Inside Todd Reed’s Colorado studio
Last year, e.g.etal director Emma Goodsir stumbled across a picture of a ring on Instagram that stopped her mid-scroll, and was immediately inspired to seek out the maker.
The ring turned out to be a creation of American artisan jeweller Todd Reed. With a 25 year career, Todd is well known in the US and Canada but had yet to branch out internationally. Cut to several months later, and e.g.etal became the first gallery to represent Reed outside North America, launching a capsule collection in July 2017. Last month, Emma visited Reed’s studio in Boulder, Colorado to meet with the artist and expand e.g.etal’s exclusive collection.
Todd began his career as a 17 year-old self taught jeweller. The use of raw diamonds in contemporary jewellery is now widespread, but it wasn’t always so. With a pioneering spirit, Todd was one of the first to see the beauty of these uncut stones. Making jewellery unlike anyone else at the time, Todd began to present his work to the industry, and people were enthralled. In the blink of an eye, his career took off.
More than two decades later, Todd is the sole designer of his eponymous collection, overseeing a small team of skilled jewellers who bring his creations to life. Reed’s creative output is prolific: he draws a new jewellery piece every day. Each piece is made from start to finish within the walls of his studio, by one single jeweller. From granules of gold through to the finished product, everything is done in-house – including casting, forging, stone setting and finishing.
This all takes place in an incredible light-filled space, nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. As soon as you enter the building, the process of creation is on show. A team of jewellers crafts each piece within a large glass-walled workshop, making up to fifty pieces per month.
Visitors can watch the makers at work, sit and design custom pieces with Todd, or browse the lush showroom full of finished objects. Towards the back of the building are the hidden ‘creative’ spaces – designed to be warm and soft in contrast to the steel and concrete on show out front. Reed’s wood-lined office and meeting rooms are decorated with art, sculptures and bespoke lighting designed by Todd.
The showroom is often the scene for great parties – or monthly ‘community dinners’ as Todd refers to them. Connection with the Boulder community and the natural local environment is important to Todd and his team. As you walk around Boulder, the peaks of the ‘Flatirons’ rock formations are visible from everywhere, glowing red in the sun or frosted with snow in winter. Reed is inspired by the energy, hues, textures and shadows of nature. His signature colour palette features a specific a mix of gems in champagne, cognac and other warm tones known as ‘Autumn diamonds’. Todd respects his materials, embracing recycled precious metals and diamonds, and strives to ensure nothing is wasted.
Todd’s passion for his work is self-evident, as is his drive to create. We asked if Todd, as a 17-year-old just starting out, saw “this” in his future – referring to his generous building, flock of staff, and brightly lit cabinets full of incredible work. “Yes,” he said emphatically, “Always.”
A new range of work from Todd Reed has just landed at e.g.etal direct from Boulder, and is available exclusively in our Flinders Lane gallery.