“My quest is always to figure out a way to make jewelry not look like jewelry,” says Austin-based jewelry designer Nak Armstrong. ”I’ll use a mix of stones to creates this tapestry that almost looks like fabric. I try to create silhouettes that have a lot of dimension and volume, like clothing would have. And architecture always plays a big role because I studied it in school.”
This unorthodox approach to jewelry design has won Armstrong countless fans (us among them) and a CFDA award in 2005 as part of the design duo Anthony Nak. Now on his own, Armstrong has put a premium on innovation. “I’m trying to create something I haven’t seen before,” he says.
To do so, he uses a technique that doesn’t involve a bezel—the traditional setting for a gem—but instead suspends stones in metal frames. It is a painstaking process, but one that results in dramatic, multi-stone pieces that are shockingly weightless (aka your earlobes won’t start throbbing an hour after putting on a pair of statement earrings).
Taking inspiration from mosaics, stained glass, Roman ruins and Art Deco, Armstrong’s current collection is his best yet—colorful, unique and undeniably chic. Get to know this talented (and, um, extremely handsome) designer below, then flip through his stunning sketches and studio shots.
— Behind The Design: A Chat With Nak Armstrong —
— Behind The Design: A Look At Nak Armstrong’s Studio —
All images courtesy of Nak Armstrong. Video by Chris New and Brennan Kelley.