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John S Brana Named Bay Area A-List – Best of 2014 Runner-up for Best Fine Jewelry

San FranciscoCA — Jewelry designer John S. Brana has announced that his eponymous collection of handmade fine jewelry has been selected as a runner-up winner for the 2014 Best of the Bay Area A-List. This marks his fifth honor in the Best Fine Jewelry category.

The Bay Area A-List is a website that awards Bay Area businesses honors in 168 categories. Winners are determined based on the tabulation of more than 37,000 votes from local residents and industry experts. Winners are given a web page to promote their products and services, and new results are published annually.


In the 2014 Best of the Bay Area A-List Awards, Brana’s designer jewelry collection received Runner-up Award – Best Fine Jewelry, ranking in second place out of 45 local San Francisco handmade jewelry collections in the Fine Jewelry category. His handmade fine jewelry line won Runner-Up awards in 2010 and 2013 and was named a Finalist in the Fine Jewelry category in 2012.

The line of designer jewelry made from copper, aluminum, fine silver and gold received the Best Designer Jewelry Award in 2008.  On John S Brana’s Handmade Jewelry profile page of the Bay Area A-List Awards, more than 35 voters are quoted, describing the quality craftsmanship and unique designs of the John S. Brana Jewelry Collection.

John S. Brana Handmade Jewelry is a collection of fine jewelry produced in San Francisco. The pieces in the collection are handcrafted from a variety of precious metals, including fine silver, sterling silver, copper, gold and aluminum. Embellishments like freshwater pearls and faceted gemstones are used in many pieces and are all hand-selected to ensure that every piece is of high quality. Designs are inspired by natural elements from the texture of tree bark to the colors of flowers. Pieces are sold online at


John S. Brana is the artist behind the collection and the owner of the jewelry line. His career began in law and banking, and he formerly served as a Vice-President for Finance for The Charles Schwab Corporation. In 2003, Brana was inspired to leave the corporate world and begin producing his own handmade fine jewelry. The collection debuted in 2004 and is produced at Brana’s San Francisco studio.

John S Brana Handmade Jewelry

1043 Portola Drive
San FranciscoCA 94127

[email protected]

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Best Seattle Handmade Jewelry

Hammered Fine Silver Chrysoprase Necklace
Hammered Aluminum Tear Drop Earrings - Handmade Seattle Jewelry
Hammered Aluminum Tear Drop Earrings

Looking for a wonderful gift idea for that someone special, or even yourself? Have you thought of handmade jewelry? There are countless well-designed pieces of jewelry by hand crafted artists of Seattle. Consideration must be given to a few things before you going out to your favorite Seattle arts festival or gallery. Firstly, you ought to think about what their tastes are like when it comes down to fashion and jewelry. Among the best ways to make certain that your gift of handmade jewelry will be well received is to first figure out if it fits within the individuals personal tastes. You will find nothing more embarrassing than offering a gift of handmade yellow gold jewelry to someone that commonly wears only white gold, silver or platinum jewelry. Perhaps you may also want to examine what they’ve most of and pair it with a different category of jewelry. If they have lots of band and cocktail rings, you might want to get them a set of earrings or maybe a bracelet or necklace, just to be different.


Hammered Fine Silver Chrysoprase Necklace - Handmade Seattle Jewelry
Hammered Fine Silver Chrysoprase Necklace

Always choose quality over quantity every time when shopping for handmade jewelry. If you are comparison shopping, don’t get suckered in to thinking a larger piece is a better value if the quality isn’t equal to smaller sized jewelry that is better made. Always go for quality! Speaking of price, those on a budget simply need to remember that good handmade jewelry is not always expensive. Remember that in the end, like many things in life, quality usually wins out, and this is especially true with handmade jewelry.

Similar to innovations in civilization, jewelry design and styles have progressed in keeping with new materials and manufacturing methods. Jewelry design developed during the Stone Age to the Bronze age and again during the Iron Age through the Industrial Revolution, only to return back to very basic forms in design and materials. Hand crafted jewelry has adorned mankind long before man had the ability to reason. Early man employed flowers, hand woven grasses, shells, and stones as accessories to accentuate and beautify the human body. We might have been wearing jewelry as far back as 75,000 years ago — 30,000 years earlier than previously assumed — according to an interesting report by National Geographic News.

Today, jewelry is primarily machine made, allowing manufacturers to generate uniform jewelry designs much more economically than traditional hand crafting and hand-casting techniques allow. CAD/CAM design and high-volume casting machines allow many Seattle jewelry manufacturers to efficiently turn designs into uniform molds and onto finished jewelry with speed and uniformity. Mechanical forges and punch presses are also used by Seattle jewelry manufacturers to produce simulated “handmade” effects and patterning like a hammered or chased appearance, ensuring that production is both consist ant and highly profitable.

Aluminum Bark Cuff - Seattle Handmade Jewelry
Aluminum Bark Cuff

During the past decade, a great interest in handmade jewelry has taken place. Many consumers are seeking jewelry with greater individuality and uniqueness that handmade jewelry designers in Seattle have to offer over mass-produce pieces. Given this renewed interest in handmade, many Seattle jewelry designers are seeing greater demand for their talents and designs for unique handmade jewelry. it is not uncommon these days to see your favorite major department store or art gallery devote retail space to designer handmade jewelry. The internet has also made handmade jewelry very accessible to a world wide following. Many handmade jewelry artisans can enjoy the benefits of selling directly to a world-wide clientele.

The most basic definition of handmade jewelry is that it is crafted by hand as opposed to mechanically made by a machine. To most purest, this definition goes further to mean that the total process is done by hand. Many consumers and artisans get this definition wrong. Attaching machine made components to one another by hand does not make the piece handmade. Utilizing a wide variety of techniques to create desired forms and shapes, handmade jewelry designers use metalsmithing skills like forging and fabrication along with a variety of simple tools. One of the key indicators that a piece of jewelry is truly handmade is through observation of dissimilarity. Does the piece have uniform or varied hammer marks? Individuality, culture, and meaning are clearly evident in handmade objects. Handmade jewelry techniques require considerable concentration, time, skill, creativity, and dedication. This is often clearly recognizable in the finished piece, making fine handmade jewelry stand out from mass-manufactured, uniform items.

Copper Tear Drop Wire Wrapped Earrings with Amazonite Gemstone Beads
Copper Tear Drop Wire Wrapped Earrings with Amazonite Gemstone Beads

Some handmade, traditional-style jewelry appears less perfect than machine-made jewelry, although high quality handmade jewelry should nonetheless be made to last, and this should be apparent in the details. More often than not, manufactured jewelry has a higher probability of breaking than its handmade counterpart. Many department stores sell “handmade jewelry” labels, but this doesn’t necessarily mean high quality. Many of these “handmade” pieces are actually hand-assembled pieces that are composed of mass-produced components (findings) and are quickly assembled by hand. Most jewelry manufacturers that specialize in mass-produced jewelry usually run on a piecemeal or quota based system, incentivising higher output, usually resulting in lower quality. The more you make, the more you get paid or you get to keep your job. Over the long run, you would be much better off in terms of wear ability if you selected non-mass produced jewelry, or jewelry that wasn’t made in huge production runs. If you are looking for high quality handmade jewelry in Seattle, look for the artisan’s name attached to the piece. This represents both reputation and quality. Fortunately, quality and uniqueness are typically apparent to the careful observer.

Handmade jewelry affords the pleasure of unique, often rare designs, which are not-identical, typically made by a true artist, with great love and passion. Producing well made and designed jewelry is an art form. This strength of feeling comes across in the design process, and in the finished jewelry itself. Mass-produced items simply have less soul. Handcrafted jewelry also better displays the wearer’s personal touch and style, revealing individuality and interest. To wear mass-produced jewelry, of a common style, lends the wearer the perception of being somewhat mass-produced. Mass-produced jewelry can indeed be less expensive to purchase, as it’s definitely less expensive to produce, but it is not necessarily less expensive to purchase. Simply put, mass-produced is just that…cookie cutter soulless jewelry with no special meaning, no story to tell, no life. When’s the last time you told a story about that one pair of earrings you bought from your favorite Seattle department store ( you know, the one’s picked from twenty identical pairs)? Probably never. With handmade jewelry, it’s a pleasure to be able to tell admirers the story behind what you are wearing. Simply put, handmade jewelry is a joy to wear!

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