Rhody Maker: Lucia Perluck of Lucia Pearl
The Providence-based designer crafts bold statement jewelry in alluring metals.
On the first warm day of 2021, Lucia Perluck basked in the sun and felt an urge to create something “fun and big and kind of gaudy,” she says.
The jewelry designer’s work skews industrial and genderless, and so the fruits of her spring awakening — barbell hoop earrings bedecked with large, buoyant vintage sunbursts sourced from the Wolf E. Myrow jewelry supply warehouse in Providence — were a departure.
“Even if nobody buys these, I just want to make people smile because it’s been a rough year,” she says in a telephone interview.
The mood of the work might be new for Perluck’s jewelry line, Lucia Pearl, but the spirit is one in the same.
“I always push myself to make things that, I think, don’t already exist — not just pretty but with an interesting function that would make them unique and playful and interactive,” she says.
Perluck began making jewelry in high school through continuing education courses at Rhode Island School of Design and went on to study at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture. There, she learned the ins and outs of computer-aided design [CAD] modelling, which informed her tenure at Alexis Bittar, a costume jewelry mecca in New York City.
Over time, Perluck realized she didn’t love working for a big jewelry company so she left the brand for a position with New York-based jeweler Elizabeth Garvin. After a return stint with Alexis Bittar, Perluck struck out on her own at the end of 2019 with a three-month sabbatical in Mexico City then, in the early pandemic days, she returned to Rhode Island to set up shop in Providence.
“I feel like it’s the best place to be a jewelry designer,” she says, adding that many of her preferred fabricators are based here, too. “I live down the street from Wolf E. Myrow. It’s a fantasy land for me. I’ll spend three hours there at a time.”
Earlier this month, Perluck was named one of ten designers in the latest DesignxRI Design Catalyst Program cohort, which grants ten design businesses up to $15,000 in seed funds and pairs them with a mentor. Perluck says she’ll use the funds to help build up her inventory.
“I also want to do more marketing,” she says. “It’s something that doesn’t come naturally to me at all and I’ve been avoiding it because I just like designing and making…. A lot of us have a similar mindset where it’s not about making huge amount of sales and growing at this exorbitant pace, but it’s more about making it sustainable.”
Many of Perluck’s clients find her through word of mouth, she says. Her best seller is her statement bar ring, which consists of a ring shank and interchangeable bar inserts in various metals, styles and lengths.
“It’s one of the longest standing pieces in my line,” she says. “It’s a piece that I think is really unique; the way I designed it is so the bars can be interchangeable. That’s been, I think, the piece I’m most proud of.”
Perluck continues to create new work for sale on her website and in small retail settings across the United States and Mexico. In addition to her limited edition sunburst earrings, Perluck recently introduced the “Lark” collection of chain necklaces, bracelets and earrings named for the lark’s head knot deployed throughout each piece. She originally used rubber bands as a template, then made a CAD model, 3D printed the design, cast it and made a mold.
Perluck has more plans on the horizon, too, including pieces at different price points and a collection made for everyday wear.
“I’m trying to pare things down to some really simple pieces,” she says. “I’m looking forward to giving it a try.” luciapearl.com