Jeweler De La Cruz Makes Camellia Jewelry

A veteran jewelry designer, Maria de la Luz has crafted camellia-themed jewelry for Temple City and the Camellia Festival.

Written by AMY FAN / Published March 11, 2011

Known in Temple City for her craftsmanship of camellia-themed jewelry, Maria de la Luz is an artisan in who has been creating fine jewelry since 1991.

A graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, she took additional studies at the Art Institute of New York and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. After graduating with a degree in jewelry arts manufacturing, she began her career with her own jewelry gallery in Old Town Pasadena. Since 1991, de la Luz has designed private and public pieces, including clients such as Paramount Studios, the Los Angeles Opera, the Tournament of Roses, and the Getty Museum.

According to de la Luz, her work is a combination of the tangible and abstract, and she remarks her job positively.

“Nature, in all of its forms, is a great source of inspiration, and to interpret its messages is always a childlike experience,” says de la Luz. “The anticipation and experience of being a facilitator of such a manifestation is always a reward to my spirit.”

After ten years of promoting jewelry business in Pasadena, Maria de la Luz became involved with designing camellia-themed jewelry after meeting the President and CEO of the Temple City Chamber of Commerce, Linda Payne. Agreeing to sell specially-designed camellia jewelry for Temple City, she created handcrafted earrings, necklaces, pins, and other wearable items.

To create each custom-designed piece, she starts with a piece of wax to carve the petals of the flowers, and casts the model in bronze to create a rubber mold. She then puts the jewelry together by hand, as with all of her original creations. She regards her work with pride because she takes meticulous time in crafting each individual piece.

“As a designer, this has been a great experience since the detail of the Camellia requires a lot of patience to accomplish the realistic look of the flower, as well as a wearable piece,” said de la Luz. “It is my hope that the person wearing it will feel the joy I experienced at the time I executed this special piece.”

Her jewelry was displayed and sold at the 67th Annual Camellia Festival last week.

Ms. de la Luz’s work can be found on her website, http://www.mariadelaluz.com.

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