Much like her jewelry, Rochelle Goldberg is an old soul with a fresh perspective. “My methodology is very straightforward. I spend a lot of time looking at things I find to be interesting or curious, whether its ancient jewelry, plant textures, nanoscopic images of bacteria, or photos of exploding nebulas taken from the Hubble Space Station,” she explains of her design process. “I’m into all of it. I let it sink in and then just flow out when I make the initial carvings of the pieces in wax.” While not all of us find bacteria equally inspiring, Goldberg has managed to translate her unusual awareness into an on-the-rise jewelry line, Ralph and Duchess. Named after her childhood bunnies and based in the designer’s professional sculpting background and love of history, the line features unique, hand-crafted pieces destined to be heirlooms. Three collections exist so far—Ralphie, The Duchess, and Bark—and each one features those standout pieces you relentlessly search for over hours of flea market digging.
Ralph and Duchess started two years ago as a side project while Goldberg was studying sculpture at the New York Studio School. “I try to maintain a clear distinction between making jewelry and my studio practice. They each serve a very different function and stem from diverging impulses,” says the designer. “That being said, my recent tendency towards playing with the volume and scale of jewelry has really loosened things up and I’m sure my studio activity has enabled this. My interest has turned Etruscan circa 500 BC, so the shapes will be very different while the texture will follow the previous vein.” A distinct eye armed with a classic skill, this young designer is only getting started. “Now that school’s out I have more time and energy to pour into my collections,” explains Goldberg. “I’m always open to helping hands, so when the budget is there I would love to get a team going.” Something tells me this budding one-woman show will need a team very, very soon.
1.Confetti System – Crystal Pinata – “I love it because it’s fashion treated as objects that are both interactive and a good time.”
2.Mark Fast – Cropped Ballet Style Top – “I’m always cutting up old panty hose to wear as tops. It’d be great to have a sturdier version that I could hold on to for a while.”
3. Serge Lutens – Fleur D’Oranger Eau de Parfum – “I’m addicted to the smell; it reminds me of summertime spent running around in fields.”
Photo of Rochelle by Rory Gunderson