Michael and Catherine Jensen work hand in hand to create each original piece for Michael Jensen Designs. They pride themselves on doing everything from sketches to texture application completely by hand. This shows in their finished product!
They have had a number of different lines, many inspired by historical sites and museums, stories, and their travels. Currently, the VETUS collection, whose name comes from the Latin word for “aged,” headlines the brand. This line has been a dominant force for the past 10 years.
We are so excited to have them return to JCK Tucson this year to show us more of their strong, bold designs! We caught up with both Michael and Catherine in this week’s edition of Full Circle.
Describe your day in three numbers.
4 a.m. wake-up call, 2 peppermint teas, and 1 supervising cat.
How did you get started in the industry?
Michael: I started out creating small wearable sculptures, then apprenticing as a bench jeweler.
Catherine: I started out by working at an auction house in the jewelry department.
What is the best part about working together?
M&C: We love the shared combination of our individual strengths—our collaboration. We build on our ideas and challenge processes in our production.
Best career advice you’ve ever received?
M: Do what you love.
C: Don’t talk a job—do the job well. Take advantage of every opportunity offered.
What do you love most about jewelry?
M&C: The infinite variety of design, materials, and engineering opportunities in construction.
Why are you excited for JCK Tucson?
M&C: We are excited because it is a show focused on designer jewelry.
What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think JCK?
M&C: Resource—a resource for great jewelry.
Describe your personal jewelry style in five words or less.
M&C: Storied, authentic, and contextual.
What’s one thing you can’t live without?
M: Blank paper and a pencil.
Last book you read or TV show you binge-watched?
M: Penny Dreadful, the Showtime series.
C: Brilliance and Fire: A Biography of Diamonds, by Rachelle Bergstein.
What’s the last item you splurged on?
M&C: A Heatherwick Spun chair by the Heatherwick Studio in London.
Where do you see your business in five years?
M&C: In 30 more stores and selling a strong second line, AQANTHUS.