In January of 2011, designer Katrina LaPenne left her five-year career with the renowned Manhattan goldsmiths Reinstein Ross to follow her dream of launching her own namesake brand. The company would not only be built on her incredible foundation as a studied jeweler, but would maintain her strong ideals as a designer – she would develop one of a kind pieces that were built completely from scratch, creating each and every detail by hand and offering her customers true collection pieces that would always come from the work of Katrina LaPenne.
From her earliest childhood memories Katrina always knew she was meant to create beautiful things. After earning her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Jewelry & Light Metals from the prestigious Rhode Island School Of Design, she returned to her native Brooklyn to join the New York City jewelry scene. While working as a goldsmith at Reinstein Ross, LaPenne was simultaneously commissioned to produce several runway collections for designer Charles Nolan. During this same time, she began to construct her own metal art collection as a personal side project. After her Silver Claw Earring was featured as one of “500 Earrings” in the Lark Book series on contemporary jewelry artists, the designer decided it was time for the Katrina LaPenne collection to be available to all.
Inspired by nature’s magnificence, ancient artifacts and exotic decorative objects, LaPenne has developed a series of collections including detailed jewels that range from everyday styles like Scaled Serpents and Ornately Engraved Victorian Pendants to statement-making pieces like Brushed Egyptian Hoops and Oversized Talons. The designer spends countless hours using fine hand-instruments to develop each each creation, meticulously carving out of wax or fabricating out of metal, before making a casting mold. She then uses these molds to duplicate each style in a variety of precious and semi-precious stones and metals. Katrina goes even further to produce her Old World Diamonds collection for which each pendant, ring and earring is fabricated by hand, surrounding each individual stone in its own custom 14K Gold setting
In addition to planting her company right back in to her Brooklyn roots and producing each Katrina LaPenne original in her home state of NY, LaPenne has vowed to keep her company as socially and environmentally conscious as possible. An abundance of her materials come from Hoover & Strong, which produces 100% recycled materials. All of her diamonds are imported from suppliers who comply with the Kimberly process and standards, and she constantly strives to increase her usage of biodegradable chemical alternatives.
Celebrating the launch of her Fall 2011 collection, Katrina LaPenne jewelry is now available for purchase and custom order on her brand new e-commerce website. Though for loyal customers the most exciting offering is the chance to experience the designer’s process first hand, as a student in one of Katrina’s Brooklyn-based goldsmithing and enameling classes.