(By Grace Gold for Fashion Pulse Daily; this feature is an extension of coverage of the Palladium Project)
I found out first-hand when talented FIT student Carlee Gustin set out to custom design an original piece for me. I asked for two things – that it feel soft and feminine – which was quite the challenge, given the industrial look of the material that sponsor Palladium provided as part of a FIT partnership program. Palladium is a naturally white precious metal that belongs to the platinum family, and is known for its strength, light weight and rich color.
A feather bracelet cuff is what Gustin cleverly created, with delicate detailing that brought the requested sense of softness and femininity to the piece, as well as a strong Native American influence. The FIT student shares more about the design journey below, as well as what it’s like to study and pursue jewelry design.
Grace Gold: Where did you find the inspiration for your feather cuff, and what do you feel were the most important aspects of the design?
Carlee Gustin: I am very inspired by old Native American jewelry. To me the feather represents flight and being free, something that should be a trait of all women. I love how the texture of the feather came out, it is exactly what I originally envisioned.
GG: What is the most challenging aspect of designing jewelry?
CG: I think the most challenging aspect of designing jewelry is figuring out how to make the piece work mechanically. You can have an amazing idea, but if its not wearable or comfortable, it probably won’t sell.
GG: What personal piece of jewelry is your most beloved, and why?