“Since I was a kid, the only thing I wanted to do was go to art school,” says Olivia Frassinelli. That self-assurance and sense of purpose are what led the New Jersey native to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston where, as she got busy in the fibers program, she fell hard for the idea of adornment.
The next logical step: jewelry. Travel serves as a jumping-off point for her earthy, mixed media collection, which launched in 2013—she’s all about turning sensory experiences into something more tangible. “When I travel, I am generally very drawn not only to the colors and textures but also the overall feel of a certain place,” she explains. “After you leave, its personality stays in your memory. That idea is what drives a lot of my designs—to translate that feeling into a relic, and one that is wearable.”
Another huge part of her process is playing around with her chosen materials—think hand-dyed beads, fibers, and brass—to see how things fit together. “I’m not into sketching. It’s more of a tactile process. I like to see how the colors interact,” she adds. And there’s the philosophical angle that started her down this road to begin with: “I think when we chose what adorns us, we’re showing our personalities, whether it’s who we are or who we want to be. There’s a very powerful and meaningful driving force behind that choice, even if we may not realize it!” — jane gauger
BEHIND THE SCENES
We’ll have a dozen oysters and as many cannolis, please.
Hone Your Craft Learn How to Dye Beads (Yes, Beads!) with Olivia Frassinelli
Suddenly, stringing your own necklace got a whole lot more interesting.