Alumni spotlight

Patrick Mohs Jewelry, 2013 JCK Rising Star


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Background 
We are Patrick Mohs Jewelry – husband and wife jewellery designers and creators, Patrick Nelson and Mary Kay Mohs. We both grew up in small towns in Minnesota and studied at GIA in Carlsbad, but didn’t cross paths until a few years later. We met in 2005, happy to find out we had so much in common, especially our love for jewellery, gems and design.
 
Patrick grew up in his mother’s jewellery store, so he had a fascination with jewellery from a young age.  Mary Kay always admired her mother’s beautiful jewellery and loved learning about rocks and gemstones and how they were formed in the earth. She knew that it was something that she wanted to be a part of. 
 
Patrick earned his Graduate Gemmologist and Graduate Jeweler diplomas in 2000; Mary Kay earned her Graduate Gemmologist in 2004.
 
We have been married since 2006 and have been designing and making jewellery together ever since. Our studio is in Wayzata, Minnesota, where we bring all of our jewellery to life – from pencil and paper to metal and gemstones.
 
The Design Process
It is a constantly evolving tug of war! It all starts with a concept, often taken from nature, then multiple sketches and many variations on paper. From there it’s back and forth between us until we settle on the final design to bring to life in our studio. We continue to make changes until it gets the feel we have in our minds. It has to be just right for both of us – this is our art.
 
The look and feel of our jewellery is natural in its flowing lines and movement. Waves are a central theme we are working on. Other themes are natural shapes like volcanos, flowers and snow drifts, along with lakes (we are from Minnesota after all!).
 
We are trying to say “explore” with our jewellery, in the hopes of making each piece striking and captivating. We see each design as an adventure we are sharing together. We want to create pieces that make people wonder and make the wearer feel special. 
 
Favourite Gemstones and Metals
One of our favourite gems is the golden South Sea pearl, which we find to be warm, delightful and unexpected -- especially in contrast to diamonds. We are always on the hunt for unique gemstones – such as Koroit opal, tsavorite, chrysoprase, purple sapphire, kunzite, gem silica – and enjoy contrasting them with another vivid colour to bring a piece to life. Colour brings a design to life!  
 
The metal we use the most is 18K yellow gold. We love the richness of its colour and the way it contrasts with and highlights many gemstones. We also enjoy exploring with platinum and palladium. 
 
You can only imagine the “discussions” we’ve had about selecting gemstones since we are business partners, jewellery designers, married and both Graduate Gemologists!
 
Motivation
We’re doing what we love and in turn, creating art.  We love having the freedom to challenge what might be the norm, explore what might be possible and bring to life a vision. Every piece truly is an adventure.
 
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Mary Kay and Patrick Mohs. Photo provided by Patrick Mohs Jewelry.