Monday, June 15, 2015


Sterling Silver Nouveau Drop Earrings
with Pink Sapphires
Osaka, Japan is an exciting locale with places of historical relevance (the Tempozan bay port); natural beauty (the Osaka Aquarium); and tasty cuisine.  Japan is also the ancestral home of featured jewelry designer Chihiro Makio.

To me modern jewelry is the more stylistically interesting sibling to classically styled designs.  Though the building blocks are basic forms, the presentation is ripe with artistic flair and meticulous craftsmanship.

Makio’s brand, 314 Studio, is a vision of the jewelry artist’s love for sterling silver, forms in nature and asymmetry. 

The Boston-based jewelry designer credits painting in developing her appreciation for producing designs that are a little askew.

Nonetheless while her aesthetic is crisp and precise her earrings, bracelets, rings, and necklaces are beautifully expressive with floral shapes, hand-stitched beads, and paisley patterns. 

In most cases, angular outlines of oxidized sterling silver are focal points; however, in her series Gem Flora, 2 Tone Flora, and Klimt, inspired by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, she implements lovely accents of 24-karat yellow or rose gold.  Each design is structured through a combination of doming, soldering, riveting and hand-drilling.

24K Gold Plated Oxidized Sterling Silver Orange Ring
Though always intrigued by non-traditional materials--as a child she made random objects from scrap materials--Makio loves the possibilities of sterling silver.  She has worked primarily with silver for ten years.

She also prefers to create spontaneously allowing inspiration to marinate in her mind for months.  “If I am excited about a new idea and jump into too quickly, I will usually lose interest,” she confesses.  Despite her seeming dissonance she thoroughly enjoys the journey of bringing her ideas to life. 

“I try to create something totally new to add to my repertoire.  Sometimes I am inspired by nature, art, or fictional stories.  The projects I embark on don’t always go smoothly but I enjoy the challenge each project brings.

I think departing from symmetry and balance creates movement, and an interesting visual effect.  I feel like the luckiest person on earth for having this as the way I make my living.”

2015 Jewelry Trend Alert: Makio’s unique design approach taps into several of the year’s style trends.  Makio’s Layering Chain Series aligns with the year’s layered necklaces trend with an “assortment of silver and gold filled chains.” 
24K Gold Plated and Oxidized Sterling Silver
Vine Cuff Bracelet
Statement metal cuffs are big this year, and her Vine Cuff Bracelet fits the bill.  

Lastly, vintage-inspired jewelry is a top trend, and Makio’s Nouveau Series highlights the feminine curling lines of the Art Nouveau Period.
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