Cathleen Bunt integrates exquisite design, technical mastery, and an extraordinary sense of color and texture to create some of the most elegant jewelry of our time. 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 complement 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. Bunt selected the fashion hot spot of New York City as the optimum place to start her professional career. While still an apprenticing jeweler, she designed her own line and began selling it through the ACC Craft Shows.
By the following year she was in business for herself selling to stores throughout the U.S. and as far away as Australia. Her work has been featured in the fashion magazines of 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 in 1998 was awarded Platinum Honors 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 most recently their highest accolade, 1999 Jewelry Designer of the Year.
After 10 years in New York City, an inner calling sent her in search of an inspirational environment that would enhance her life and work. Her quest brought her to Hawaii where she encountered the exotic beauty of the South Pacific and the enchanting black Tahitian pearl. Today, from her studio on the south coast of Maui, Cathleen Bunt produces a wide variety of work from unique and affordable 18kt designs, to luxurious one-of-a-kind pieces. Her masterpieces are collected by connoisseurs from around the world and by virtue of their exceptional beauty and quality, are destined to be heirlooms of the future.
2003 AGTA Spectrum Winner
Second Place - Business/Day Wear Category
Hawaii Jewelers Association in conjunction with Platinum Guild Int'l-Spring 1999: First Place - Platinum Competition, "Celebrating the Logos in Man & Nature" Platinum Brooch with diamonds
First Place Pearl Competition Hawaii Jewelers Association ~ Fall 1998 with "Tahitian Rainbow" necklace in 18K gold, diamonds & multi-colored Tahitian pearls.
Return to Cathleen Bunt Designs page