Kate Jones’s Journey Through Jewelry-Making
Many 11 year olds have an idea of what they want to be when they grow up, but it’s fair to say that they usually change their minds by the time they turn, oh, 12 years old. Not so for Kate Jones, who started making her own jewelry then, had her line Ursa Major in stores within a year, and has kept up with it ever since. Take a look at how it all began and where she’s landed now.
2000, age 19
“These brooches are from my early years at the Rhode Island School of Design. The project was an exercise in building prototypes using non-metal materials, so I used balsa wood and cotton muslin with beading. I drew inspiration from the stitching patterns I saw in sails.”
2006, age 24
“I always wanted to do a whole series of enamel pieces that mimicked the patterns on shells, but I just never got around to it. Luckily, my father asked me to make my mom a 25th wedding anniversary present from all of us, so I made her these two brooches using enamel and sterling silver. She’s always collected shells, so I tried to incorporate a cone shell pattern into one brooch and a coral pattern into the other.”
2012, age 30
“I try to create jewelry that is obtuse enough so that it can be left open for interpretation. I really want consumers to have their own dialogue with the piece and have it mean something to them—whether or not it means the same thing to me is irrelevant. When I began designing the Omega collection, I was playing with the idea of making a ring that had an opening and a chain to connect the two ends. Instead, I put an ellipsis on each end and decided that I liked the open-ended look. When it came time to name it, a friend suggested looking at Latin names, so we began looking at words that alluded to beginnings or ends. I told my mom about it and she said, ‘Well, what about Omega?’ For her, it was about the literal shape, but Omega actually represents the end. So it ended up being the perfect name.”