At age 85, Aaron Rubinstein is as much a treasure as the one-of-a-kind jewelry that fills his Deer Park shop. “It was a big story,” he says of how he got started. “Let me show you.” And he pulls out pieces of jewelry he has created along the way, each with its own tale. His own big story began in Poland in 1928. Following the Nazi invasion (and after being sent to Siberia, Tehran, and Israel), Rubinstein first came to the United States in 1960 for a teacher exchange, eventually settling in Cincinnati in 1968.Having studied sculpture and jewelry making, he soon turned his hobby into a much more serious business. The work paid off. In the 59 years since, Modern Art Jewelry has moved from his basement in Minneapolis to a bustling Cincinnati business. Each piece is individually crafted by Aaron or his daughter, Haguit Rubinstein-Towler, in a tool-packed labyrinth of a workshop. Many of their tools are invented and created in-house, specific to their needs and the many raw materials transformed there—primarily silver, gold, fossils, and stones of all sorts. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and more are often designed around a featured stone. “We call them almost miniature sculptures,” says Rubinstein-Towler. Meeting Rubinstein is reason enough to visit his shop—not that the unique beauty, quality, and craft of his work need any assistance. Passion for seeing people enjoy the jewelry has kept him going all these years, and still keeps him a regular on the art show circuit. His favorite part of the jewelry business? He laughs. “Nice looking women,” he says. Highlighted, of course, by some very nice looking jewelry. Modern Art Jewelry, 8316 Plainfield Rd., Deer Park, (513) 793-4498, modernartjewelry.net
Citrine collar necklace, $3,500; citrine bracelet, $950; citrine ring, $250; earrings, $95.
Originally published in the September 2013 issuePhotograph by Annette Navarro
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