Ten questions with Noon jewelry – Scout Magazine


Sophia Armstrong is the woman behind Midday jewelry, a line of locally made ornaments that are eternally elegant, but slightly offbeat for your body.

In addition to Noon and other custom jewelry projects, Armstrong recently began sharing his craft knowledge by offering a DIY Ring Carving Kit and regularly opens his studio for intimate and practical lessons. (Registrations for November courses can be made here.) Before you jump into sculpture, learn more about the talented designer below …

First of all, what is the history of Noon Jewelery? How did it start and why did you choose to call it Noon?

The story behind Noon! I like this one. Noon is something I started almost 10 years ago (almost 10 years ago) when I was in jewelry school. For me, school was overwhelming and I felt inundated with information. Getting to know the masters of the trade, I never really felt connected to the classic jewelry style or the way things were done. Part of the reason I decided to make jewelry in the first place was because I wanted to make wearable items for myself and for my friends – things I had never seen before. That’s kind of how it started… I chose the name Noon, because I often left school at lunchtime and never came back. I was not the best student to say the least and really enjoyed the magical times I spent in my studio while everyone was busy at work or in class – the afternoon was like my time secret escape.

In addition to Noon, you now also offer workshops and ring sculpting kits… What inspired you to teach?

I do! When the pandemic hit, I actually dreamed of occupying people and making jewelry at home. So very quickly I assembled a ring carving kit and posted it on my website. The kit sold out right away which was a totally unexpected response, and I’m so glad I did because not only did it keep me very busy, but it connected me to so many new people… in a time when things seemed to say the least very bleak. As things started to relax and we could see each other in person, I decided to offer workshops outside of my studio. Personally, I never planned to teach, but it happened and I’m so happy about it.

What have you personally learned from the experience?

I’m still so new to teaching and I’m learning from every workshop I teach. However, something that always comes back to me that resonates deeply is that the beginner’s mind is so playful and endless. I try to remember this when I sit at my bench, to keep a beginner’s mind and play as my students often do.

Silver and pearls are at the heart of your current collection. What is it that particularly appeals to you about these particular things? What limits have you encountered and / or pushed back while working with these materials?

I have always been drawn to pearls. I started working with them when I was in school because I was fascinated by their perfect and natural roundness. I also liked using them in a more juxtaposed way than what we normally imagine for a pearl. Think of a small bead placed atop an amorphous silver ring – the inspiration was for sculpture to meet wearable jewelry.

As for the limitations, pearls can be tricky because they are so delicate. Therefore, if I am working on an engagement ring for a client, I would suggest a diamond or a sapphire in place of a pearl for the durability that these stones offer. I started working with money mainly because it was affordable and accessible to me. I have learned to love it and find it goes wonderfully with pearls of all shades.

What is the most exciting part of creating jewelry?

The most exciting part is definitely working with my amazing clients and helping bring something created together to life. It’s also pretty special to be able to imagine something on paper and then be able to do it with both my hands and wear it for years to come!

What’s the most difficult or frustrating part?

Challenges arise all the time in my work, as most of the projects I am working on now are unique. Each project has its own set of challenges, which I kind of have to uncover as I go along… some days I’m totally overwhelmed and other days I take the challenges as learning opportunities.

Tell me something about the process that might surprise me.

Everything I make is handmade in my workshop, I even alloy my own metals (so I turn pure silver into sterling etc.). Most people don’t often connect Noon by hand, but everything is really done in my studio by yours.

How does your personal expression show through in your designs?

Oh, that’s a good one! In fact, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, as I start to take on more personalized work. When I collaborate on a design with a client, it can sometimes be difficult to express my style in the designs, but it’s something that I’m learning to be more assertive about. After all, I try to remind myself that if someone has been looking for me for a bespoke piece, they probably want my personal touch – even though it’s a very classic style.

For my money work, which you know as Noon… well, it’s all me all the time. So it’s pretty much jewelry that I make for myself, or pieces that I appreciate and then put into the world.

If you could design a custom piece of jewelry for anyone, who would it be and why?

Hmmm, the first person that comes to mind is Georgia O’Keeffe. His work and his personal style have been of great concern to me lately, the way he dresses so delicately and uncomplicated. She also loved silver jewelry, so it would be an honor to adorn her.

What’s the next step for you and / or Noon?

A lot ! I always have too much to do and I think I like it like that. However, I recently quit my full time job so now I have a lot more time to imagine and develop Noon… which is so exciting. I look forward to teaching more workshops and hosting in-person events, as well as slowly but surely working on a new collection and some branding additions for spring.

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