When asked what turned them on to jewelry, most designers will point to Parsons classes or workshops in the New York Diamond District. But Lauren Wolf took an unusual road to self-discovery, unearthing her passion for jewelrymaking in the mountains of Mexico, where she spent six months studying under renowned jeweler Billy King.
"I was hooked," says Wolf, who recently relocated to Oakland (after living in New York for eight years) to continue work on her eponymous collection, which includes organic-looking baubles like raw mineral cocktail rings, statement-making pearl cuffs, and delicate charm necklaces.
Though she's working from the West Coast, Wolf says New York will always play a critical role in her design process.
"The urban landscape of New York is always a constant source of inspiration," she explains. "It was very important in defining my first collection back in 2004. And even though I'm now California based, I do get back to New York quite a bit."
California, on the other hand, offers plenty of opportunities for Wolf to explore new sources of inspiration in the natural world. "Oakland is a fascinating mix of West Coast nature combined with urban grit," she says. "It's nice to take two very different sources of inspiration and mix them together to come up with designs that are organic in shape, but still interesting in their basic form and function."
Next, Wolf will focus her efforts on a collection of one-of-a-kind bridal creations, including "raw diamonds, rose cuts and a modern take on antique deco pieces."
As evidenced by her start in the jewelry world, Wolf isn't much for "predictable."