September 2015

By Diane Alter

A word to the wise, don’t peruse Hannah Guerin’s jewelry collection unless you’re prepared to buy. With just one look, you’ll want one of everything. Hannah’s alluring jewelry line is inspired by material found on the beautiful beaches of her native Martha’s Vineyard. In a short time, the Hannah Guerin brand has become synonymous with the classic and unmistakable character of New England. You know, the feel of soft sand between your toes, sunshine kissing your face, the salty air, warm breezes tapping your back, unfolding pearl-gray fog and the sound of seagulls playing in the distance.


“Single Shark Vertebrae Necklace” cast from shark vertebrae found on Philbin beach in Aquinnah, MA

A graduate from the prestigious Parson’s School of Design, known as a launch pad for fashion careers, Hannah’s career has indeed taken flight. “I learned about design, innovation, and how to harvest my creativity,” Hannah explained to Dressed MV. “I also learned how to market and promote my business. That’s definitely the less glamorous side of fashion and jewelry design, but it’s an important side nonetheless.” Most of the materials Hannah collects and meticulously incorporates into her designs hail from all sides of storied Martha’s Vineyard. Therefore, many of her designs become one-of-a-kind conversational pieces. Many jewelry designers with a nautical focus work their magic using all kinds of non-traditional materials that run the gamut from wash-ashore glass to lost shark teeth. But only Hannah Guerin can truly transform such fashionably challenged items from scrap to chic. “The majority of my pieces are cast from objects found on Martha’s Vineyard beaches, such as mussel shells, clam shells and shark teeth,” Hannah said. “After I clean them, each piece is coated with a penetrated epoxy so the silicon mold is able to pick up the fine details and texture. From there, each one is molded and then cast into recycled brass, sterling silver, and 14 carat gold.”

Bull Shark Tooth Open Cuff_14KGP

Bull Shark Tooth Open Cuff: Cast from a bull shark tooth, the teeth measure to be approx. 13mm wide x 14mm and are soldered on to a 12 gauge half round cuff

Hannah’s unique line of accessories includes stud and string earrings, bracelets, rings, and necklaces. Also included in the collection are statement pieces like a shark vertebra cuff bracelet, clam shell earring threads, driftwood studs, barnacle half hoops, rope coil posts and vintage fishing bob necklaces. Popular pieces range from a simple, yet charming sterling silver sea glass necklace to a gold shark bracelet. The most sought-after item, however, continues to be the fishhook necklace.
Hannah is set to launch a few new styles which will include double-sided rings, multi-layered collar necklaces and “not-your-grandmother’s” sweater clips. “I am also working on designs for a men’s line, which includes tie clips, cuff links and money clips,” a constantly inspired Hannah explained.
Nature is Hannah’s primary inspiration, especially MV’s vast and varied environment. “That’s why I’m drawn to creating and adapting pieces I find in my surroundings on fun visits to the island from Brooklyn,” Hannah shared. “My seaweed pieces, which I’m expanding on, is particularly fun to work with. The seaweed becomes malleable after a long water soak, allowing me to shapes the pieces into different structures than what I actually find on the seashore.”

A few of Hannah’s findings from frequent treks back and forth to the Vineyard to comb the beaches for materials

Most of Hannah’s pieces are made to order in her NY studio. But she frequently treks back and forth to the Vineyard to comb the beaches for materials. “Every visit home tugs at my heart and encourages me,” Hannah added, “Sometimes it’s the littlest thing that stirs a feeling, like a familiar sound or a smell. But every trip home is emotional.”
Without question, jewelry is an emotionally charged object that projects who you are. Only someone blessed with artistry, intellect and logic like Hannah can make it truly meaningful. Always looking for new inspiration, materials and encouragement, Hannah is never at a loss for new ideas. Indeed, walking slowly on the island’s fringe, her steps unable to keep pace with her racing thoughts, Hannah is motivated. Every day MV’s tides, wind, clouds and sun paint a new scene and ignite creativeness. Once MV casts is spell, it holds one in its net of wonder forever.
Hannah continues to expand and showcase her work in pop-up shows across the U.S., from Chicago to LA. She is also working with NYC’s Seaport Studios, which is a collaboration between the Howard Hughes Corporation and WWD. On MV, Hannah Guerin’s pieces can be found at Citrine in Vineyard Haven and Driftwood Jewelry in Oak Bluffs. You can also visit Hannah online at