By Diane Alter

Ivry courtesy of Elizabeth Cecil Photography

Creator, designer, and entrepreneur: Ivry Russillo of Ivry Belle Jewelry Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Cecil Photography

Equal parts girly-girl and tomboy, Ivry Russillo displays both parts in her unique jewelry line.
“I grew up wearing rings on every finger and ribbons in my hair, but I don’t like pink and I drive a big truck. My jewelry represents my feminine softness with some ruggedness.”
Ivry Russillo, the creator of Ivry Belle Jewelry, grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and has never lost sight of or respect for the island’s signature beauty, nature, and history. Inspired by her indigenous surroundings and her love of fashionable accessories, Ivry knew early on that her career path was one focused on the arts not academics. Following a two-year program at the Museum School of Fine Arts/Boston, Ivry completed an intensive 3-year jewelry making program in Florence, Italy. She continued her jewelry studies with several diplomas in jewelry fabrication, design, hand engraving, stone setting, and lost wax casting. Her extensive and remarkable line reflects her extensive studies. Ivry continues to explore her freedom of expression and individuality via her jewelry in her West Tisbury barn studio, (aka Ivry’s Tower).
Dressed MV had the pleasure of speaking with Ivry, who is as comfortable discussing the fluctuating prices of commodities such as gold and silver, climate change, and bucking hay bales at her best friend’s sheep farm as she is enthusiastically talking about the latest fashions in jewelry.

I grew up wearing rings on every finger and ribbons in my hair, but I don’t like pink and I drive a big truck. My jewelry represents my feminine softness with some ruggedness.

Freedom Collection

Rose cuff bracelet, horseshoe pendant necklace, and rose stud earrings – all part of the Freedom Collection

DressedMV: What led you in the direction of jewelry design?
Ivry: My direction was led by my complete and utter fascination for jewelry as a young kid. That allure put me on a serious path to jewelry design with my first introduction to jewelry making at The Museum School of Fine Arts Boston in 1998, where I completed two years of jewelry fabrication, wax carving, photography and painting

DMV: How and when did you start making and selling jewelry as a career?
Ivry: After I completed a 3-year program in Jewelry Arts at Art Studio Fuji in Florence, Italy, I moved back to the Vineyard to work as a gardener and to slowly build a studio base to work out of with my free time. It wasn’t until a few years later, in 2006, that I established a wholesale business and started distributing my pieces to a few local retailers.

Resin combs

Beautiful, functional, hand held resin combs made with real flowers

DMV: Please walk us through your design process.
Ivry: It’s very long walk…I take the physical metal or wax and cut out all of my pieces that will be connected to each other piece by piece and achieve a design that has graced my imagination. Sometimes I sketch it out on paper first, but most of the time, I simply let a piece evolve. It can take many days to finish just one design, but in the end, it is totally worth it.
DMV: What is the most important jewelry making skill and why?
Ivry: The most important skill, I believe, is the adaptability to create a studio space no matter where I am. I move a lot, so I have to adjust to new surroundings. I also believe sawing metal and soldering are two skills you can only get better at with practice and time. You must have patience i f you are seeking to be a jewelry maker otherwise you will lose your mind!
DMV: What are your favorite materials to use?
Ivry: I love working in 14 karat yellow gold. I often work with many other metals including, bronze, brass, and sterling silver, but working with gold is the best. It polishes like a dream. If you scratch the surface, i t ’s super easy to buff out and it doesn’t resist your intentions. This precious metal wants to be adorned and it wants to be beautiful.

Moonstone Ring

The Everlasting Light Ring is a rainbow moonstone encased within the walls of a silver bezel. Composed of a singular cosmo flower and two licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra) leaves that have been hand engraved and sit atop a sterling silver band.

DMV: What do you take inspiration from?
Ivry: My imagination translates through my creations. That includes daydreams and fantasies of feeling free, traveling via horseback to a land that is familiar yet secretive, where days are spent foraging flowers and edible fruits, and then gathered in a wicker backpack slung across the shoulder over a wispy white robe with a fur collar and tall boots. Those dreamy thoughts continue with visions of tassels and ties in long braids, and feeling the connectedness of a divine spirit that places a horseshoe necklace covered in flowers and cast in sterling silver and rests upon your décolletage. With rings on every finger that represents a sweet and rugged edge in the shape of flowers and stones, I imagine heading to a place where a table covered in white eyelet cloths awaits. On the table sits flower arrangements of globe thistle and wild carrot placed amongst gem encrusted goblets filled with nettle tea and sitting next to books about the stars. That’s just a little tidbit of how I think about things.
DMV: Describe your collection(s)?
Ivry: My Freedom Collection consists of many pieces involving floral accents of daisies, roses, and cosmos. I have floral encrusted horseshoe pendants in oxidized sterling silver and bronze. I also have rose rings, cosmos stud earrings, and leather wrap bracelets joined with a high polish brass or bronze hook embellished with roses and daisies. The collection also includes horseshoe and pig head rings. For exclusivity, I have one-of-a-kind rings with very large stones, such as moonstone, labradorite, amethyst, and rose quartz. These are stones I have collected over the years and I  celebrate their beauty by showcasing them in a bezel set ring adorned with hand engraved cut out leaves and flowers. These pieces are suitable for any women seeking to tap her inner Goddess.
DMV: What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you have made, as well as one you have not?
Ivry: My favorite piece is one I have already mentioned. It is my floral horseshoe pendant necklace with eleven daises, roses, and cosmos. I wear it every day. My favorite that I did not make is a cushion cut aquamarine ring set in a 14k gold diamond bezel that I received as a gift from Barmakian Brothers at the Jewelers Building in Boston.

Bronze and ss dahlia

Bronze and sterling silver dahlia pendant necklaces

DMV: What are your strengths, weaknesses, and biggest challenges?
Ivry: My strength is my drive to keep on moving forward, as well as the ability to make business changes that I did not want to. My designs represent my strengths; therefore, I know I will never run out of ideas. My weakness is finding balance in my life. Jewelry making is my entire world and I never stop thinking about it and all its possibilities, especially in business terms. Challenges come and go, but I will always learn from them. One thing that I think is important is to trust your gut.
DMV: What do you want people to think about when looking at your pieces and how do you hope they feel wearing them?
Ivry: I want them to see how unique and identifiable my pieces are, and to also recognize all the hand-crafted elements I have placed inside each one. I want people to know and feel joy when their wearing Ivry Belle Jewelry—and they do, which makes me feel pretty awesome.
DMV: Any future plans?
Ivry: I would like to continue being part of the Chilmark Flea Market and the Vineyard Artisan’s during MV’s summer season, and to also do an occasional pop up here and there. I teach private lessons and jewelry making workshops in New York throughout the year, which I love. I plan on having a studio where I can showcase all my work, teach, do repairs, and live happily ever after on Martha’s Vineyard.


Ivry can be found at The Chilmark Flea Market on every Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Vineyard Artisans Festival on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. all summer.
Instagram: @ivrybellejewelry