It’s been my heartfelt belief that jewelry is more than just accessory, that at its best it acts as a sacred talisman for our most personal stories, relationships, life triumphs and losses. I’ve been a jeweler for over five years by profession, and over that time I’ve learned so much about other people by simply asking them to tell me about what they already own. I feel like I get this incredible permission to see a woman more wholly through her jewelry, and now I really want to formalize this asking with a new series called Adorned.
In <strong>Adorned</strong> I will be sporadically invading the homes, jewelry boxes, and collections of the women most dear to me—both woman who I am very intimate with, and those who I look up to and who inspire me.
I ask each woman to reflect on her jewelry collection and pull out 5-10 of her most personal pieces, usually a combination of the most meaningful, the most beloved, and the most often worn.
To start us off, I thought I would share with you my collection. You may be surprised to find that even though I am a jeweler, I actually have a very small collection of jewelry that I actually own. Here are my Adorned picks, from my heart to yours.
1 // The first ring I ever made, circa 2005. I tried selling this ring many times, and people love it and try it on but I think the universe knows it belongs to me. I finally stopped trying to sell it and instead wear it as a reminder of the great leap I took to become a jewelry artist.
2 // High school graduation gift from my Auntie Kathy. It reminds me of a piece that my Mom has worn every single day since I can remember.
3 // My Mom’s earrings. I remember her wearing these all the time when I was young, a hold over from her more bohemian style. They were a gift from my mom's best friend and my namesake, Catherine Lemon, who was there with my mother on the day I was born. I feel like a child when I see them.
4 // <a href="http://www.sarahswell.com/" target="_blank">Sarah Swell</a> Ridgeback Ring and a simple green diamond ring. Sarah is one of the most dear people to me, a total industry comrade and inspiration. We traded a few pieces and this is my first diamond.
5 // Simple Turquoise Studs I picked up in Joshua Tree. I use a lot of old metalsmithing techniques that the Navajo mastered, it feels good to wear something in that style.
6 // Birch Earrings. These are my everyday go-to earrings. They look good with everything and I love the sound they make in my ear. I named these Birch because when I made them I was going through a really difficult transition, and I needed to shed some old ways in order to move on and let go. The imagery of the birch shedding it’s bark in order to grow served as the inspiration for the texture.
7 // Tiffany’s Chain Bracelet. My Mom gave this to me on my 18th birthday, it is my first real ‘grown-up’ piece of jewelry. The rear is inscribed ‘Katie’, a name I dropped at 19, I love the reminder of where I’ve been.
8 // Bench Charms. This is a one of a kind piece that I’ve build over the years filled with little scraps and things I loved from experimenting at the bench. The ‘K’s come from my Grandma Ellen who gave them to me when I was a little girl. I’ve always loved charm necklaces especially charms that originate from something authentic.
9 // <a href="http://aikojewelry.com" target="_blank">Aiko Designs</a>. A cute little everyday piece made by another dear colleague Christine Aiko Beck. She and Sarah helped me open and run my boutique, <a href="http://www.crown-nine.com" target="_blank">Crown Nine</a> in my first year. I love Christine’s eye and her meticulous craftsmanship.
10 // Little Rock. This is probably my most special, most worn, most loved piece out of all of them. The gold is from a necklace my Grandma Ellen gave to me as a girl that no longer fit. I melted it down and put it on this ring and so she is with me in many ways.
L O V E + M E T A L
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