EMILY HIRSCH OF TALON: A MYSTICAL LOVE AFFAIR
Talon was born from designer Emily Hirsch's desire to create something unique and personal. Starting with a single necklace in 2007, Talon's collections have evolved to remarkable cult-favorite status and are now coveted by jewelry enthusiasts worldwide. Just ask Sarah Jessica-Parker!
The Jewelry Edit had the opportunity to talk to Hirsch about Talon's evolution.
Where do you look for inspiration when designing pieces?
I have an affinity for the meaningful and enchanted nature of adornment, which has always inspired my designs. I grew up in Mendocino, a very wild and remote area of Northern California, and that nurtured my imagination. It became the base of my aesthetic and later transformed into a love of the mystical and natural world.
I build upon that inspiration with studies in antique jewelry, art, music, and human experiences including the search for meaning and our place in the world. Subconsciously I minefrom my personal experiences & emotions, which imbues meaning into the pieces.
What are your favorite types of pieces to design?
I love designing unique symbols for everyday emotions. For example, my latest line was inspired by the thread of hope I nurtured throughout lockdown. I spent hours researching different symbols that didn’t just portray hope, but an optimism that things would get better, but perhaps only after we worked on what was wrong in the first place.
Additionally, in 2020, I’ve made a commitment to only use ethically sourced and cut gemstones.
What’s your favorite type of material to wear/work with?
I love working with Venetian Glass. I work with an artisan in Sardinia, Italy who uses an ancient method to make cast glass intaglios of my designs and symbols. While glass art has been around for a very long time, it is starting to see a resurgence in jewelry and I’m excited to be one of the first designers using it.
How would you describe your style?
Feminine with a rock and roll edge! I love a dark floral dress with a worn-in leather motorcycle jacket over it, Chelsea boots, a few big statement rings paired with more delicate bands and stones, skull studs and a few layered necklaces.
What was the first piece of jewelry you remember buying for yourself?
I started making jewelry because I could never afford the pieces I wanted for myself!
What’s the most special piece of jewelry you own? What’s the story behind it?
When my Grandmother passed away, I received her engagement ring. It's probably the exact opposite of what you're picturing in your head right now. She purchased it with my Grandfather on a trip to Italy. It’s very masculine. It’s 18k gold and a rectangular shape with three etched lines and a princess cut diamond on the left side. Very mid-century modern. I treasure it and never take it off.
How many pieces of jewelry do you usually wear at any given time? What are they?
I love to layer, but am not a maximalist. My ears are the most simple with mismatched studs or hoops. Then I always have a layered charm necklace on. I just updated it for 2021 and am wearing a Phoenix (to remind me of my strength), Taurus (for my daughter) and a ladybug (for luck). My left hand is usually the same with my Ruby engagement ring and my Grandmother’s statement ring. Then I mix and match thinner bands to go with each. I alternate my right hand with whatever I’m working on and testing or my black venetian glass skull, to remind me to live in the present.
What’s on your jewelry wish-list?
I really want to create a chunky chain bracelet. It’s been on my list for a while.
Why do you think it’s important for people to wear/own jewelry?
Jewelry is so much more than something pretty to look at. Jewelry adornment has been around since ancient times and has always had a purpose. I make my jewelry to give the wearer confidence, strength, joy and a way to express their own uniqueness.
What’s something people should keep in mind when shopping for jewelry?
The designer behind the piece. These days there are so many big companies mass producing jewelry. If you want something truly special, seek out the independent designers who are putting their soul into the jewelry and you will get something unique to be treasured.
What draws customers in to purchase jewelry from Talon?
I love my customers! A lot of them have been on this journey with me since I first launched in 2008. On the surface, they love that my pieces have beautiful and elegant designs and symbols. On a deeper level they feel the spirit I put into my work and are always telling me that my jewelry brings them strength and confidence.