Tiffany’s Jewelry Design and Innovation Workshop: Where Time-Honored Techniques in Jewelry Making Are Made Modern
Jewelry connoisseurs around the world revere Tiffany & Co. for its signature elegance, craftsmanship and style. But it’s not only precious metals, superlative gemstones and age-old craftsmanship behind Tiffany’s singular reputation as a fine jeweler. The Tiffany & Co. development center that few know about is the company’s visionary Jewelry Design and Innovation Workshop in New York City, (JDIW for short).
The bustling creativity center, tucked away a mere few steps from Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue headquarters, brings time-honored jewelry-making techniques into the present. New and traditional tools are used at JDIW to transform Tiffany’s visions into tangible prototypes. While reducing product development times and increasing the number of unique expressions of each design, Tiffany can also better keep pace with emerging trends, boost speed to market and uphold its renowned tradition of innovation.
Inside the 17,000-square-foot open floor plan space, Dana Naberezny, the workshop’s Vice President, oversees day-to-day operations. She heads up an all-star team of expertly trained jewelers, CAD designers, engineers and quality-assurance experts that’s handpicked from different industries. Designers sit side by side with jewelers at the 18 benches lining the workshop’s prototype development room, a space dedicated to honoring and expanding upon Tiffany’s enduring legacy of innovation. “We have so much ingenuity in innovation and technical know-how at Tiffany,” says Dana. “But it was scattered across the company. So, the concept behind the workshop was to bring them together in a single place.”
Tiffany devised the workshop as a center for creative collaboration, a space where no idea is too risky and no design too avant-garde. Teams quickly coalesce into project pods for streamlined collaboration. Together, they experiment with gemstones and precious metals to bring a range of possibilities for new collections to life.
“Since its inception in 1837, Tiffany has remained at the forefront of innovative jewelry design and expert craftsmanship,” Dana says. “With advanced technologies at their fingertips in the workshop, our designers can go from concept to prototype more seamlessly and efficiently than ever before. We’re excited to see what we dream up next.”
The JDIW’s tools of the trade span a mix of traditional heavy production machinery, bleeding-edge high-tech gadgetry and software and, most importantly, each team member’s discerning eyes, hands and instincts.
Metal melting torches and laser welders fire on and off, and laser engravers, sandblasters and polishers hum away as jewelry cutting and hammering tools—hand cranks, rolling presses and saw blades—clink, clatter and bang.
“Some might call it noisy. I call it magical electricity,” says Dana.