Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Sterling Silver and Oxidized Copper Clouds Necklace
There is not one but two botanical gardens situated at Japan's University of Tokyo.

They are two of the country's oldest gardens containing varied collections of plant species for research purposes. Japan is also the ancestral home of featured jewelry designer Kristina Kada.

Such a strong sense of tranquility and calm emits from the delicate construct of Japanese designer jewelry.

For me it is like observing a blooming rose gently stretching its petals for the warmth of the sun or the splatter of a raindrop.

Yoko Izawa's exquisite pieces, for example, seem as though they were formed through the manipulation of light and air.

Kada's home and workshop, Satomi Studio, is nestled within the majestic redwood trees of Santa Cruz, California. A large source of her inspiration sets right outside her door, and the arrangement of the floral and atmospheric motifs are focal points of Kada's jewelry.

In 1994, Kada received a Bachelor of Arts in Metalsmithing from California's Humboldt State University. Implementing sterling silver, 24-karat gold, and oxidized copper, Kada creates beautifully elegant pieces.

The glossy, appliqué-like cutouts of silver and gold nature motifs against blackened copper not only create a great contrast of metals, but also add a wonderful hint of edgy sophistication.  Still, even with the oxidized metal there is a sense of delicacy in the placement of the appliqué flowers.

"I use simple elements in repetition to build up richly textured patterns and interesting forms," she explains. "I like the simplistic yet powerful visual presence created with the negative space between the metals."

 Sterling Silver Cluster Ring
For an added bonus, Kada implements a Japanese weaving technique, kumihimo, to create the cords that suspend her elegant pendants.

"Hand-dyed silk threads wrapped around weighted spools are braided in various ways to create a woven cord on a wooden, circular loom," she says.

"I enjoy the concept of combining contemporary designs with a centuries-old craft of my ancestors."

Kada's work is exhibited in galleries across the United States including the Gallery of Jewels in California, Hanson Galleries in Texas, and the AsiaStore in New York.

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