When it comes to jewelry, Satomi Kawakita’s line of delicate luxuries is decidedly different from anything you’ll find in the diamond district. From floating pearls to the most ethereal diamond drop necklace, Satomi has spent years conceptualizing and creating jewelry whose organic beauty is just off the beaten path. Born and raised in Japan, where her work is featured in stores across the country, the now NYC-based designer and diamond setter is slowly but surely acquiring a cult following on this side of the pond. We sat down with Satomi to learn more about her enchanting pieces.
Q: How and why did you become a jewelry designer?
I was a glassblower in Japan. Doing glassblowing for five years made me realize that I was more comfortable working on smaller scale/detailed pieces by myself at my own pace. Soon after the glass studio where I used to work closed its door, I started making glass-bead accessories and found that there weren't many options for metal clasps. That experience made me want to make my own clasps and learn how to make jewelry.
Q: How would you describe your design aesthetic and how does it differ from that of other jewelry designers?
Organic. Delicate. Simple. Unique. Subtle. I imagine my jewelry to be that which you may find in a shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean. I myself am a diamond setter and the way I lay out the stones is a bit tighter than what other jewelry designers do. Also, the way I set them is a bit untraditional. I think that's the difference.
Q: How do you come up with a new jewelry design?
It's hard to say, but I always sketch the shapes and the textures I like first. Sometimes it takes me years to turn my ideas into actual jewelry, but I basically make what I want to wear at the moment. I made platinum with brown diamonds rings in my previous collection because I was in a mood for platinum and brown diamonds. It's very chic and subtle and fresh to me.
Q: Tell us about the first piece of jewelry you ever made.
I made a lot in school, but let's not count them. This is the very first ring I made with fine material: I was very bored with the rings I was working on as a diamond setter in the jewelry district. They all looked the same to me—super straight, same size diamonds…they didn't speak to me. Then I made this ring. I set three different sized diamonds in an uneven ring.
Q: What inspires you?
Everything I see.
Q: Which of your pieces do you love the most and why?
I love all, of course. But if I had to pick one piece, it would probably be these earrings because the pearls look like they are suspended in air. They make you think: How? I like something that makes people wonder and want to look closer.
Q: If you could save one piece of jewelry from a burning fire what would it be?
My wedding band made by me! Q: Name three things you cannot live without. Sweets, laughter and jewelry making. I have all three every single day and I'm very happy!