I’m so proud to make things that are touched by hands. They’re a conduit—the passion I feel goes straight to the passion of those people who are wearing it, loving it, living with it. I feel the same way with this new collection. – Cathy Waterman
If you’re lucky, your jewelry box is already stocked with some of Cathy Waterman’s gorgeous wares. But now, your mantle, table and kitchen can also have a touch of Waterman’s magic.
Introducing Cathy Waterman’s new home collection, which includes hammered sterling silver flatware, candlesticks, French-made porcelain place settings, hand-cut wooden bowls and more. Every beautifully considered piece, available only at Barneys New York Madison Avenue and Beverly Hills, has a touch of the romance Waterman’s become known for, with details like inset jewels in the candlesticks and black walnut boxes for storing the flatware.
We checked in with the California-based jeweler to find out more about her expanding world, her attention to detail, and her quest for beauty.
What made you decide to create a tableware collection?
I’ve had all these inquiries over the years to do other categories, and nothing seemed right. Absolutely nothing. This, though, is an extension of the wedding business. Once I started making wedding rings, I couldn’t stop. It’s a category close to my heart. I love being involved in creating this symbol, this object that will bear witness to a life. In an extension of that, I started making these things that people wanted to fill their homes with, that also bear witness to life.
Everything is handmade except for the porcelain—which is made by Bernardaud, in France. The flatware starts out as a long, skinny piece of sterling silver. The hardest way anything can be made is how I choose to make it! Each piece is custom, and the packaging is custom. It’s all hand-forged, hand-made sterling silver. The salad bowl is hand-cut by a wood sculptor in Santa Cruz, and the boxes are black walnut from Oregon. It’s all American-made, except the Bernardaud porcelain—if someone in America could make porcelain like Bernardaud, it would all be American-made!
The names of some of the sets are Guinevere and Lancelot. Was Camelot an inspiration when you were designing?
I’ve got a very deep history in fairy tales and stories. I’m a historian and I’m highly motivated by the past—and the future, by the way! When I first started, I had a box of gold and precious stone jewelry with castle and crown motifs—it was medieval and modern at the same time. It’s evolved over time.
How did making this collection compare to designing jewelry?
I think what you’ll see is a migration of ideas [from jewelry to the home collection]. You’ll see the wreath on the porcelain—it’s the outside of my brand logo. The Guinevere cutlery has a motif I use over and over in my work—it’s based on windows.
The result is a beautiful object. In my mind, that’s always my goal. I’m really after creating beauty. Whether it’s a sterling silver ladle, a necklace or an engagement ring, I want it to be beautiful—that’s what’s common in everything I do.
Did you face any unexpected challenges in creating this collection?
Getting them made! It’s working in a different scale than with the jewels. I’ve really spent a lot of time thinking about it and studying the materials. I try not to look at other sterling silver or other people’s jewelry—what’s of the moment—because beauty is what drives me. I really try to stay in my own head—and my garden!
Is this just the beginning of a home collection for you?
I’m really happy with this right now, but you never know. I’ll tell you: what really excites me is what I don’t know yet, what I’ve never seen. I’m not someone who plans. I follow my instincts.
Call 212.826.8900 to order or for more information.