already in your collection? Share it with us on social media!

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