Denver-based jewelry designer Kate Maller is a making powerful and committed stance towards ethically-sourced and sustainable jewelry making- all while doing what makes her heart sing.
How did you become a jewelry designer and what has the journey been like?
“I found metalsmithing serendipitously. My husband is a fine gem and mineral dealer and collector, and I was around his mineral specimens all the time. When I told him I wanted to take a metalsmithing class for my birthday, he signed me up for a hobbyist course. At the time I was in my homestretch pursuing dual master degrees in architecture and landscape architecture. While I worked in the field of architecture/design for a number of years afterwards, having had ignited that passion for metalsmithing, and also practicing as a hobby gave me the confidence to pursue it professionally when I wasn’t fulfilled by my job in architecture. My brand has been well received, with amazing growth and excitement around it. I passionately love what I do and feel fortunate daily that others love it too!”
Why are you so passionate about your brand’s sustainability?
“I’ve been passionate about environmental and social justice since a young age. When I began studying architecture I dreamed of designing buildings and environments that could make a difference in the world. Essentially, when I started making products I knew I wanted to carry those values through. I wanted to make pieces of jewelry that would last a lifetime and that would be future heirlooms for our clients. That is why we hold ourselves to the highest standards of craftsmanship, and only use high-quality precious metals, and gemstones.”
Aside from the landscape around you, where else does your unique style inspiration emanate from?
“My design sensibilities are really intuitive, and intrinsic. I can sketch for weeks, but once I sit down and start creating with my hands—that’s when the magic really happens. My process is very hands-on, and comes quite naturally. I find inspiration in the things I love, such as nature, traveling, art, fashion, museums, and a number of fields of design. I get very inspired to make by observing, or being immersed in creative environments. For instance, when I visit museums, and see collections across a wide array of subjects/ fields I am filled with a great sense to make things. It makes me incredibly inspired to get into my studio and simply make art. It’s sort of strange, but never fails.”