After several years of being a corporate sales executive, Ann Chikahisa was ready for a change. She decided to take a metalsmithing class and got hooked on making jewelry. With a friend’s encouragment, she hosted her first trunk show and sold 70 pieces in one night. She’s been creating ever since.
With a customer base that includes designers and architects, Ann has found a niche making wearable sculpture on a miniature scale. We visited her at her White Center studio in Seattle.
You write, “Every piece I make is a journey.” Can you tell us the story behind a particular piece?
The journey begins with the wax. I take a piece of wax and play with it , using various tools to create texture. Next comes form. What shape will highlight the texture? Then I take the form and have it cast. The jewelry is then created from the forms and how I organize them and curate them. Every step is play and letting the moment happen. Sometimes my “oops” turn out to be the best pieces!
Tell us a little about how your family and culture has influenced your jewelry work.
I am a third generation Japanese American. I grew up in a creative household where my mother always was either sewing or knitting. As a child I loved to draw, paint and take art classes. Japanese culture is a huge influence on my work- wabi sabi is the essence of it.
What are your favorite pieces to wear right now?
My favorite pieces are the Stonehenge statement bracelet and the Stonehenge wrap necklace. [See them on Ann above. The wrap necklace is a single piece that’s wrapped and tied around her neck. Stunning!]
Photographs by Charissa Pomrehn for KOBO