Welcome to Tres Elegante Designs!
Jan Stiles, Artist at Tres Elegante Designs
My name is Jan Stiles, and I am the artist behind Tres Elegante Designs jewelry. My husband of 46 years and I run this company together. Family is everything to us! Not only are they the greatest joys of our lives, but I also feel deep gratitude for the artistic influences my family has given me, which have resulted in the opportunity to grow my jewelry design business.
Artistic From An Early Age...
The Tres Elegante Designs story truly began with my Mom, who taught me to sew despite the demands of raising five children. I drew inspiration from her clothing design, cooking, flower arranging, photography, and other artistic and creative pursuits from an early age, learning to sew at 10 and developing an interest in all sorts of art forms. By 8th grade I was making all of my own clothes, and by college I was able to tailor a winter coat for myself and a suit for my father.
My paternal grandmother also inspired artistic expression. During summers away from my hometown of Detroit, at my grandparents’ cottage in northern Michigan, my grandmother taught me to cook and gave me the freedom (and responsibility) to help her cook dinner for 9 people each night. I learned to bake pies, make jams and properly fry the fish that my brothers caught. I was also always interested in the variety of rocks we gleaned from the lakeshore at Black Lake, just south of the Mackinac Bridge. My summers with my grandmother taught me how to bring loves of many art forms into synergy.
While I developed these skills and grew in appreciation of fine arts, I was also taken by shapes and forms, by geometry and building. I remember commandeering the sandbox at the age of 5 to create buildings and roads!
Although I took classes in art and clothing design in college, the job market and lack of teaching opportunities available upon graduation led me to graduate from University of Michigan College of Architecture and pursue a career in architecture. While this forced me to put my first love of interior design and my plans to become an educator on hold, architecture influenced a new love for all things geometric.
My Third Career!
After a long and winding road, a 15 year career and a move to Arizona, I made my way into education so my children could enjoy time without long hours and travel. After two decades as a math teacher and school administrator, I started planning for early retirement or, more correctly, my third career!
Throughout my first two careers, I continued to collect artwork and jewelry. We moved to Phoenix in 1987, my parents having retired and moved to Tucson in 1986. My mother became an accomplished quilter and floral artist, while my father worked in stained glass. Several years later, my mother began to renew her interest in jewelry design as did I.
We began attending the gem show with relatives who worked in the jewelry business. This evolved for several years until I began taking classes from Jen Hanscom at CreativeU. She introduced me to working with sterling silver, which has a much softer “hand” than other metals.
After my Mom passed away in 2008, I picked up her jewelry tools and found a new passion. Jewelry design was a way to connect with her creative leanings and my own.
Be Seen. Be Recognized. Be Taken Seriously.
Since my first explorations of jewelry technique, I’ve taken a number of courses from other jewelry artists, learning new techniques that I can adapt to my own style of work. After gleaning so much knowledge from different artists, I finally felt like my designs could stand beside even the most expensive brands. I continue to test and expand my technique to provide the highest quality product without sacrificing the design.
My dream for Tres Elegante Designs is to design jewelry that you will adore and wear every day, whether with t-shirt and jeans, a little black dress or everything in between. My hope is that when you wear a piece of my jewelry, you are seen, recognized and taken seriously.
I find it important that people of all ages, especially women, achieve recognition for who they are, both personally and professionally. It is my belief that art and jewelry should be unique to the wearer, part of their personal statement. So a focus of my design is to make it possible for wearers to confidently add a completely unique piece of jewelry to their style, as a form of self-expression that is impossible to achieve with mass-produced pieces.
Art jewelry is my medium as it is an opportunity for creative expression, not solely a learned technique. I use sculptural design and unusual techniques together with traditional processes to literally create wearable art.
I enjoy experimenting with design, techniques and materials, often focusing on movement and 3-dimensionality in a synergy that recalls my architectural background and love for the natural world. The Sonoran Desert is a particularly striking source of inspiration in my work.
I also have a great love of pearls. My first “serious” piece of jewelry was a gift of Mikimoto graduated pearls at age 16 from my grandmother that had been purchased in Japan by my father. I was hooked! I strive to find unique ways to incorporate pearls into my jewelry, and am constantly experimenting with new ways to reflect the beauty of pearls in my designs.
Synergy and emergent beauty are central to my artistic focus. From the varied hammer strikes, unpredictability of patina, the chaos of the torch or a structure of nature, my designs allow the personal “you” to come through and stand out!
Since 2010, my work has been shown in a variety of places.
My work has been featured in Voyage Phoenix, The Foothills Focus and the Scottsdale Arts District Guide.
Art shows include Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour, Camelback Studio Tour, Art on the Canal, Scottsdale Canal Convergence, Petoskey Art in the Park, Crooked Tree Art Fair and Art Fest at Castle Rock where I was awarded second place in Jewelry in 2019.
It’s easy to contact me, whether for a completed piece or to talk about a custom
one. I love to connect with collectors, hearing about your ideas and inspirations, and can;t wait to work on a custom piece with you!
To reach me, call 480-818-5177 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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