Cathleen Bunt integrates exquisite design, technical mastery and an extraordinary sense of color and texture to create her classically elegant jewelry. Noted for her exceptionally high quality gemstones, Bunt explains "Color is an important aspect of my work. I use sumptuous gems, pearls, diamonds and gold like a painter, selecting combinations that resonate, harmonize and compliment one another."
As a teenager Cathleen's interest in art was sparked by a visit to the King Tutankhamen Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
"I was in awe of the power, beauty and undeniable spirit of the work. The following year I bought silver, gemstones and hand tools and began my journey into jewelry making.
Bunt received formal training with master metalsmiths Kurt Matzdorf and Robert Edendorf at the State University of New York at New Paltz. As a sophomore, her work was selected for the prestigious Sterling Silver Design Competition at the Lever House in NYC. Graduating magna cum laude, she earned her B.F.A. in Gold and Silversmithing in 1979.
Cathleen selected New York City as the optimum place to start her professional career. While still an apprenticing jeweler, she designed her own line and began showing at the ACC Craft Shows.
A year later she was in business for herself and selling to stores throughout the U.S. and as far away as Australia."
Her work has been featured in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, and Harper's Bazaar as well as numerous trade magazines including Ornament, Metalsmith, National Jeweler, JCK, Modern Jeweler and Lapidary Journal.
Cathleen was distinguished as one of only six U.S. designers chosen for inclusion in the prestigious book The Tahitian Pearl as Seen by Creative Designers. Among her many honors, Cathleen received the 1994 1st place Niche Award for her Empress Necklace and Platinum Honors for her Pearl Cross in 1998 at the AGTA Spectrum Award Competition.
The Hawaii Jewelers Association awarded her 1st place in the following contests:
1998 Platinum Design, 1998 & 1999 Pearl Design, and their highest accolade, 1999 Jewelry Designer of the Year.
After 10 years in New York City, an inner calling sent her in search of a more inspirational environment. Her quest brought her to Hawaii where she encountered the exotic beauty of the South Pacific and the enchanting black Tahitian pearl. Much of her work now combines colored gems with Tahitian pearls.
From her studio on the south coast of Maui, Cathleen produces a wide variety of work from unique and affordable silver designs, to luxurious one-of-a-kind 18k or 22k pieces. Her work can be purchased through several galleries on Maui and select few on the mainland.