The concept behind grayling is simple: fashion-forward designs with high quality construction at accessible price points. Much like a clothing designer, jewelry artist Katy Kippen builds her necklace prototypes on dress forms using draping techniques. Designs are extensively tested to ensure longevity.
In many ways, the designs are inspired by her grandfather, a lapidary and jewelry artist. The rough pyrite and polished agates are a nod to his legacy. However, she is equally inspired by fashion. References to Chanel and Vionnet from the pre-war fashion era can be seen in several styles including the Cathedral, Mirror Points, and the Magnetism.
Two major limited-collections are released every year, Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. These collections are offered in addition to “Core” styles, which consist of layering necklaces, earrings, and bracelets in neutral colors offered every season. The styling consistent with modern, vintage-inspired elements.
Every piece in the line is crafted in Portland, Oregon, USA with the finest materials including genuine quartz, agate, pyrite, turquoise and other gemstones. Chandelier-grade crystal, wood and ceramic add texture to seasonal collections. Unique metals are a grayling signature; jeweler’s grade aluminum in gunmetal and brass finishes give the line visual heft without sacrificing comfort. The entire line is nickel and lead free, and all ear wires are safe for sensitive ears.
about the designer
Katy Kippen is the designer of grayling. Katy spent much of her life overseas in Asia and Europe where her father was a commander in the United States Air Force. Katy's grandfather was a lapidary (the technical term for a stone cutter) and jewelry artist, among other things. She and her family inherited his private stone collection when he passed away.
Her first designs were made on a beading loom - a gift from her grandmother while Katy was in grade school. At 16, she took independent studies in lost-wax casting, enameling, and mold-making. Katy sold her first designs out of her high-school locker. In college, she sold her work through art shows and boutiques.
Katy originally pursued a Fine Arts degree but instead graduated with a B.S. in Marketing. Upon graduation, Katy moved to Oregon where she worked on the retail side of the fashion business. With several years of experience - including running a boutique, working with designers, trade shows, and showrooms - it was time for Katy to invest in her own passion for design.
Katy apprenticed with a gold and platinum smith in 2009, and later that year grayling was born. Katy continues to explore new techniques through workshops and metal classes. Katy lives near her studio in downtown Portland with her husband, two cats, and their rat terrier rescue, Lizzy. She enjoys gardening and is a novice pianist.
images copyright www.lisawarninger.com and grayling 2009-2013