Israeli-born designer Dalya Luttwak says she creates big and bold jewelry because "I'm big and I like things that are noticeable. If I make an earring I want it big enough to be seen. It's my approach to everything," says Luttwak, who lives in Chevy Chase. ("My studio is in the basement and my husband, a writer, works upstairs.")

She doesn't think of her work as sculpture. "If I make a piece and it doesn't look as good on a person as it looks in the hand, I dismantle it and start over," she says. "I'm not trying to create a work of art but something to be worn."

Luttwak, whose designs are currently being exhibited at ARTWEAR in New York and are sold through the Plum Gallery here, likes the mix of black, gold and silver. She uses an old Korean technique called Keum Boo, applying 24-karat gold to silver, sometimes oxidizing the silver. In her new collection, some of the best necklaces combine hematite and black onyx. Shapes of her jewelry are always clean, simple and elegant.

"Yes, I'm an artist," she says, "but jewelry is meant to be worn, not to sit on a table. The person is an integral part of the design."