Designer Spotlight

Behind The Scenes: Kimberly Baker

The local jewelry designer and metalsmith takes her studio back to nature.

By Aoife Reilly July 9, 2015

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Image via Kimberly Baker

When the time came for Kimberly Baker to relocate her studio earlier this summer, she knew exactly where to go. With nature being a key inspiration in her intricate designs, a move out of the city was the perfect fit. Now on Vashon Island, self-taught Baker’s iconic and often mythical style is still one of the city's most popular. She uses a mix of sterling silver, gold vermeil, and antique bronze to create chic statement pieces. 

What neighborhood is your studio in?
I recently closed my showroom in Seattle and moved to Vashon Island. I love being out in the country. It is so easy to be inspired when you are this close to nature.

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Rose thorn necklace, $118

Image via Kimberly Baker

What is your earliest memory of designing?
I was in my high school jewelry class. I was very fortunate to have gone to a public high school that had an amazing art program that offered a metalsmithing class. I made a pair of sterling hammered hoops that were inspired by Alexander Calder’s work.

What do you do to get yourself in a creative or productive headspace when you’re feeling stuck?
If I am looking for creative inspiration I usually rummage through what I call my ‘cabinet of curiosities.’ It’s an old filing cabinet that I have packed full with random objects that I find inspiring. It has everything from costume jewelry, scraps of vintage lace, antique padlocks, and bones.

Five things you can’t work without:
1. My pliers—they are never out of reach.
2. My iPad for listening to music and podcasts while I work.
3. My glasses, because I can’t see without them.
4. Stacks of composition notebooks for writing down my design ideas and sketches.
5. My flex shaft for polishing, sanding, and drilling.

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Image via Kimberly Baker

What is your favorite thing about your studio?
I love that I can open the windows, smell the sea air, and watch the sun come up over Mount Rainier.

Where can we find your pieces and where would you like us to be able to find your them?
They're currently available in Les Amis, the Frye Art Museum, Twilight Gallery, Ship Song, and on my website. After focusing on my retail store for the past seven years I have started to look into retailers to sell my work again. I would love to see my jewelry in boutiques like Creatures of Comfort or Steven Alan.

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