517 East 8th Street
Traverse City, MI 49686
231.941.8879

Find us on Facebook

Adopted Mother Pendant

mother1

Creative jewelry artist Edward Freund is shown sketching a design idea for Karen Renny at his shop on Eighth Street.

Photo by Karin Beery

mother2

The adoptive mothers’ pendant is one of Freund’s newer creations.

Photo by Karin Beery

Ordering Information

Personal Touch

Local jeweler’s creations reflect customers’ personality

By KARIN BEERY
Contributing Writer

TRAVERSE CITY

As a lover of drawing and creating models, jeweler Edward Freund took every art class available in high school. When he stumbled into metal working class, he was hooked. Thirty-four years later he owns his own jewelry shop where he creates one-of-a-kind pieces, including the new adoptive mothers’ pendant.

“What’s fun about this job are the people,” said Freund. His client base is eclectic, with all types of people stopping in to order custom-made jewelry. Most of his clients are repeat customers or referrals. “There is a lot of word of mouth advertising,” he said. “People notice the jewelry, and a network is created.” 

For each order, Freund takes time to get to know the customer. He finds out what they want and also what they’re like. “I get to know their interests and incorporate it into the jewelry. I get to be part of something personal with them.”

That quality time has even developed into friendships. He met Karen Renny seven years ago when her husband wanted an item repaired. Today Freund creates jewelry for both of them, with each piece individually crafted.

“That’s what’s fun (about my jewelry),” Freund said. “It’s truly unique to yourself. It’s very individual and personal.”

Freund admits that some days are harder than others. When he’s creating a very symmetrical piece, he can get stuck – like having writer’s block. There’s also the detail needed when copying reality, such as animals or flowers. It takes more time to get everything just right, but it’s something Freund does to make sure his work is as accurate as possible.

Creative commitment

The craft of custom jewelry making includes nearly 10 steps. From sketching a ring to making a 3-D wax model to polishing the finished product, Freund says a jeweler must master them all. There’s also the mental preparation needed to get ready for the process.

These aren’t skills Freund developed overnight. His high school metal class simply generated the initial spark. After graduation Freund worked at assorted jobs while studying his trade. “I went to craft shows and worked out of my house,” he said.

After eight years of learning, he decided to go into business. That was in 1984. Twenty-five years later he’s still developing new creations in his Eighth Street shop.

One of his most recent designs is something that he hopes to share with many more people – the adoptive mothers’ pendant.

Freund was originally approached by a woman wanting something special to give her daughter, who had just given her child up for adoption. He went to work designing a piece that would not only honor the women who give their children up for adoption, but the women who adopt them as well.

Freund created an abstract image of two mothers on either side of a baby. Each mother holds the baby in her hand, and the hands come together to form a heart. He specifically designed the piece to include both mothers without emphasizing one over the other. 

When the customer returned for the pendant, Freund knew he had succeeded when she thanked him with her tears.

Because Freund is both the creator and maker of the pendant, he can adapt it for any type of jewelry – bracelets, charms, or even earrings. He can also craft the figure to include the baby’s birthstone. This allows him to share his design with many women while still being able to customize it to fit each individual’s character.

The mothers’ pendant is just one example of the thought and care that goes into each Freund creation.

“Jewelry is art that you wear,” he said. “It’s the sentiment that counts.” And it’s Freund’s understanding of that sentiment that has kept him busy creating for the past 25 years.

For more information, visit Freund’s shop at 517 E. Eighth St. or call 231-941-8879.