Teaching Logo/Symbol Design, and Applied Branding in FIDM/Fashion Insitute of Design & Merchandising’s Graphic Design program, Lewerke challenges students, young aspiring designers, to develop their understanding of logo application and usage of identity to create a brand and public awareness, and she’s certainly cut out for the job. Lewerke has developed print marketing for entertainment mega stars such as Ozzy Osbourne, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, the Wu-Tang Clan, Matchbox 20, ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), Dave Matthews Band and Tori Amos (to name a few), helping to mold the public images of many musical artists as a creative director for RCA Records for 10 years. And now Lewerke is focusing her edgy, rock-and-roll style as designer and co-owner of couture jewelry line, One Thing on a String.
“My favorite part about teaching at FIDM has been working with other faculty and the students, the excitement that the students bring to class, the whole campus-it has been a joy,” she says. “The enthusiasm inspires me as a graphic designer, and inspired me to pursue my jewelry.”
Launched in May 2010 with business partner, wardrobe stylist Michelle Haynes who carries the One Thing on a String line in Jamaica, their jewelry has already been featured in an advertising campaign for Busch Gardens/Tampa’s Howl-O-Scream 2010 Halloween 2010 haunted attraction (see photos and video clip below).
To find the unique charms used in the line, Lewerke shops various flea markets and specialty stores looking for tiny emblems such as skulls, crosses, and keys– anything that inspires her– and sets them in heart-shaped resin charms to create necklaces, bracelets, keychains and belt chains. She uses metal, chains and leather help balance the femininity of the heart-shaped charms of each custom-made piece, which are mostly offered in black and red and designed with the jewelry line’s motto in mind: “Wearable Art.”
“[The jewelry line] is gothic because I’m into gothic, I come from the rock-and-roll era,” says Lewerke. “Working with different types of musicians inspired me. I really love crosses and goth, and the colors black and red.”
Additionally, Lewerke says One Thing on a String accepts special custom orders if you have a desire to place a unique charm inside a heart-shaped resin piece, ideal for if you own a charm such as a single earring or family heirloom that you can’t wear or bear to part with.
“If you have some sort of broken piece of jewelry that you got from your grandmother and you don’t know how to put it together, or you don’t know how to wear it, I can put it into a heart and then you have a conversation piece,” she says.
“A heart beats deep in all of us. It represents life as well as love.
It also provides me with the inspiration to create fine wearable art.
Each piece is lovingly hand-crafted – no two alike – and highly collectible.
My hearts are meant as a source of beauty and positive energy. They are worn proudly and help people connect with each other.
Their names are drawn from the music all around us: Piece of My Heart, Heart and Soul, Don’t go Breaking my Heart, Heart of Mine, etc.
May they bring you joy…” -Ria Lewerke and Michelle Haynes
Ria Lewerke is one of many industry professionals that make up the prestigious faculty at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Learn more about FIDM’s Graphic Design/Branding major, where you can learn all aspects of print media, including typography, digital photography and publication/layout design, FIDM’s Graphic Design/Entertainment major where you can study the components and techniques of a successful entertainment campaign and develop theatrical key art for the entertainment industry, and FIDM’s Digital Media program where you can learn editing, digital composition, motion graphics, 3-D modeling & animation, and sound design.
Visit our main site, FIDMDigitalarts.com to view multiple galleries of breathtaking graphic design and digital media, created by FIDM Alumni.