Feature Friday Q&A with Kristin Laing of Kristin Laing Designs

I stumbled upon today's Feature Friday artist one day when I was searching for a new designer that would inspire me; give me dreams of lives past and make me feel as if I was on the adventure of a lifetime.

These designs are reminiscent of Arabian nights and tales told by Shahrazad herself.  The delicate scroll work, brightly colored gemstones, vivid mixed metals...I feel as though I have wandered into an adventure and around every nook there is the possibility of new discoveries yet to be made!

I know that you will enjoy the unique, exotic and adventurous designs by today's Feature Friday artist - Kristin Laing of Kristin Laing Designs.

1.  What prompted your passion for jewelry and jewelry design?
It’s hard to say, but I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love jewelry.   I think I was born this way!  I remember seeing Native American artisans in Santa Fe, New Mexico making and selling jewelry when I was a little kid, it really fascinated me.

14K Gold Disc Pendant with Bezel Set Blue Diamond, $320 - This is one of my most favorite pieces by Kristin!
I love the mixed metals looks as well as the delicate scroll work.  It gives an old world appeal to the piece that I adore.

2.  What is your favorite piece or collection?
My favorite piece is usually the next one that I’m going to make.  I rarely get sentimental about a finished piece, I just keep moving on to the next idea.

3.  What would your perfect “jewelry day” involve / be like?
The perfect jewelry day for me is a day in the studio when I get to work on several new pieces.  They all go together easily and come out just as I planned (or better).  Those days do not happen often enough!

10k Gold Openwork Teardrop Earring, $268 - These earrings are perfect for everyday wear.
Just the right amount of texture & scroll work gives them a universal appeal fit for black tie or blue jeans.

4.  Thus far, what would you say is your proudest jewelry moment or memory?
No big moments, it’s just that occasional email you get from a client who really appreciates your work.  When someone reaches out to let me know that a certain piece is really special to them or makes them happy — that makes my day.

5.  Where do you find your greatest inspiration?
I look through vintage collectible jewelry, then try to find a way to out a modern spin on it.  Many times when I’m working with diamonds or other stones, it’s the stone itself that inspires the piece. 

Mixed Metal Bar Ring in 14k Gold & Sterling Silver with a Blue Diamond, Champagne Diamond or Ruby, starting at $178 - These
rings just get me every time I see them!  I love the color of the stones against the gold & the oxidized sterling silver. 

6.  In your personal wardrobe, do you find that you gravitate to one particular jewelry accessory (rings vs. necklace vs. bracelets vs. watches, etc.) more often than others?
Yes, rings.  I’ve always loved them.  

7.  When putting together an outfit, how do you feel about mixing metals, designs and even new with vintage pieces?
Yes, I mix it up!  I mix metals in my pieces, so that helps to tie everything together.  I love high karat gold, and my wedding set is Edwardian platinum, but I have no problem wearing them together.  I mostly wear things I’ve made, but love to add some in some vintage bead work. 

14k Gold & Deep Gray Brown Bezel Set Rose Cut Oval Diamond Necklace, $398 - This piece is perfect for layering!
I love the rustic appeal & the mixed metals of this necklace.  It would be a wardrobe staple for sure!

8.  Layering seems to be a trend that is here to stay, for now. What are your feelings on the layered look?  How do you like layered necklaces with layered bracelets plus layered rings? 
I’m really in to the layered look, both necklaces and stacks of rings.  I love seeing people go just a little bit over the top (tastefully of course) with luxurious materials.

Rose Cut Diamond Slice Ring Solid 14k Gold, $478 - This piece reminds me of the rings from days long past
that I've seen in museums.  I can almost imagine it on the pinky finger of a nobleman or noblewoman!

9.  What advice would you give to budding jewelry designers? To budding fine jewelry collectors?
To designers I say, you have to do something that sets you apart.  Focus on honing skills that other people don’t have, and put in the time to become really good at it.  You want people to see your work and be able to identify it as yours just by looking it.  

To collectors I say, just buy what you love.  For those of us who get excited about gems and jewelry, you know it as soon as you see it.

Flash Question - Dream trip destination?

Ruby Mixed Metal Bar Necklace in Sterling Silver & 14k Gold, $158 - Another delicate piece fit for layering!
Picture this necklace layered with any number of Kristin's bar necklaces...Perfection!

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