What: Silver, brass and copper made into modernist-art-inspired jewelry such as necklaces, earrings and rings. Forms and motifs from famous paintings and the golden age of design inspire one-of-a-kind pieces.
Who: Blaine Hurdle is the founder and owner of Needles and Pins. He grew up in Charlotte working at his father’s jewelry business. “I spent many hours after school with him during the summer in his shop. I was always fascinated by the tools and processes that go into creating jewelry,” Hurdle said. After taking classes in CPCC’s art program, he realized that he wanted to pursue jewelry making. Hurdle has been at Diamonds Direct since 2008. After a few years of making and repairing jewelry, he started designing his own pieces.
Why it works: “My inspiration comes from my love for music, art history and natural science. I try to make things not traditionally available or seen as jewelry.” Hurdle also puts a lot of thought into how his work is presented. He wants the experience of opening it to be as unusual and interesting as the piece itself.
Favorite piece: “If I had to choose a favorite it would be the Solar System necklace. The piece was made for an art exhibition at Goodyear Arts. I was very proud of the detail and functionality of that piece. It clasped around the neck at the front, and the planets from the solar system hung down in a vertical formation about 14 inches long.”
Target audience: “To see people of all ages gravitating towards my unusual designs is a surprise and a motivation to trust my own instincts. The pieces are intended for people to wear on any occasion, either layered over a t-shirt with jeans or as a statement piece worn on the Tonight Show (thanks Emily Moore!).”
Find more CLT Made goods by searching the Observer website for that title, or on the “CLT Made” Pinterest page.