Tell us about yourself.
I like to work way too much — I’m a total workaholic. If I’m not working for a client, I’m doing something for myself. I like to keep busy doing all the things I love.
Apart from creating, what do you do?
I like to to travel as much as I can, play video games, hang out with my husband and dog, and work on my blog, where I research old traditions surrounding engagement rings.
What would be the title of your memoir? Why?
There Is No Maybe, Just Yes! It was something a creative director said to me (thanks, Justin). If you tell yourself you’re going to do something, commit!
Where does your inspiration come from?
My style has been inspired by many different influences. I have an art history background and I’m fascinated with the ancient cultures surrounding the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Right now I’m working on a collection based on poems about women. The Shirin ring is based on the Arabic story about King Khosrow and his courting of Shirin. Next, I want to make a ring featuring a color changing sapphire or cat’s eye alexandrite and call it Annabelle Lee, after the Edger Allen Poe poem.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
I was organically exposed to jewelry by my older brother, but we have very different styles. Now my husband is elemental in influencing my designs. I’m very drawn to the art of the the Middle East, where my husband is from.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I’ve always been a hands-on person, always painting, drawing, or weaving. I’m a graphic designer by day, but I missed getting my hands dirty, so when I was introduced to metalsmithing, I was instantly hooked.
How would you describe your creative process?
I let things take shape on their own. Often I’ll be inspired by the kind of stone I want to use and it it just seems like it needs to be set a certain way.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I engage in design on so many levels, not just jewelry. I design logos, TV commercials, websites and so on. When starting at Parsons School of Design, my idols were designers like Alexander Rodchenko, because he did it all. Like many others during the Bauhaus era, he combined art and craft, which is the kind of designer I want to be.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I think at the moment it’s my newest tattoo, which is the word “alchemist” in Arabic, created by the Arabic calligrapher, Josh Berer. Also, I love my wedding/engagement ring by Katrina Lapenne, my goldsmith teacher at the Fitzgerald Jewelry School.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I’ll start researching something random like the Himalayan blue poppy, or I’ll go out to lunch with my friends (who are two of my biggest supporters). I walk my beloved black pug Scsi, and three times a week I’ll go to pole dancing class to really cut loose.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
As long as I’m creating some form of art with my husband and my dog by my side, I’ll be happy anywhere.