1st Place – Enamel
From the minute you enter Carina Wong’s website, you are taken on a mystical journey into her thoughts, passion and love for the natural world. She is an artist in not only her beautiful jewelry but also in conveying her message to embrace life and the world around us. She states it best on her website: ”Carina Wong is the embodiment of her artistic energy and inspiration, rooted in her philosophy of finding balance and harmony by combining natural aesthetics and design. Carina’s creative passion has seen her explore and master varied forms of crafts ranging from calligraphy, beading, wood carving to metalsmithing and gemology.”
About the winning piece:
What materials did you use in the winning piece?
The tree frog ring is composed of champlevé enamel on various body parts made of 18K gold. It has white diamond eyes and orange sapphire webbed feet.
How long did it take to make?
Around three months.
Are you going to sell it?
If I come across someone who really appreciates the piece, I will.
What do you like most about the piece?
I love the color combination I chose and how the color of the enamel turns out in the finished piece. I am very happy with the gradation of colors.
About the Artist:
Where do you live?
Hong Kong. I was born and raised here.
Did you study jewelry?
I have studied jewelry design and at the Graduate Gemologist Program at GIA in 2012. But I did not study jewelry in school before.
Do any of your other passions influence your work?
I love exploring the various ways of living. I am very into well being, mentally and physically. I love traveling and hiking. I love exploring food and going to fresh food markets whenever I travel. I love ethnic cultures and exploring new things all the time.
When are you most creative?
I suppose when I am relaxed and in tune with myself.
I personally do not believe in finding inspiration in a deliberate manner. I feel that an open and relaxed mind is a creative mind and is the best state of mind to create. When you are connected to your inner being, your consciousness, your soul, inspirations will come to you in so many different ways. It's very sensual. I would say a collection of visual details, memories, life experiences and anything that feeds the soul (including living and eating healthfully) are great sources of inspiration.
What is your company’s name?
What is your artist statement/design philosophy?
We tell stories through jewelry, re-imaging the creative experiences of life. I believe that every piece of jewelry is like a medium, allowing the wearer to not only see the natural, serene beauty in life, but with this medium it also carries the person's attitude and personality; the piece becomes part of the wearer, expressing each individual’s uniqueness. The pieces are designed to transport their wearers to a place of peaceful contemplation, elegant confidence and whimsical mystery.
What do you love about making jewelry?
I want to create jewelry that people can see as wearable art pieces, like miniature sculptures with stories behind them. The pursuit of excellence and the consideration of every minute detail of my designs strive to make each piece perfect not only on the front but also on the inside. Hence many organic elements form our jewelry pieces, and they become born with our expression of love and gratitude towards Mother Earth and its wonders.
We encourage wearers to contemplate and let the pieces speak for themselves and conjure up different emotions, visuals in their minds. We wish to encourage people to appreciate nature and respect it, be more aware of our relations with it, notice what gifts nature has given us and what in return we have done to it.
Describe the first piece of jewelry you made? When was it?
I cannot remember the first piece. But I would consider my first piece a Chinese zitan wood bangle I crafted myself.
Are you influenced by trends?
I do not follow trends. I believe in creating jewelry that is timeless.
What work inspires you?
I often find jewelry, architecture, painting very inspiring.
About the Saul Bell Design Award:
What did you feel when you found out you were a winner?
Very excited I had won! This is the first award where I came in first place.
Interview by Marlene Richey