While in New York City in March I met Kimberlin Brown, a magical French-ish hippie and incredibly talented designer. We met at a small cafe for coffee and then headed around the corner to Love Adorned to look at jewelry. Kimberlin's designs are nature inspired, yet so refined. Many of her rings remind me of the big vintage cocktail rings my grandmother had in her collection.
"I am mostly a self-taught jeweler. I never took an actual jewelry class. I graduated with a BFA in fine arts from undergraduate studies at – Maryland Institute College of Art and The School of the Art Institute Of Chicago -- where my focus was on sculpture, film and printmaking. These were the foundations for my work.
I am still making sculptures, just on a smaller scale, the casting techniques are the same.
When I was making films it was super 8 and 16mm; capturing light and movement with that rich saturation of color was thrilling. I’m still fascinated by light and movement; by custom cutting my stones I maximize their flash and fire. Printmaking I loved because I am drawn to things in a series. My pieces are one-of-a- kind or small production, individual while being part of a group.
The ‘actual start’ of making jewelry was when my college roommates (and dear friends still) studied a semester in Florence where they took a jewelry course, upon their return we set up a workshop in our basement and so the love affair began."
"Often it begins with an amazing gemstone or pearl I’ve found, then creating to compliment their natural beauty. I wax carve or cast from natural elements using the ancient ‘lost wax cast’ technique. Then I work directly with the precious metal: this is a combination of gentle persuasion and coercing with intense heat and brute force. Once the ideas and shapes take form it comes to life when the stones and pearls are set… it is a fairly free form approach."
"I grew up by the sea. The long carefree summer days of my childhood were always at the beach or by the water. I am still most at peace by the sea and find it’s beauty a constant source of inspiration. Travel is also vital to my work. The ‘Iceland’ collection was inspired by a trip to this otherworldly island and its unparalleled natural beauty. "
"I feel like I collaborated with Mother Nature on my most recent ring. I found a stunning opal that looks like a galaxy is within. It is part of the ‘Sea Anemone’ Collection; my first and favorite. Branches of coral-like tendrils nestle the opal into a bed of diamond-encrusted anemones.
It is both sea and celestial. Lori Levin of Love Adorned was one of the first I showed it to; I am happy to say it is beautifully displayed in her sanctuary of a store in NYC, which values aesthetics and craftsmanship."
When Kimberlin isn't designing she's spending time with the loves of her life; Léo her 2 and a ½ year old son and her husband Niko. "Traveling is good for the soul and so is cooking for friends and family."
I asked Kimberlin about her favorite designers and she responded in the most lovely way. "I am very fortunate to have met and become friends with (the late) Manfred Bischoff while living in Italy. He grew up in the Black Forest of Germany and ‘Escaped to Tuscany to find the light.’ He did just that, beautifully, in high carat gold. He allowed me to be a part of his work process in his studio. He also taught jewelry; he was a great communicator in gold and in words. When I asked him what was the most important thing he told his students, he replied ‘If it is true to your heart then it will be good”
She continues, "I also love all of the artists Kate Egan of Egan Day has chosen to be part of her beautiful world: Ted Muehling, Gabriella Kiss, Maria Beaulieu and Nicole Landaw."
Currently listening to: "I am still mourning David Bowie. He was the diamond dog for us under dogs. The album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust’ is a perfect masterpiece."
See more amazing pieces by Kimberlin on her website!