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Behind The Scenes

Get a Load of the Stones That Are Most Key to Giantlion

“I am such a magpie! I have so many sparkly things in my studio—so many African beads and stones and metal castings, and they all sit in their designated Tupperware,” says Caroline Whittington Young of the fresher-than-fresh line Giantlion. So, of all of this goodness, what’s she drawn to the most? Here, her five top stones right now. —genevieve ang Quartz“It is such a common stone and is so easy to find—but it can take on so many different personalities based on it’s shapes. I usually work with clear quartz—it can be raw and rustic, but refined as well. My Of a Kind edition is actually made from a really rare diamond quartz—so it’s extra-sparkly!” Aquamarine“It’s my birthstone. When I started working with these stones, I started collecting them in a more raw state because I hadn’t seen raw aquamarine in a lot of jewelry. The color is one of my absolute favorites—it’s very elegant, bright, and just darn beautiful.” Pyrite“One of my very first designs was a pyrite cube ring, which has been hugely popular. I usually buy stones that speak to me and hoard them for a while until the right design comes along—not every stone I get will be perfect for a specific design, but it might lend itself nicely to another design down the road.” Diamonds“I never thought of myself as a diamond girl until I got engaged! I like using a lot of very small diamonds in a pave style. I like using diamonds more as a subtle accent piece.” Turquoise“A lot of my turquoise is from the U.S., from Arizona. The stones I buy are from the Sleeping Beauty Mine and are totally natural, which is really special because a lot of turquoise out there now is dyed. I’ve been using turquoise in its round state—a very simple bezel with just the stone. I don’t want to hide it with anything else.” Caroline made some quartz beauties that we think you’re gonna love.
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3 Super-Gripping Documentaries that Fuel Giantlion's Jewelry

Caroline Whittington Young, who masterminded the super-fly jewelry line Giantlion, is pretty hardcore about her movie-viewing experience. “My husband totally laughs at me because we’ll be watching a film or a show on TV, and whenever something inspiring comes on, I need to press pause, pull out my phone, and take a picture,” she says. Freeze-framed shots from these three stellar docs have made their way onto her bulletin boards, and their sensibilities have found their way into her line. —genevieve ang The Blue Planet“It’s a series of documentaries about the ocean, and each one has a different focus. It’s such a luxury to be able to view this alien underwater world. One photo I took was of a dolphin swimming. The repetition, movement, curves of their bodies and the color of the water—there are so many different elements that I take and incorporate it into pieces.”The Piece it Inspired: “My collection with shark teeth is a little strange because even though I love sea life, I’m definitely afraid of sharks. I’m so physically afraid of them that I get terrified when I see them on TV. I cast found shark teeth in silver and gold—I like to be able to take something so real and make it into something else, something more wearable.” Pompeii: Back from the Dead“Pompeii has always been really fascinating to me—that it was essentially destroyed and yet so much was still preserved. You don’t see a lot of jewelry in this documentary, but there were all these skeletons they found that were covered in green, which meant that these individuals were wearing jewelry when they died and that the metals had a chemical reaction with the bones.”The Piece it Inspired: “This is bronze and brass that I’ve combined with African beads—I like taking a part of history and being able to combine it with new things. The outcome is so different from the materials themselves.” Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii“This was one of the first things that started my obsession with Pompeii and history. This was early in their career, so there’s this newness and freshness to it. There are all these snippets of Pompeii architecture that they intertwine with their playing. I go back to this a lot—I watched it so much that I somehow ended up with three copies of this DVD! It’s usually playing in the background when I work.”The Piece it Inspired: “My first collection was a series of necklaces that I hand-printed with paper. Nothing is the same; every single piece is one of a kind.” You have to see these quartz studs Caroline made us—they are fierce.
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