The Design Inspiration Behind Kara Yoo's Modern Jewelry

The Design Inspiration Behind Kara Yoo's Meaningful Jewlery

Meet the newest addition to the LE roster: Vancouver-based jewelry designer Kara Yoo.

Kara's love for jewelry started at an early age rummaging through her mom’s jewelry drawer, and was honed in business school and through a metalsmithing diploma. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Kara was inspired to create a business that was true to herself and her passions. Drawing inspiration from fashion, architecture and nature, Kara's pieces focus on crafting an experience that strives to redefine the everyday classic. Her jewelry has a minimal and clean aesthetic with a focus on sustainable, recycled, and lasting materials and skilled craftsmanship. Most of Kara's pieces are handmade in her Vancouver studio. We spoke with Kara to learn more what inspired the designs of some of her favorite pieces.

The Rosa Swirl Hoops

Rosa Swirl Unique Pearl Hoop Earrings

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A lot of my process is to work with samples and find inspiration in these beautiful materials. I fell in love with these tiny rice pearls which have such a great lustre in person. I knew I wanted to showcase them, to really draw attention to them. It can be hard with such a small pearl. I threaded them on wire and began playing with the shape, twisting and turning to create something dynamic. I fell in love with this three-dimensional swirl that hugs your ear lobe, that feels organic and free-flowing.   

The Asta Ring

Gold Asta Ring by Kara Yoo Jewelry

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This ring was inspired by ancient Viking rings which were given as gifts and were an early expression of loyalty. I really wanted to think about this in three-dimensional space, and how to represent loyalty in a ring. Moving from tight, consistent loops to wider, more loose ones, and back again to tight ones, signifies the change in relationships over time.

The Mother Goddess Necklace

Mother Goddess Gold Necklace

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I visited the Tarxien Temples in Malta and was fascinated by the ancient sculptures, particularly the so-called “fat ladies,” which were sculptures that symbolize fertility, the bounty of earth, motherhood and creation. I created a miniature replica digitally, printed it out in resin and moulded it. Each piece is casted and finished in Vancouver.

The Daisy Bracelet

Gold and Pearl Daisy Bracelet

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This was inspired by daisy chain bracelets that I’m sure many of us made when we were younger. I chose my favorite rice pearls and lasting gold-fill beads to make something wearable and that reminded me of my childhood.

The Biwa Hook Earrings

Biwa Gold Pearl Hook Earrings

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I lucked into these beautiful, creamy grey vintage deadstock (these are the last of them!) biwa pearls and had to highlight them. I played around with different ideas, and different ways to present them, and in the end the pearls were just so stunning on their own so I settled on something simple and super versatile. 

You can shop the full collection of Kara Yoo's modern classics here!