I have been making jewelry for well over half of my life now. It started for me in high school (I attended a public arts high school here in Minneapolis), where I met a local jewelry designer who taught my class. I immediately fell in love with making jewelry and hit it off so well with the teacher that after graduation I started an apprenticeship with her. That apprenticeship turned into a job lasting nearly seven years, all through my college years and beyond. It was an amazing opportunity to learn the craft in a very old-school way – with years of repetition and practice.
When I decided to design my own collection, I followed the advice of another jewelry designer/mentor and entered the American Jewelry Design Council’s New Talent Competition and ended up winning! This was in 2002, and it was a fantastic way to launch my design career. This earlier collection consisted of big, bright-colored pieces in sterling silver in lab-grown gems (heavy on the cocktail rings) – but as much as I loved these fun pieces, after years of making them, I had come to a point where I really wanted to shift my focus to fine jewelry with gold and natural gemstones and make more one-of-a-kind pieces.
And so, in 2015, I launched my Karin Jacobson fine jewelry collection. These pieces were inspired by origami, using shapes cut out of flat metal, which is then bent and folded to create big, three-dimensional forms. In working this way, I could make large-scale pieces that are also lightweight and comfortable. For the largest pieces I still use sterling silver, but with 18k gold accents and stone settings, and I also added many smaller pieces made entirely in 18k gold. And this new collection also allowed me to start using a lot of natural gemstones and diamonds.
In the years since my re-launch, I’ve continued to expand the collection, adding more 18k gold pieces and a whole lot more gemstones – because, really – who doesn’t love more gemstones? I’ve also become licensed to use and sell fairmined gold and have a capsule collection in fairmined 18k yellow gold with ethically sourced gemstones. I am so looking forward to showing off what’s new at the next NY NOW!