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Nov 10, 2003 For Victoria Tillotson, jewelry is a passion. Since childhood, Victoria has been obsessed with the idea of adornment - the style, self-expression, and persona that someone creates through the clothing, jewelry, hair and "look" she chooses. Growing up, Victoria found expression in punk rock music and style; years later, she's still drawn to the rebelliousness of that movement. "My 'look' has changed somewhat - gone is the mohawk and spiked leather jacket - but the spirit which propelled me to push the aesthetic envelope is still there. I am drawn to bold and outrageous forms, things that make people turn and stare, forms that are arresting and powerful."

In addition being inspired by a love of the raw energy of punk, Victoria takes an intellectual approach to jewelry design: she holds a Ph.D. and continues to teach and study literature and philosophy. "Although it may sound strange, I'm always thinking about designing jewelry through the lens of philosophy…it taps into things deep in our minds…and I'm always thinking about how it fits into the wider context of our existence." She is also inspired by her years of collecting unusual jewelry, beginning with the ethnic jewelry she piled on as a teenager. More recently she switched gears and began collecting, and then selling, modernist and Scandinavian jewelry.

As an object of passion, jewelry is a dynamic and powerful thing to Victoria, who calls this the "fetish" aspect of adornment. She explains: "I don't mean the whips-and-chains idea that you get in pop culture. It's that jewelry is a magical personal object which reveals something about its wearer and can change her image of herself." True fashion for Victoria is self-fashion - being true to yourself despite the prevailing styles of the time. For her, jewelry "is all about individualism and transformative power of personal style."

Victoria's designs are strong and futuristic, with great presence. Her jewelry is bold, sometimes with primitive forms pounded from sterling silver and gold and enhanced with a glimmering hammered finish. She adorns her pieces with natural semi-precious gemstones, always with an eye to striking shapes and colors. She is driven by the persistent desire to create unusual objects of beauty which may, in some small way, transform those who wear them.

Victoria lives in New York City, where she teaches jewelry making at School of Visual Arts, and English at Long Island University. In January 2000, she launched, her internationally renowned website for modernist jewelry (, and, in September 2003, her original jewelry lines.


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