Widely regarded as one of the country’s most talented and exciting fine jewelry designers, Mish Tworkowski—founder of his eponymous brand Mish New York—is heading south to Sarasota next week. Tworkowski's designs have been seen on the pages of Town & Country, W, Vanity Fair, Veranda, Robb Report and Vogue. This will come as no surprise to those who know and collect his pieces—and if his name is new to you, simply scroll down. There's something delightfully tactile and beautiful about Tworkowski's style.
Tworkowski will be here in person, along with a finely curated and expansive trunk show collection, for Lunch in the Gardens at Michael's on the Bay at Selby Gardens on Thursday, October 25, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is one of a series of luncheon lectures, and will also feature Tom Mirenda, author and columnist for ORCHIDS magazine, American Orchid Society conservation chair, and former Orchid Collection Specialist for the Smithsonian Institution. For tickets visit selby.org, call (941) 366-5731 or email [email protected].
I caught up with Tworkowski for a quick Q+A to learn more about this dapper guy with an eye for collectible gems.
How does your background in art history and fine arts studies inform your designs?
Both have hugely shaped every aspect of my life.
I studied art history in both New York and London, and my first job out of college was at Sotheby’s, the art auction house. Organized education—whether in school or at work—teaches you to look, observe and focus. Attention to beautiful details and love of exceptional workmanship has deeply informed every level of my work, and I have had the good fortune of being exposed to amazing art at an early age.
Tell us something you could not have predicted when you began Mish New York.
How small and specialized the fine jewelry world is. There's a relatively small group of fine jewelry designers; we all shop for stones globally and have clients all over the planet. For a small industry, we have a global impact.
What’s your advice for refreshing a jewelry collection?
If you truly love a piece of jewelry you should wear it, regardless of what’s in fashion. If you don’t love it, you should sell it through a reputable dealer, auction house or online reseller. You will never wear something you don’t love.
You’re not known for following every trend that comes along. How do you keep your designs current, but not trendy?
I believe exceptional fine jewelry should not follow trends. It should be beautiful, exquisitely crafted, and make the wearer feel wonderful every time they put it on. If you attempt the above, you don’t need to closely follow fashion trends. The jewelry can then have a more meaningful place in the owner’s life, whether it’s an everyday or special occasion jewel.
What is your earliest memory of jewelry?
I began to create jewelry as a hobby when I was a boy. Friends of my family had a wonderful jewelry business that I would frequently visit; one of my earliest, most vivid jewelry memories is seeing a row of talented workmen sitting at their jewelry benches polishing and assembling beautiful bracelets.