Shortly after I created my first nature inspired jewelry collection, my father passed away unexpectedly. Consequently, I began to think about my work in a different way. Years earlier, as an art student in college, I was inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell, and his treatment of fragments of once loved objects. I found the language of plants and flowers in paintings and tapestries from bygone eras enchanting. The idea of reliquaries, memorial jewelry, and sentimental jewelry from antiquity left an impression on me, and rested quietly in the back of my mind.
As part of reconciling my dad’s passing, I started making handwriting jewelry. I took the word “love” from a note he had written, and incorporated it into a ring for my sister. From that gift my own interpretation of memorial jewelry featuring handwriting began to germinate. The handwriting collection was embraced with unexpected gratitude, warmth, and adoration.
During those first few years I worked with basic tools and techniques. I put all my earnings towards outfitting my studio for lost wax casting, a method of jewelry making I focused on in college. Carving my designs in wax and casting them would afford me a great deal more freedom in my work.
At the same time, heartfelt conversations with customers, along with my own thoughts about what we mean to each other and how we find our place in the world pressed me to bring deeper meaning to my work. My curiosity about those hidden messages of old was rekindled. I was moved to explore and integrate quiet communication through images, textures, and symbolism found in the natural world around us into my designs.
As word spread and I got busier, my husband Richard, whom I met out at the foundry in college, casting large sculptures, went from helping out when needed, to becoming an integral part of the production process. That's when my jewelry became what I envisioned. Moving from working with basic techniques to carving my work in wax and casting was a painful process. It was like starting from the ground up again, but we were determined to create something special and unique. We continue to push ourselves and each other to create meaningful jewelry meant to be cherished, worn for a lifetime, and passed down. The jewelry we make for you is our pride and joy.
- Kristin & Richard
I began my path as a maker carefully forming mud pies and pinch pots along side my little sister while our mom made folk art she sold in local shops. Our childhood summers were spent on the beaches of Southern California, as well as family camping trips, and rustic dude ranch vacations in the White Mountains of Arizona. Throughout my school years, I was dedicated to ballet as my primary means of creative expression. In college, I pursued a degree in Sign Language Interpreting. I went on to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. Initially I focused on ceramics, then settled into metalsmithing. In addition to designing and making jewelry, I continue to work as an interpreter.
I met Richard in college, pouring metal out at the foundry. At the age of 5 he was dismantling clocks and reconstructing them, and roaming the neighborhood collecting building materials in his wagon. He spent his growing up years racing through mountains on early versions of snowboards, as well as skateboarding, rock climbing, and surfing. When we met, he was taking a break from working in the movie industry to finish up his art degree in sculpture and photography. After college Richard returned to the movie industry, and eventually found his way to becoming a master wood worker while employed with masters of the trade.
Along with our early inclination to make things, and the allure of getting lost in nature, we discovered a shared appreciation of the design and lifestyle philosophy of the Arts and Crafts movement that began in the late 19th century. The importance of bringing the out of doors, inside resonates with us. That a table is crafted to encourage conversation and connection, is as it should be. In particular, we are drawn to the charming details and intimate proportions of American Craftsman style architecture, furniture, and decorative objects which emphasize originality, simplicity of form, local natural materials, and the visibility of handicraft. These same founding principles are evidenced in my jewelry designs and the way we produce our jewelry.
We are metalsmiths, and we use time honored metalsmithing techniques to make our jewelry. I carve my original designs by hand in wax, and cast them in our family run studio outside Portland, OR. The subtle imperfections and organic nature that lost wax casting can produce are what we are after; evidence that our pieces originate in our heads and hearts, and have been made by our own hands. Our aim is to avoid the sterile, machine made look, and instead infuse warmth and genuineness into our creations.
Our jewelry is solidly constructed, and if it ever were to break, it can be repaired by us or your local jeweler. We use jewelry quality metals, and all connections are soldered permanently closed preventing the connections from coming apart with regular wear.
Our jewelry's durability, function, and timeless design make it worthy of passing down through generations. Jewelry becomes an heirloom because of its value, quality, beauty, and the story behind the piece.
We are committed to practices that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. We look at how and where the materials we use are made or sourced, and how far they need to travel. Our jewelry is made with reclaimed/recycled, sterling silver, gold, and bronze, ehtically sourced in the USA. In addition, we recycle all of our scrap metal. Our diamonds and gemstones are conflict free, and ethically sourced. Our focus is on making quality jewelry that will be yours to treasure for years to come.
handwriting of one you love,
preserved in sterling silver and 14k gold
handwriting of one you love,
preserved in sterling silver and 14k gold
In the spring of 2011 my dad passed away unexpectedly. We were devastated at the loss. I wanted to make my sister something special to remember him and keep him close. For more than a year I sketched idea after idea, but nothing felt right.
When I finally mustered the strength to sort through his things, I found a note he had written. It was a list of the positive things in his life scribbled on the back of an envelope. One of the lines read, "You will always have the love of your children." My heart burst! What I had been looking for, found me.
I made my sister a simple ring with the word "love" etched in our dad's handwriting. Without telling her, I sent it off. When she opened the box she was overcome with emotion when she recognized his handwriting. She wears her ring everyday. At her insistence, I began offering handwriting jewelry in the Spring of 2013.
Today that very first handwriting ring has turned into a collection of carefully handmade heirloom pieces including necklaces, lockets, bracelets, rings, cuff links, and key chains. These can be personalized with a name, an inspirational word, a remembrance, a celebration, an inside joke, a sentiment, preserved in the hand of the one you cherish.
My feelings run deep for this collection as well as for the people who have shared a part of themselves and their stories about those they have honored through these pieces. Whether you are buying a piece to remember someone you hold dear, celebrate a new life, or reminisce about a special moment, I know how important your jewelry is to you. Each piece is made by hand in our studio with tender loving care, and sent off to you with a full and happy heart.
A person's handwriting is a unique expression of who they are; like the sound of their laugh, the lines that appear at the corner of their eyes when they smile, or the way they brush their hair off their face. Catching a glimpse of the sweet sentiment written in the handwriting of one you love as you go about your day brings joy and comfort.
The pieces of the In My Hand collection are a heartfelt way to hold someone close. Your jewelry will be a uniquely personalized memento of deep love and connection. Each piece is crafted to be worn for a lifetime, loved, and passed down.
"Your work is all so warm & beautiful, it shows not only your talent but also your true understanding & respect for what each piece represents to someone."
"I was looking for a very special piece of jewellery to commemorate a recent loss in the family and was fortunate to find Kristin. I had a basic idea of what I wanted and Kristin very patiently took that idea and came up with a beautiful design for a necklace. Kristin obviously takes great pride in her work and the craftsmanship is amazing. This is built to last a lifetime and is a unique piece that holds a great deal of meaning. It was charmingly packaged with a personal note from Kristin, all so much appreciated. I cannot thank Kristin enough for her kindness, excellent customer service and attention to detail. I hope to be back in the near future."
Diane, Handwriting Locket
"The bracelet Kristin made for me is so beautiful. She took the time to find out what it meant to me to have my late husband's handwriting on one side of the charms and my responses on the other side. I love the finish. The large charm has just the right amount of curve to make it comfortable to wear. The little cherry blossom is exquisite. Even the packaging was special. She worked with me to design a piece that I will treasure always for it's meaning and for the care and artistry she put into it. Thank you so very much for helping me to keep him close and for honoring his memory."
Marcie, Little Flower Handwriting Bracelet
"Once again Kristin has created a beautiful piece of art! A true heirloom piece I am sure will be in the family for generations. Thank you Kristin for going above and beyond with this piece!"
Tricia, Birth Month Flower Handwriting Bracelet
"I just got the necklace and it is beautiful- so special! I will wear this everyday and hold mom close to my heart always. I looked at a lot of places online before choosing you and I am glad I did- you can tell that you take your time on each piece and take pride in your work."
Lynn, Sweet Love Handwriting Necklace
"So beautiful! I love how personal handwriting is and it is amazing that Kristin is able to capture it on her jewelry pieces. I felt connected throughout the whole process with our emails. The jewelry feels so sturdy that I can wear it everyday, because I plan to, and it is so delicate and detailed that she captured my fathers handwriting perfectly. I love it and I have received numerous compliments on it. Thank you Kristin! "
Kori, handwriting necklace
"Kristin, you are such an amazing artist!! You were so kind and easy to work with and the bracelet turned out even more perfect then I imagined it would. My mom loved it so much and it brings her so much joy. She feels like she carries a part of her mother around on her wrist. Thank you so much!"
Lauren, handwriting bracelet
"Kristin's passion for creating beautiful jewelry shines through in her work. Every detail was perfect, even the gift box was lovely."
Amanda, Fox and Butterfly necklace
"I just received the necklaces! They are absolutely adorable! Again you amaze me with the quality of work and love that goes into them! Thank you so much! I love my new necklace!"
Jennell, handwriting necklaces
"This was a wonderful experience. Kristin was very attentive and responsive. She responded very promptly to all of my emails even during the very busy Christmas season. She had wonderful attention to detail, providing me with her honest opinion to create the most heartfelt piece of jewelry my mother will own. Kristin captured my grandmother's handwriting perfectly and I cannot wait to present my mother with this most special gift. I will come back to her again and again. Wonderful experience. Definitely recommend. Thank you Kristin."
Shannon, handwriting bracelet
"I LOVE MY NEW BEAUTIFUL RING!!!!! It is exactly as pictured and described and fits perfectly. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful creative artisan. A perfect transaction with fantastic communication and my ring arrived so prettily packaged too. I would most definitely purchase from Kristin again. An absolute delight."
Susanna, Folk Flower ring
"This bracelet is absolutely adorable -- dainty and charming and very well made. I love the way it curves to fit my wrist. The artwork is beautiful! Thank you so much."
Bree, Fox and Butterfly bracelet