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  • Cathy Bonacci

Discovering Beauty and Jewelry Artistry in the Naples Art District

Tekla Taylor


Art and design have the power to shape our days and our lives, influencing the way we perceive the world. The Naples Art District is a resource for all things original, beautiful, inspired, and artistic. This article pays tribute to some of the talented jewelers and silversmiths who call this district home.

Women understand the power of jewelry beyond adornment. It's a reflection of personal style, a conversation starter, a means to celebrate life's milestones, and a cherished gift. The jewelers of the Naples Art District come from diverse backgrounds, but they share a common thread—nature is a constant source of inspiration, and they hope to infuse joy, love, and pleasure into the world through their artistry. Below is a snapshot of the jewelry arts in the Naples Art District.

Carolynn Desch Catherine Nearhos Martha Heukensfeld


Kari Erickson’s jewelry is creative, unique, and beautiful. Working with a myriad of materials such as metals, stones, glass, beads, and shells, she creates hundreds of color combinations. Inspired by her grandmother's love for Native American art, she incorporates the peyote stitch from ancient cultures, giving her pieces a museum-like quality. Her advice to collectors is simple: "Listen to what speaks to you, and let it bring you joy."

Martha Heukensfeld specializes in sterling silver, often with copper and brass details, and will work in gold upon request. Her designs gravitate towards organic and domed shapes and pearls for their smoothness and softness. Martha is frequently commissioned to repurpose old flatware and outdated heirloom jewelry. She works with clients to transform these unused objects into new and dynamic styles for everyday or statement styles.

Carolynn Desch is a jewelry designer, metalsmith, and sculptor. Her jewelry is bold and unexpected, but easy to wear. Her techniques add textures to silver, and occasionally, she incorporates cabochon stones into her designs. The unexpected in her designs include a range of materials not necessarily associated with jewelry—plexiglass, wood, felted wool, and industrial foam.

Tekla Taylor, a geologist with a passion for fossils, rocks, and minerals, has brought this passion to designing jewelry that is hand-crafted, textured, and natural with unique and rare stones. She is drawn to the history and culture of the American Southwest and loves making bold statement pieces that incorporate both copper and silver. Her signature piece is a copper and stone cuff, which is frequently called a “power woman bracelet.”

The journey into jewelry design for Catherine Nearhos started with a search for a necklace to conceal a scar left by skin cancer. Not finding it, she created what she was looking for. She works exclusively with sterling silver and 18K gold. Her minimalist style allows traditional elements to look new and contemporary. She advises her customers to buy something they will enjoy and wear often so that it can become their signature piece.

Tracy Magen Rosen channels her creativity into a variety of mediums—paintings, memory boxes, and teaching. In the realm of jewelry, she crafts pieces with semi-precious gemstones, beads, and silver. Her signature style is beaded and wire-wrapped crystals. When working with clients, Tracy sees that women have a relationship with jewelry and that they know what they want.

If you’d prefer to learn about making jewelry, you can take a Design & Basic Beading Workshop with Paula Brody. Paula is a mixed-media artist, and her gallery boasts an array of necklaces. She curates a beautiful selection of beads and gemstones and finds pleasure in having her students create a beautiful signature accessory that reflects their personal style.

The Naples Art District, located in North Naples, will be kicking off the 2023/2024 season on November 2 with Open Studios from 1-5 p.m. every Thursday and Second Saturday. We invite you to our galleries and working studios to meet 100 artists who can add original beauty and artistry to your life. Visit to find studio locations.


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