Macey Cohen on Making Meaningful Jewellery & Her Creative Process


One of my most talented friends Macey let me interview her about her jewellery-making business, Jane Dope Jewellery. Apart from being a metal-smith with a seriously independent style, Macey is a conscious consumer of ethically made goods and a resident of Mexico City. I asked her about her creative process and her jewellery design philosophy. Here’s what she had to say.

What does your process look like? How do you get started and what kind of supports do you need?

My process is something I’m still trying to figure out, from start to finish.  Right now I’m trying to come up with a way to make jewellery that is beautiful, meaningful, and wearable. So, I really want to create pieces that have a well-rounded soul to them and try to, without sounding too lofty, heighten the experience of the wearer. Jewellery is so personal and sentimental and I would love for my jewellery to be personal in a way that the political is personal. So, how does that process start?

But I always need coffee, water, music and preferably sunshine.

When are your most productive hours? 

I don’t have set productive hours, but if I have a good, solid 4 or 5 hours at the bench then I can get a lot done. I work as a tutor and soon as a teacher, so it can be hard to find the energy around those hours. And I live in Mexico City, so the chaos here is a permanent fixture to work around.


If you could invent a job that monetizes your bad creative habits, what would it be?

I would LOVE to give all my ideas that I think are cool but don’t want to do to someone else. Just like, a freelance idea-maker, no strings attached. I assume that job exists in some way but I’m probably highly under-qualified.

Where do you tend to gather inspiration from? How does Mexico inspire your work?

I honestly don’t know. I think I gather inspiration from politics, conversation, and art history, mostly. Some mixture of that.

And Mexico City? Living here can be like living in every time at once. It is so rich with history and colour, and the city just lives and breathes it. But also, there’s a beauty everywhere you look whether it’s in the indigenous arts, colonial architecture or post-earthquake destruction. And if you leave the city? God knows what day and age you’ll end up in.

What role does veganism play in your work? 

I think it’s more what comes before the veganism which is a concern for how materiality and our obsession with mindless consumption (guilty) affects people and the environment. So for jewellery, I try to use recycled metals and I support small businesses; my metal guy here is part of a family of a father and 7 brothers who all work in metals, I get stones from local markets, and in my home-studio I try to use natural alternatives to chemicals. My goal is to buy completely ethical stones and metals in the future.


How do you hope someone will feel when they open your jewelry boxes?

Like the jewellery really gets them and they want to wear it forever! Personally, I feel over-the-moon with gratitude when someone opens my jewellery boxes.

What do you do when you get totally frustrated? 

Take a break, man. Always take a break. Clear your mind, read for 15 minutes, watch a cat video on Youtube. It’s important.

Do you have a vision for your jewelry-making career?

I want a small store-front one day with a studio in the back and a team of me, another goldsmith, and someone who knows how to email with other humans like a normal member of society. And a studio dog. That’s the goal.

Which Etsy crafter(s) do you look up to?

I moreso find people on Instagram. I love the jewellery of @byangeline, who also has an etsy, and I like @acanthusjewlery for beautiful, decorative pieces. And I always check out for the kind of jewellery that’s really inspiring and challenging in a way.

Find Macey on Instagram at @jane.dope_ and on Etsy at JaneDopeJewellery.

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