Ruth Taubman

. October 1, 2014.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ruth Taubman. We have so many world-class yet low-key artists in our midst. Case in point: Ruth Taubman, American jewelry’s Doyenne of Design. An artistic genius whose medium is one-of-a-kind custom jewelry, she lives and works on the west side of Ann Arbor. Taubman’s artistic inclinations reach back to her childhood and to the relationships she’s developed along the way.

Growing Up

Taubman hails from Birmingham, Michigan. As a child, she was always drawing and doing creative projects, but her time at Groves High School, which had five full-time art teachers and excellent facilities, really forged her future. Looking back she realizes that the Groves’ art program was the equivalent of that of many small colleges. She was 15 years old and enamored with ceramics when the jewelry instructor, George Landino, suggested that she try one of his courses. “The first time I soldered,” said Taubman, “I realized, in that moment, that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” She took every class Groves offered, supplemented her interests with coursework at Cranbrook and the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center under instructor Bill Tall. In the summers she studied at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and she worked at her dad’s aluminum factory, viewing firsthand the industrial side of metalwork. She went on to major in metalsmithing and jewelry design at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. Her professor, Paul Stewart, told her, “it’s important to know who you’re not,” and, “The most important things you’ll take away from art school are your peers.”

New York Years

 Taubman worked in New York for 14 years, including a job with David Yurman, who she now says is a “juggernaut” complete with advertisements in many issues of  glossy magazines. Still friends, she introduced him when he spoke to the U of M School of Art and Design last spring.
She also befriended the most important people in the jewelry manufacturing industry: the artisans and the gem suppliers. Today she gets first choice of the finest and most unusual stones and pearls from around the world in deals that have been cemented with a handshake.

Back to Ann Arbor

 Taubman had her own New York studio near Union Square Park, but raising a family in NYC proved too much. She moved back to Ann Arbor 18 years ago, teaching  at the School of Art and Design for six years (bringing some real world perspective to what can be an abstract, conceptual, academic approach to jewelry). And she opened her studio right here in town, where, after 30 years of jeweling, she designs custom rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Although she is an accomplished goldsmith, she now focuses almost entirely on design, leaving the construction to the best in the world, her artisan friends back in New York. She shows her spring and fall collections at invitation-only events in San Francisco, New York and at her studio in Ann Arbor. The next event here is December 4-6, so Google her and get on her mailing list for an invite. On her website you’ll see the clean, bold lines in her work. Generally, she starts with a stone and brings out the most in it, achieving her signature “lit from within” effect. Anyone can buy a Cartier piece, easily recognizable for status purposes. Taubman’s clients want something you won’t see anywhere else, something no one else has, tailored to their body shape and dimensions. She keeps meticulous data on every item that she sells and on her clients and has been known to call clients to remind them of their upcoming anniversary. 

So what does the Taubman treatment cost? I didn’t ask, assuming that if I had to ask I couldn’t afford it. But I’ve started saving

Trending

DIYpsi Champions Local Artists (and here’s a PLAYLIST)

DIYpsi Aug 18 & Aug 19 at ABC Microbrewery I’ve detected an increasing amount of positive energy generating from the independent arts community of Ypsilanti over the last several years, grassroots efforts that stoke a sense of pride and celebration of the local culture scene, from First Fridays and Bona Sera, to the Threads All

Eighth Grade—Navigating Middle School Without Filters

If you missed Eighth Grade at Cinetopia, it’s finally officially playing this week at The State! Eighth Grade is this generation’s Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, and Welcome To The Dollhouse. If you’ve wondered what adolescence in the digital age is like, this movie’s strength is capturing Generation Z middle school life—while remaining universal.

August 2018—Biz Buzz

We’re keeping on an eye on what’s happening in local business. Find out more here!

The Mountain—’Spinning Dot Children’s Theater Company’ Premieres Play on Immigration

When performing plays, actors use props, costumes and set pieces to immerse themselves in the story. Spinning Dot Theatre repertory company members Aya Aziz and Forrest Hejkal, who star in the North American premiere of Chelsea Woolley’s two-hander, The Mountain, had extra help preparing to portray children on a playground; they did some of their