While in Vegas for COUTURE a couple of months ago I met an amazing lady - Julie, the owner of a store in Chicago called Virtu. She organized a brunch with some amazing ladies including Marla Aaron (I will be seeing her new locks next week!), Robin Kramer of Flourish and Thrive and Ann Chikahisa. Ann was sitting across from me and I couldn't take my eyes off the choker necklace she had on - it was a rad mix of chain and metal elements to create a very unique look. To me, Ann's designs are rough, but have such an interesting, engaging element to them that I can't quite explain. I'm a fan. Get to know more about Ann and her designs below!
I began making jewelry by serendipity. I had been a corporate girl and was so disenchanted with my career. I felt disconnected and very unhappy so I decided to try a creative outlet to fill the void. I went to the local art center and chose a metalsmithing class. After my first class, I was hooked. The passion turned into an obsession. Friends were recipients of my creations. Upon my friend’s urging, she threw a trunk show for me - and I sold 65 pieces that day. Chikahisa Studio became official in 2010.
My process begins through images and ideas that I collect in my notebook and photos. I am inspired by textures, shapes and trends. I find these inspirations all over - in books and magazines, while I’m out on a walk, or while I’m eating at a cafe. I take these rough ideas and start carving and shaping them out of wax. These initial pieces are my starting point. As I mix the cast pieces with chains and stones, the collection begins to form. I take a theme and then develop the collection around that.
I’m inspired by nature but not in the literal sense. A unique shape or interesting texture is what I’m always looking for.
Currently, my favorite design is the the woven choker. I love the wight of it, the feel of how it moves and the sensuality of the chain.
Favorite artists: My two favorite artists are Calder and Georgia O’Keeffe. I love how Calder created all these beautiful pieces of jewelry with just a piece of wire and a hammer. He took ordinary things and made them so beautiful and interesting. As for O’Keeffe, I love the drama of her images. They are so beautiful and sensual.
Other than jewelry: When I’m not designing, I’m at the yoga studio. In the winter I love snowboarding.
Currently listening to: Right now I’m really loving Robert Delong.
See a few of my favorite designs below and more on her website.