Behind the Scenes at US Label AnaKatarina Jewelry
What is your name?
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Boston, Athens, and the former Yugoslavia.
What do you love about jewellery?
It is a wearable art form, which transcends fashion and becomes a woman’s armor. How many times do you forget to put on your favorite piece and feel naked without it? It is this connection that inspires me.
When did you discover your love for jewellery?
I have loved jewelry since I was a child and this love comes from memories of jewelry worn by powerful female archetypes in my world. First, my mother, an abstract painter, has always had amazing taste. She preferred large modern organic form sterling pieces. A petite woman, she has always worn simple clothes adorned with bold statement pieces - stacked cuffs and multiple rings. Secondly, I was raised in an old-school Boston Brahmin neighborhood where women would stack large beautiful diamond and precious gemstone rings. These luxurious and sublime pieces were worn all day long whether working in the garden or out for the evening. Through these early memories, I have associated jewelry with a woman claiming her identity and power.
How did you become a jewellery designer?
Life is a beautiful journey of serendipitous encounters. I was a young mother of two little girls, and a bit lost professionally having ended my career as a war correspondent. A newly divorced woman walked into my mother’s gallery wanting to sell her diamond engagement ring. I convinced her to let me redesign the ring into a pendant. She trusted me, and I found a craftsman in Boston to create my vision. I do not have a traditional education in jewelry design and am self-taught. I feel this has helped me create jewelry inspired by my curiosity for design and unusual materials.
Describe your style, what is most characteristic about AnaKatarina Jewelry's design?
I design with contradictions; classic pieces with a rock and roll twist, organic forms with architectural elements, negative and positive spatial elements, and designs inspired by antiquity modernized. I like contradiction in design and the gray spaces between the black and white extremes in humans.
Which music genre describes your jewellery best?
Such an unfair question as there is not one genre! I always design to music, and my tastes run from classical and jazz to pop. I would have to say no matter the genre; the music has to make me feel sensual, beautiful, and powerful so that the final design embodies that vibe.
If you could choose one song that describes best AnaKatarina Jewelry, which one would you choose?
Nina Simone’s “Feeling good.” Sensual and confident.
What is your favourite item of your jewellery line?
I wear two pieces of jewelry every day. A bold rose gold dome ring, with a line of pave set diamonds in yellow gold with an etched stone texture. I love it as it resembles textured silk. I made the ring in 2008 and because of popular demand have recently added it to the Sumerian collection. The second piece is a pendant I created from a 165AD Roman coin that came to me in a most interesting way (ask me the story off-line sometime).
What exciting things are coming up for your jewelry line? New lines planned?
Oooh…I have so many plans. I am still obsessed with inverted gems and adding more natural nonmetal materials into my work. Wood? Mammoth? Larger sculptural forms? Yes, to it all!
... IN THE DESIGN STUDIO
Describe a typical day in your studio?
I am the mother of three girls, and my youngest is still at home. I am the master chameleon and morph between mother, artist/ entrepreneur and back to mother many times throughout the day. My day starts at 6 am with our family/puppy morning rituals. On a perfect day, I am going to the gym after I drop Angeline off at school and am in my atelier working by 10 am. I work until I pick up Angeline at 5:15 or earlier when I go to her sports games.
We live in Boston, and I travel to my workshop and showroom in NYC once a week for two days. I love the business of these days, and I even get to steal a moment or two with friends.
How do you make your jewellery?
With love (and mastery) in my NYC atelier. All my pieces are created with ethically sourced and fair trade materials including recycled gold, conflict-free diamonds, and fair traded gems. In 1999, with the first commercial availability of Canadian mined diamonds, I started my transition into a sustainable designer. Today, my jewelry brand adheres to using only recycled gold, fair traded and ethically sourced gems and sustainable business practices.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
From the world! I am inspired by the staggering beauty of both the exotic and the every-day. I curate a visual lexicon in my consciousness taken from my background, travels, passions and experiences. When I design, this mental library opens to bring forth the inspirations for my jewelry.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST..
Ring, Earrings, Necklace, Bracelet, or Bangle?
Statement rings and lots of bangles!
Mountains or beach holiday?
Both. Mountains that blend into the beach. The coast of Croatia is the perfect example of the best of both worlds.
What's your favourite city?
Why does a woman need only one favourite? It is hard to choose. I am drawn to Istanbul for the rich woven history. Paris for the winding roads and the Slovenian and Croatian coasts for sweet playtime.
Do you have a favourite jewel that comes with you on all your travels?
A Lighting Ridge opal and mammoth bracelet for good luck.
The interview is part of our Behind the Scenes at Independent Jewellers series. To view more of AnaKatarina's amazing jewellery, check out her online boutique here.