Jacob Albee: Inspired by Meteorites

Jacob Albee: Inspired by Meteorites

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Jacob Albee and his son, Axel“The short story behind why I make jewelry is because I wasn’t a star athlete in high school and didn’t play guitar but I did like girls.” Jacob Albee found that girls were indeed interested in talking to him about his work! A few years later he met his wife, Kristen, when she purchased a ring from his first gallery show.

Jacob made his first ring in 1992 at age 15 and, after college, took a job as a jeweler at Grannis Gallery in Burlington, VT. Working there, a key event changed his life. He received a gift of Gibeon meteorite from his employer (“it was the most electrifying material I had ever seen”), which led him to his signature work using iron meteorite. He now pairs iron meteorite with gold, platinum, sterling silver, diamonds and other gemstones to create stunning, one-of-a-kind rings, pendants, necklaces and men’s wrist cuffs.

At the gallery, Jacob honed his fabrication skills and learned from “some of the best jewelry designers in America. Just as important, I learned how to communicate with and serve customers, how to sell and how to run a business.” These skills are evident at Paradise City Arts Festivals. At the shows, Jacob has displayed work from five very different collections. These include Heaven and Earth, featuring Gibeon meteorite and gemstones, the Rubber Collection, featuring cables of twisted rubber and the Free Diamonds Collection, in which many tiny diamonds float freely in a cage inside a ring.

"Offset Sapphire Ring"Jacob was the recipient of a NICHE Award in 2008 and 2013, and has been named a NICHE finalist nine times. Publications include feature articles in Jewelry Artist/Lapidary Journal and AmericanStyle, as well as Lark Book’s Showcase 500 Art Necklaces and 500 Gemstone Jewels,  Jeffrey B. Snyder’s Art Jewelry Today 2 and Natalio Martín Arroyo’s The Sourcebook of Contemporary Jewelry Design.

In his college years at the University of Vermont, Jacob was torn between the paths defined by dual degrees in fine art and wildlife biology. Lucky for us, Jacob’s first job at the gallery in Burlington convinced him that art was the right path. Jacob and Kristen Albee opened Jacob Albee Designs in 2006 and now have a vibrant jewelry business and two young children with whom they enjoy outdoor adventures in beautiful Vermont.

"Champagne Pendant" In the future, Jacob would like to make more sculptural work. His current aesthetic would transfer well to larger scale hollow raised vessels. These could be functional serving pieces, containers or vases or non-functional sculpture combining some of his signature materials with a larger, open format. He often has a small scale sculpture project in process in his shop. He occasionally enjoys looking away from the tiny piece of jewelry in his magnifier to work on something “I can hold in my hand and hit with a hammer.” You can meet Jacob at Paradise City Northampton on October 11 – 13 and Paradise City Marlborough on November 21 – 23.  Stop by his booth and ask him about sourcing his iron meteorite from a meteor that fell in Namibia between 10 and 30 thousand years ago!