*NODE* – *No Ordinary Design Element*. I could have stopped here, cause it sounds pretty cool and so true once you see the jewelry, but Konstanze, the one woman show behind Nodeform jewelry studio In Los Angeles deserves a lot more.
Many years ago, when jewelers would shy away from the “internet” and the site Etsy was just starting, I remember that Nodeform jewelry caught my eye. The design was clean and very modern, definitely not ordinary and I remember that Konstanze had a blog, with lots of interesting posts. I remember technical posts about making jewelry and many insights into how the jewelry was made, but I also remember the humor on them. Plus, I really liked the fact that at the time she had just quit her architect day job to dedicate herself full time to the small metal pieces of architecture that she currently creates.
I remember that Nodeform had these wonderful rings and pieces with bold gemstones and very interesting design in the beginning. Over the years, these designs have evolved to become even more interesting and at the same time Konstanze has also developed her bridal part of the business. She does some amazing engagement rings, always using recycled precious metals and not only diamonds but also some alternative gemstones for engagement rings like moissonite and multicolored sapphires.
I also really appreciate that she’s a bad ass jeweler that invests a lot of her time in learning new skills. I mean, how many jewelers do you know that actually invest in learning CAD design, engraving, taking more classes to perfect her stone setting skills (which she was doing when I reached out to her for this blog post)? Not a lot, I know…Plus she is always generous enough to share the jewelry creation process on her blog and on her instagram feed with lots of great shots and explanations accompanying it. In the jewelry world, these are hard to come by.
So when I reached out to Konstanze to see if she would be willing to answer the 5 minutes questions for the blog, I was blown away when she sent me back the answers and the photos ( I told you before that she really invests herself in doing an awesome job). Not only did she sent me a lot of photos, she also commented on those. And plus, she was just moving into a new studio and was very sweet to find the time to answer the questions and take photos.
Since I enjoyed Konstanze email so much, and because I think it gives you a wonderful insight into the great jeweler she is, I felt that I should just copy her comments to my many demands for photos. I usually don’t do this, but I decided to do so because I think they are very honest and true answers that you normally wouldn’t hear. So in addition to her answers to the questionnaire you have her comments to the photos as well.
Go and check her studio space and while you’re at it, go and see her site for more photos of her beautiful creations and engagement rings! Thank you Konstanze for the wonderful photos and comments. You really made me feel like I should get on a plane and go shoot your studio in Los Angeles!
What do you like most about your studio?
“It’s my own little creative Zen space with enough room for all of my tools and space to move around”
Currently obsessed with?
“Trying to learn new techniques such as engraving. It’s kind of frustrating since it takes such a long time to get good at it”
My wax working bench. I love carving waxes. It’s such a relaxing task.
The more automated wax carver: The CNC mill. On the right my old school order management aka to-do list.
Tools everywhere. The metal bench is in the center of the studio since that’s where I spend most of my time. Everything revolves around it.
On the bench today are a couple finished ring that need to be photographed, some half done ones that still need stones set and a 3D printed stainless steel bracelet.
I do have quite a few burs and still never have the right one.
Pick 3 objects in your studio that make it special
“- my bench is my special happy place. I love getting lost on the task on hand
– my CNC mill. I am fascinated by technology and love watching it carve the designs
– the coffee/tea maker. It was the first thing I moved into the new studio”
What inspires you?
“Architecture and patterns in nature”
Since I finally finished unpacking all the boxes I will start bringing my furry 2 apprentices with me again. Here they are in my old studio space.
Favorite piece of jewelry you ever designed?
“Oh that’s a tough one to choose. I often favor my newest designs. But one that has been quite a game changer for me is my Wave collection. This ring design was developed during one of the 2011 Flickr weekly challenges: Ring a Week. I used the challenge to design a ring a week by teaching myself the CAD program Rhinoceros 3D. This ring design was the last design of the year. I did not complete 52 virtual rings in that year, but I reached my goal of learning Rhino3D and also developed a few new designs in the process. This was the design that also made me invest into a CNC milling machine a couple month later so I could offer it for sale in various sizes and stone options. Since then I have been incorporating new technology like 3D printing, CNC milling and CAD design into my design process”
Progress shot of Wave rings in the making on my bench: from wax carving to casting and stone setting
What’s on your desk right now?
” Lot’s of paper work, a cup of coffee, sunglasses”
What Jewelry do you always wear?
” I only wear jewelry when I go out – if I actually remember putting something on. It’s usually one of my trial and error test pieces.”
“I actually don’t wear jewelry daily. Occasionally I remember to put something on when I go out. The jewelry I wear are usually my test pieces I did while developing a design. This year I have worn this Moissanite cluster ring stacked with a simple hammered band and one of my first engraving practice pieces on the neck as a charm. “
If you weren’t a jeweler?
“Architect – I still keep my architect license active since I worked hard for it. Plus I like having the backup plan in case I ever get bored with making jewelry”