[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his past week, I was lucky enough to exchange emails with Christine Young, the designer and maker behind Young Frankk Jewelry. I fell in love with Christine’s designs last summer, and I wear her X Brass Cuff daily. The cuff embodies what I love so much about her line: each piece is minimal but bold, can be worn on its own or mixed with other jewelry, and quickly becomes part of your signature look. Most days, the cuff and a stack of little gold rings are all the jewelry I wear, and they’re truly all I need… though I wouldn’t mind adding some pieces from her Spring 2014 line to my collection.
Christine and I chatted about her process, her love of clouds, and what sets the Young Frankk spring line apart.
Jane Smith: How did you get into jewelry design? Is it something you always wanted to do?
Christine Young: Actually, making and designing jewelry is not something I ever imagined myself doing just because I’ve never really been a huge accessory person myself. I’ve dabbled in it here and there in the past but it wasn’t until college that I seriously fell into it and I’m really glad I did! I’ve always been a creative person; I went to school for illustration and have been doing art all my life, so it was just another creative outlet for me where I can put my hands to use.
JS: Do you still make other kinds of art? What do you like to do when you’re not designing and making jewelry?
CY: Unfortunately, I don’t draw as much as I’d like to but once in a while I will do a drawing or a painting. When I’m not working, I’m usually hanging out with my boyfriend or family, taking pictures of clouds and doing yoga.
JS: What inspires your designs?
CY: I’m mostly inspired by modern and contemporary art and design. I love anything simple, understated yet unique and special. I’m also inspired by nature, which may or may not be apparent in my designs, but as a kid growing up in Washington State I’ve built a strong appreciation for the sky, trees and mountains.
JS: Do you like to get out into nature? Do you get to travel back to Washington often?
CY: I love nature, I love clouds most of all though. I am in awe of them. I’m constantly staring up at the sky, especially during sunset, which is the best time for cloud viewing, the colors are insane! I haven’t been back to Washington in while unfortunately. I really do miss hiking the mountains, skiing and camping.
JS: Do you have a favorite artist or designer that everyone should know about?
CY: Currently I am obsessing over Hackwith Design House, she hand makes limited runs of each piece and they are so effortlessly beautiful. I always love every new ceramic collection that my friend, Bailey Doesn’t Bark, creates. She makes bowls, planters and trays and so on, you must check her out. I actually own a couple of pieces.
JS: Oh my gosh. I am also obsessed with Hackwith Design House. I don’t own any of her pieces but I do drool over them on the daily. I’ll have to look into Bailey Doesn’t Bark! (I did, and her work is lovely. I could easily fill my apartment with her ceramics.)
JS: What does Young Frankk embody, as an aesthetic?
CY: It’s always evolving, I try to do something different with each collection. But I always try to create strong, graphic pieces while at the same time keeping it visually minimal and simple, if that makes sense.
JS: The strong graphic but still minimal and simple description makes perfect sense! It’s one of the things that drew me to your collection in the first place. And that ties into your inspiration from nature. When I think about the mountains, or trees, or the horizon and sky in my case (I live in Nebraska), I think about bold lines but still simplicity.
JS: What’s your studio space like?
CY: I like to keep my studio organized and tidy. Of course it will get messy while working, but I like to clean up afterwards so the next day I’ll have a nice clean work space to come to. I’m a little OCD.
JS: What makes your spring line different from previous lines?
CY: My spring line is different from my previous collections because this time I hand carved wax that was then cast in metal to create each piece. This was really fun to experiment with. In terms of a theme, I just played around with basic geometric shapes that I was really drawn to and ended up with something that was simple yet playful. It was also important to me that for this collection, I created smaller, more every day pieces rather than larger, statement-y pieces.
JS: Final question! If someone said to you, here’s a roll of cash, pack your bags and take Friday off, where would you go for the weekend?
CY: Haha, good question! Can I make two stops? I would first go to Korea! I’m Korean but haven’t spent too much time there so I would love to explore, shop and eat all the delicious Korean food for cheap. Then I would love to go to Iceland; I’ve never been there but the landscape looks so beautiful in pictures.
JS: Thank you, Christine!