Meet the Designer: J Topolski

Meet Jenny, the J of J Topolski.  You can find her unique and beautiful handmade jewelry and ceramics at the Better Than Jam Pop Up Shop on Governors Island this summer.

What’s your favorite thing about Governors Island?

The ferry ride! But only when it isn’t too crowded. I like watching the dockworkers.

What got you started in making your craft?

 I studied printmaking in college, which led to me making the etched necklaces.  Everything else I just kind of learned along the way whenever the interest grabbed me.

Small Etched Honeycomb Necklace

What’s your favorite part about doing what you do?

 Having control over my life, and being able to do different things every day.

What’s your favorite tool?

 I really love my Dremel. But I also love putting the final shine on my real bee resin jewelry with a nail buffer. It squeaks in a very satisfying way.

What do you do when you have a creative block?

 I always have a list of projects to work on, so I just start on one of those. I almost always come up with new ideas when I’m already working on something else. If all else fails, I just pick up a pencil and draw whatever is in front of my face.

Shipwrecked Necklaces

Where do you live and work and how does it affect your art?

I have an apartment in Williamsburg with a home studio. It’s convenient to work from home, but it has the hazard of distractions. I’m always working, but I’m almost never working 100%. It can be very inefficient.

What’s your favorite part about summer in the city?

I actually love the heat, so it’s my absolute favorite time of year. I love how everyone is outside, barbeques, Coney Island day trips, open fire hydrants, gardening in my little yard, sitting on the stoop, outdoor drinking, summer clothes, going to the Metropolitan Pool… the list goes on.

Whale Skeleton Necklace, Show Your Bones

What’s your favorite piece that you make and why?

I can’t exactly explain why, but I love my ouroboros necklace. Setting the snakeskin in to it is the best.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Realistically- things will probably be about the same, but maybe in a different neighborhood and hopefully with a dog. Ideally- I’d like to be spending winters in the Caribbean!

What’s your favorite handmade possession? 

Vintage clothes that I can tell were lovingly sewn.

Ceramic Beehive Candle Holder, Lantern


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