handcrafted jewelry imbued with meaning and symbolism
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.