A stone can tell you what it wants to become as you get to know it.
Mission and Process
In all her work, Karin Luvaas strives to marry the beauty of the natural world with the elegance of adornment. Color, natural stones, elegance, and simplicity are the core elements of Karin's jewelry line.
For Karin, the journey of creating the jewelry is just as important as the finished product. Whether she's carving wax, casting, designing 3D CAD models, cutting and polishing stones, or fabricating jewelry pieces, she's always most delighted when learning and discovering something new. A need to always be exploring and experimenting informs her creative process.
Studying painting, metal sculpture, and encaustics at San Francisco University, Karin earned a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art but didn't stop there. After graduation, she continued taking art classes and eventually her first jewelry-making class at the Crucible in Oakland, California. There, she instantly knew that she had found her passion.
At the Revere Academy in San Francisco, she studied closely with Alan Revere himself, along with many master goldsmiths and accomplished, award-winning jewelers. This deep immersion in the craft - along with a Graduate Jeweler designation from Revere, a Graduate Gemologist certificate from the Gemological Institute of America, and the successful completion of the Jewelers of America Bench Jeweler Technician exam - enabled her to leap into jewelry making as a career.
After moving to Washington, Karin started producing handmade fine jewelry and launched her jewelry business. Now a jewelry teacher herself, she hopes to inspire and excite her students. She's a proponent of life-long learning, and is constantly improving her skills, exploring new techniques, and allowing herself to be inspired by the field she loves.
Sustainable and Unique Materials
Earning her Graduate Gemologist Certification from the Gemological Institute of America opened Karin's eye to the endless varieties of gemstones and minerals this world has to offer. She's particularly drawn to stones with detailed inclusions, color changes, and mineral deposits - all details and features that make each stone perfectly unique and a true one-of-a-kind, just like the person who wears it.
All mine-to-market gemstones featured in Karin's jewelry are traceable and conflict free, following the Kimberley Process. Karin personally sources the majority of her own gemstone materials and only buys from trusted vendors with whom she has established relationships. These vendors support fair trade and have a proven track record in the industry. Whenever possible, gemstones are sourced directly from small mine owners, locally in the United States.
In addition, Karin only works with 100% recycled precious metals, which she acquires from vetted jewelry-making companies that are committed to minimizing environmental impact and that practice ethical sourcing in all aspects of their operations.
Ethical and Transparent Practices
Karin handcrafts all her jewelry in Washington state and adheres to both transparent and trustworthy ethical jewelry-making practices in her studio. To reduce environmental impact, she does the following:
- Avoids the use of single-use products like paper towels in her studio
- Packages all items in recyclable and plastic-free packaging materials
- Uses LED lights in the studio
- Seeks to use the least-toxic chemicals whenever possible and utilizes a professional hazardous waste disposal/recycling facility
- Recycles all precious metal and non-precious metal scraps, so they can be recycled again
A Letter from Karin
Hi, friends. I'm Karin.
The focus of all my pieces, gemstones in their endless varieties are a constant source of inspiration and a driving force behind my work.
Visiting trade shows like the Tucson Gem and Mineral show allows me to uncover something exciting to incorporate into a new design. Even more thrilling is when I visit mines and other natural mineral deposits to source my stones directly from the earth that created them. Hunting for rare and interesting stones has a thrill factor involved.
Color and texture also move me. I graduated with a fine arts degree in painting and sculpture before discovering my love for jewelry making. To me, jewelry making feels like I’m painting with gemstones.
Complicated designs push my creativity and improve my skill set. Learning new ways to improve the process inspires me to develop better habits and better jewelry.
A deep understanding of jewelry creation, from concept to completion, is integral to my work. Performing each step by hand allows me to fully center my daily life around the intimate nuances of creation, which is the most important part of my process.
By incorporating not only sight, but also smell, sound, and touch, I can immerse myself in the creative process. There’s a lot of problem solving and personal learning that comes along with this process, and it’s important to make room for an unexpected discovery.
As a fellow lover of jewelry and accents that enhance your style, I invite you to explore my collection to find the pieces that are uniquely you.