Stefan Gougherty is an artist whose stated aim is to portray currency through the lens of contemporary jewelry. He believes in the transformative power of dark humor, which he finds in the myriad contradictions of our digital age— where space and time are flattened, human beings suffer from information overload, and illusion is offered as reality. Initially trained as an industrial designer, Gougherty uses manufacturing strategies to realize his playful aesthetic, one where common objects, such as puffy sterling silver pop-tops and paperclips, appear to float in dream-like settings and natural phenomena, such as insects and flowers handcrafted from space-age anodized titanium, seem to have migrated from another planet.
Gougherty received his BFA in Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design, in 2009, from which he was given the Industrial Design Faculty Award, and MFA in Metals from SUNY New Paltz (2020), where he was granted the David and Sara Walton Metal Thesis Scholarship. He worked as an industrial designer at Google Inc. from 2015-2016, where he was part of a small team of specialists assigned to develop subsequent generations of the futuristic Google Glass—a wearable computer packaged in fashionable eyewear. Prior to that, from 2009-2012, he designed audio headsets for Plantronics Inc., Santa Cruz, CA. In 2012 PC Magazine named the Plantronics Voyager Legend the Bluetooth Headset of the Year.
In his relatively new career as a studio jeweler, Gougherty has been included in several group exhibitions, and his work has been illustrated in recent publications, such as New Bracelets: 400+ Contemporary Jewellery Designs by Nicholas Estrada (Promopress, 2021); Autor Contemporary Jewelry Magazine, The Beauty Issue (2019); and Klimt02.net FOTOCOPY Season 3 (2019). In 2015 he won the Red Dot Design Award and International Forum Design Award; in 2013 he was a Consumer Electronics Show Honoree.