Architecture is one of the biggest inspirations in my work and I’ve always been drawn to iconic buildings.
The SFMOMA and the LA Philharmonic are two buildings in particular that have a strong personal connection for me and collaborating with them has been a special honor. In this post, I wanted to share a little bit about each of these collaborative projects and stories behind each of the collections.
The beauty of San Francisco has captivated me since I was a teenager and it had been my dream to live in this enchanting city since my very first visit. While attending the graduate jeweler program at the Revere Academy of Jewelry arts I spent many days eating my lunch in Yerba Buena Park across the street. It has one of the best views of the SFMOMA and I can't help but imagine that all those days admiring The strong, graphic shape of this building influenced my work from the very beginning, especially the iconic circular Rotunda.
In 2012, the museum was preparing to close for a 3-year renovation that would add an entirely new building nearly tripling the gallery space. I took one last trip to the museum and visited all my favorites in the permanent collection, but I was most intrigued by the architectural renderings for the new expansion. The new wing was designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta and I was fascinated by the creative approach to this challenge of balancing the existing building with the new expansion.
I spent hours researching the design process and poured over the architectural renderings from all angles. It also gave me a chance to learn more about the original building designed by Mario Botta in1988. My first SFMOMA-inspired collection, LINEA, honored both the new and original buildings. My fascination with the edgy shapes of the Snøhetta building, particularly when viewed from an aerial perspective, led to the creation of the APEX collection, that debuted in 2016 to mark the re-opening of the Museum. It was actually on my first visit to the newly reopened space that I made the sketches for what would become the third collection, inspired by one of my favorite paintings in the SFMOMA permanent collection, No.14 painted in 1960 by Mark Rothko.
Learn more about the ROTHKO collection. individual collection
Designed by Frank Gehry and opened in 2003, the LA Philharmonic is housed in my absolute favorite building in North America, every time I visit I’m simply blown away by the magic of Gehry’s creation. When the LA Philharmonic commissioned me to design a collection based on the Gehry building, I was beyond honored and completely thrilled. To prepare for the project I spent many days immersing myself in this transformative space, snapping hundreds of photos and filling my sketchbook with the angles, shadows, and outlines of the building.
Back in the studio I combed through my sketches and found the shapes that resonated most with me. I cut out paper shapes in various sizes to experiment with layering and proportion. Then I made initial prototypes from copper wire and aluminum sheet before creating the first designs in silver. There are 3 capsule collections in the LA Philharmonic series, that range from a more literal reference of the building to more abstract designs influenced by the shapes and shadows. Some of my favorites include the Akara Earrings and the Oblik Necklace.
These collaborations have meant so much to me and the buildings themselves continue to influence my work, inspiring me as I design new pieces and look towards future collaborations.