Up Close and Personal
Behind the Scenes: Meghann Sommer of Etcetera Jewelry
From the best local independents to that joint known as Anthro, her gem-strung necklaces are modern essentials.
Ohio River Valley native Meghann Sommer came to Seattle about six years ago with the intent of staying for a few months. All these years later—thanks to a sort of random job at a bead store on Capitol Hill—her accessories line Etcetera is one of the city's most popular. Sommer's self-taught modern, architectural, and often asymmetrical style is the perfect counterbalance for the ancient wisdom that's strung up in the gems and geodes that trademark her necklaces. Word of these earthy and brilliant designs made its way to buyers at Anthropologie last year; they picked up Etcetera for the winter season and will offer it again this spring.
Shop Talk: What neighborhood is your studio in?
Sommer: My studio is currently in Capitol Hill.
What is your earliest memory of designing?
I started getting into collage and printmaking when I was in high school and continued to pursue it with an undergraduate degree from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. My personal process for jewelry making is a lot like collage work. I have materials in front of me and let the shapes, stones, and objects play and build off each other. Another aspect of my process is collecting. Since childhood I've had an affinity with collecting certain objects, and with my jewelry making I've taken a treasure hunting approach to gathering materials.
What do you do to get yourself in a productive headspace when you're feeling stuck?
A lot of times if I'm feeling stuck I just have to keep moving. Sometimes it'll take me a few moments to arrange a design and other times an hour. I just keep going at it no matter how long it takes.
Five things you can't work without:
Good tunes, incense, ziplock bags, comfy clothes, and my gems.
What's the best thing about your workspace?
My current studio space is my apartment living room, so I'd have to say having the ability to work whenever I need to and still have all the comforts of my home space is a big plus.
Where can we find your work?
Right now my pieces are available at Prism and Velouria in Ballard. Cairo, Ghost Gallery, and Glasswing on Capitol Hill, and at the local online shop Craft and Culture.