Wednesday, October 17, 2012


24K Gold and Sterling Silver Standing Out in a Crowd Ring
The “relative isolation” of New Zealand’s Ulva Island makes it an ideal nature sanctuary.

Its 670 acres provide homes to rare, exotic birds including the Island Robin (toutouwai), and the Forest Parrot (South Island Kaka).  New Zealand is also home to featured jewelry designer Kate Alterio.

The offspring of a welder and writer, Alterio’s household would help to build her creative inclinations as jeweler, painter and photographer.

“My father was a welder and growing up with him involved lots of garage and workshop time,” she recalls.

“Mom’s passion for storytelling taught me from a young age how to visualize and use my imagination.  Drawing from my dad’s technical influence and my mother coaxing my creativity it was no surprise that I would gravitate to jewelry making.”

Alterio’s pendant necklace, ring and lapel pin designs fashioned primarily from sterling silver are contemporary art pieces within classic, pared down outlines. 

Her thoughtful design approach encompasses taking on complex issues like racism or independence and creating aesthetically appealing, wearable pieces that hold in some way a sampling of life’s realities.

Sterling Silver Lace Heart Pendant Necklace with Resin

As seen on her official website, a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson is featured on the webpage for Alterio’s heart jewelry collection, Shot through the Heart.  It reads: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

For me the quote sets up what the collection is about.  Upon viewing the designs first-- that also feature leaf shapes—I initially thought about love of course.

However once I read Emerson’s quote different ideas of what the heart represents came to mind; personality, spirit, and beliefs were among them.  I realized that these additional ideas also tied to the varied meanings of the leaf motif.

Each of Alterio’s collections—from Hinged which explores what is under the surface to X =? an exploration of this symbol’s numerous representations—appeals to the eye while also subliminally stimulating the intellect.

“Through creative expression, I connect the spiritual and physical worlds, bringing the formless into the world of form.  I often explore notions of diversity, relationships, physical and spiritual themes.

Oxidized Sterling Silver Friendly Fire Earrings with Brass Bullets
All of my pieces reflect a stage of where I have been in my life.

It is my hope that people can find something in my work to appreciate which may also resonate with them on a deep level.”
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