Barbara Westwood’s career as a jewelry designer began 40 years ago when she was inspired to take an adult education class at Pasadena High School. From that moment on she was intently focused on becoming the best at her craft. Her first show was the Westwood, California craft show then Art in the Park in Pasadena where she became a must see artist for collectors of unique and one of a kind jewelry. Within the year she moved to the epicenter of the jewelry business in California, Beverly Hills, where she became a much sought after designer and model maker creating lines for Oscar de la Renta and Gloria Vanderbilt. Barbara is part of the first generation of women metal smiths in the history of the world.
In 1978 Barbara met and married fellow artist Sky Hall and in 1980 they opened their own retail store that she named Cielo, in Belmont Shore a trendy street in Long Beach, California.
Barbara was a founding member of the Women Jewelry Association and VP of the Los Angeles Chapter. This organization focuses on the women that truly run the jewelry business and help give them a strong and powerful voice in the future of the entire jewelry industry.
Barbara’s desire for a national audience was realized in 1983 when she was one of ten to be hand picked to debut her designs in the launching pad that continues to be “The Designer Room” at Jewelers of America New York show. She exhibited twice annually for 12 years building her reputation for great design, craftsmanship and uniqueness of vision. It was a life changing event that brought her international recognition.
In 1992 Barbara discovered and began to exhibit at the International Tucson Gem and Mineral show and was introduced to even more exotic materials and the great cutters and carvers of these unusual stones. It was a marriage made in heaven and it continues to this day.
In 1998 Barbara Westwood Fine Art Jewelry debuted at the International Jewelry, Gem and Watch Faire in Basel, Switzerland in partnership with renowned Idar-Oberstein Gem House, Gustav Caesar. This experience was pivotal in her future designs moving forward. When asked how that experience affected her, she says simply that “It opened our eyes to a new way of seeing the world.” Barbara’s designs continue to reflect this new vision.
Barbara and Sky were honored to be invited by the President of the International Amber Society to exhibit her jewelry and his gem photography at the International Amber Faire, Amberif 2009 in Gdansk Poland for the month of March. A truly unbelievable experience and a highlight of a lifetime.
Barbara was also a founding member of The Contemporary Design Group as well as a member of the American Jewelry Design Council and The International Jewelry Design Guild.