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Designer Spotlight: Kathleen Whitaker


1) How did you get started? 

My start was a bit accidental. I've had a few incongruous career chapters and this jewelry one is sandwiched between financial services and interior design.
2) Where do you find your inspiration? and how as this changed over time since you began to design ? 
I'm inspired by things that are in collaboration with nature. For example, not just a structure but how a building -- a feat of engineering -- interacts with its environment, its setting, its views. I think that is the penultimate in terms of balancing engineering, creativity, design, purpose. To make all those elements sing.
3) Where did you learn your craft?
I studied studio art as an undergraduate but continued to learn techniques of jewelry, wax casting, precious metal clay & metalwork after college at a few Los Angeles studio programs: Otis College of Art & Design, Art Center College of Design & Barnsdall Art Park.
4) What is your hope for the future of your industry ?
There is a long tradition of jewelry making -- the oldest gold jewelry discovered dates to 4600 BC -- and includes, more recently, an inventive art-jewelry establishment. The very nature of jewelry is for it to be meaningful, heirloom. I hope the industry is not too overwhelmed by the drive of trend and fast fashion the way so many other wearable commodities are.
5) What is your main source of calm/distraction during these strange times?
I find myself often at the nearest beach. This is sometimes in Southern California -- the beaches north of Los Angeles are the best. The beginning of this year it was the freezing cold beaches of Cape Cod. And a lot of last year was on the wintery beaches of North Carolina. With my two dogs, running for miles on a very empty beach -- that is the recipe!