International Feature: Upper Metal Class

Introducing a new feature to our blog! For a few months we are going to feature some of the designers we got to meet in our recent travels to the Renegade Craft Fairs in the USA. We hope you enjoy this first international feature on Californian jewellery designers Upper Metal Class.

Tell us a bit about your design label and what we can expect to discover.
Upper Metal Class is defined as a minimalist cool with a hint of light hearted fun. It’s subtle yet makes a big statement of less is more. You’ll find that these loving jewels can be easily coordinated with your classic jeans + t-shirt, that sweet floral printed dancer dress or into the night with that hot little black mini + beaded tank.

How long have you been creating for, and what inspired you to start your label?
I’ve been creating for well… lets not say it’s just been a really long time.  I started Upper Metal Class from building upon simple designs to become part of the wardrobes basically cool go to pieces. My inspiration comes from architecture, construction, math, science, and the natural life all around us.  They are the sleek lines + curves in buildings, imperfect cracks in sidewalks, cool shapes in objects and the unbelievable patterns formed by nature that makes my mind glow.

What is your background and what lead you to where you are today?
My creativity began as a young girl growing up in a very low budget home in a neighborhood with gangs and violence.  My mother took on multiple jobs to take care of the family and one of them was as a production sewer.  To save money my mother and I would go to the local swap meet to buy some surprisingly pretty fun printed fabrics with stars, sunglasses or multi colored hearts for as little as $0.10 USD a yard, which turned into real hip clothes for me to show off in elementary school.  Eventually when it was time for college I set off into design school learning the technical side of fashion.  I went into the field designing for about 8 years till I was all tapped out and in need of a long break.  This break consisted of mindless work selling luxury handbags to then stressful wardrobe/stylings for commercials + film.  Again I was in need of another time out and enrolled myself into jewelry classes in which I thought could be a fun therapeutic hobby, but happily turned into my passion.

What materials do you like working with and what are your ‘tools of the trade’?
I love working with bronze and silver.  Bronze has that beautiful almost soft gold look and silver has such a lustrous shine that makes me melt.  I love gold just as much and can’t wait to work this new precious metal into my line later this year. My tools of the trade are mistakes. Yes it is a fear to make mistakes, but they have been one of the greatest things that ever came out of my designs. It’s the trial and error that tends to lead me to be my best.

What inspires your work, and where do you like to head for constant inspiration?

Lastly, what do you love most about what you do and where do you hope to take your work in the future?
I love that I am working for myself and that I can take my job where ever I want it to go.  I don’t know what will be in my future, but I am determined to see my work grow and expand.  I am definitely just thankful and happy for what I have now.

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