Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!
Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
I’ve always loved creating. From friendship bracelets to beading jewelry, my hands have always been moving. I took a basic jewelry making class in high school and fell in love. I learned how to pierce metal with a jeweler’s saw, solder and enamel. I pursued my curiosity and fascination through college and received a master’s degree in jewelry making.
Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
My artistic process is heavily dominated by pearls. I select the pearls I want to work with and observe them individually for a time. By closely studying the color, contour, overtone, luster, overall shape of the pearl, I begin visualizing which gemstones to use and where to carve. I’ve held on to some pearls for a few years before realizing what the piece of jewelry they want to become.
Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
My pearl geode collection was inspired by naturally formed geodes on display at the Tucson gem shows in Arizona. I go to Tucson gem show every year and I’m always fascinated by the crystal formations of geodes. While in Tucson one year, I had an idea. I decided to try slicing a souffle pearl - a rare, hollow type of freshwater pearl - and setting gemstones inside each half to mimic like a geode.
I had so much fun and creating the initial line, I expanded to other collections including Finestrino, Grotto, Point, Spiral and others. I’ve found the possibilities with pearls and gemstones are endless.
Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
Water always put me at ease. I’m very fortunate to live in Los Angeles close to the ocean. Walking along the beach with my corgi puppy (who is not really a puppy anymore) and my husband brings me calm and peace.
Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
If I can only choose one, it would be my conch pearl necklace. I typically work only with farmed pearls, but have a huge affinity with natural pearls, and especially conch pearls. They are the rarest pearls in the world and are often mistaken for coral. I love the happy colors of pink and oranges and the whimsy jelly bean-like shapes. Last year, my husband surprised me with a small lot of loose conch pearls for my birthday. I designed a necklace around them using diamonds and platinum.
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
My artistic endeavor with pearls began when I joined my husband’s company Pearl Paradise. I learned to knot pearl necklaces, sort pearls by type, size, color, quality and overtones and make pearl jewelry. I’ve traveled to pearl farms in Mexico, the Philippines, Fiji and French Polynesia learning and gaining true appreciation for the art and science involved in growing pearls. I also visit the international Hong Kong Jewellery show three times per year for the sole purpose of hand-selecting pearls. My involvement in the pearl industry has greatly influenced my passion towards creating pearl jewelry.
If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
Twist has a beautifully curated collection of little h. You can also find my pieces at:
My website: littlehjewelry.com
My lastest pieces are often on Instagram: littlehjewelry
What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
I am very excited to be back at the Couture show in Las Vegas. Couture is very well-curated, beautiful show and I am grateful and honored to be part of it. I will be showing a lot of new pieces I created in the last few months.
Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
I’m a lucky girl who wakes up with a cappuccino my husband makes every morning: two shots of espresso, foamed milk and little bit of raw sugar. When I’m treating myself, I love a lavender latte.