As a sculptor for over 25 years, Angela Mia knows a thing or two about bringing raw materials to life. In doing so with jewelry, she elicits as much emotion as an esteemed artwork would. The proof is in the pieces you see here.
These “wearable sculptures,” as the designer aptly calls them—jewelry versions of her own acclaimed sculptures—were only created in the past year, Mia’s introduction to the jewelry industry. She will be bringing them to the Design Collective on the show floor at JCK Las Vegas, an event we’re eagerly awaiting.
With two weeks to go before JCK, we spoke with Mia about her expectations for the show, her target clientele, storytelling through art and jewelry, and more.
What sparked your interest in the jewelry industry?
I’ve been a sculptor for several decades, working to reveal enchanting nuances of character in the smallest details of each piece I create.
The development of children—their physical transformation and their emotional growth—is my work’s greatest inspiration, never ceasing to fascinate me and drive me to attempt to capture their vibrancy and radiance.
The first and most honest depiction of my heart, a sculpted response to life around me, was of my daughter, my first child, shortly after she was born. The sculpture was such a creation of love that I made every effort to sculpt her exactly as I saw her, how she felt under my fingertips, and how she made my soul feel. This expression of profound love was so fulfilling that ever since, I have been sculpting similar love stories—stories that belong to so many of us.
So as a sculptor, I am also a storyteller speaking not through linguistics but through raw emotion, recognizing and cherishing any glimpses of individual stories in their purest form.
I decided to create jewelry to keep the uplifting stories of the sculptures ever vibrant, proactive, and at the front of mind. My jewelry is designed and created using only components of my sculptures. This compositional re-creation allows the story of each sculpture to be continued, worn, and thus shared more freely than its stationary sculpture counterpart.
What do you like best about designing jewelry?
My favorite part of designing the jewelry is seeing my sculptures in an entirely new way, allowing the original stories of the sculptures to be retold in an exquisitely intimate composition. I love seeing a sculpture in a new environment, a setting so small that it becomes a storyboard—for example, within a cuff bracelet or a story detail in an earring.
What has been the reception to your jewels so far?
I have been delighted with a wonderfully enthusiastic response to the jewelry. People tell me that they’ve never seen jewelry quite like it before, and that the look and feel of it speaks to original art.
I have two daughters in their late 20s with opposite and very particular tastes. They both love the jewelry, fashioning their daily outfits around their jewelry choice of the day. Their friends and coworkers are excited about it too. We as parents secretly strive to be “cool” with our kids; I’m thrilled that the jewelry has helped me make the cut!
What kind of customer do you create for—who do you expect would be most interested in your jewelry?
Currently I create for women of all ages. I think that older teens to great-grandmothers will identify with at least one of the stories of the jewelry. Some pieces have narratives of boldness, confidence, and bravery like in the Vigor collection, and others are romantic and tender like those of Harmony. The Soaring collection delivers a universal message of empowerment, and Arise, with birds from every continent of the globe, celebrates solidarity and equality. She Moves the Stars, Lift Her With Butterflies, and Sunshine Every Day all cherish the exuberance, light, and pure joy of childhood.
I hope that my customers will see my jewelry as keepsakes, with stories to be shared with those near and dear to them.
What are you most looking forward to at the JCK show?
I have heard that the show is extremely busy, with jewelry devotees from all over the world. I am excited to step into this new arena, which is sure to be a departure from the leisurely and contemplative settings of the fine art exhibitions where I show my sculptures.
I am looking forward to thoughtful, constructive feedback on my jewelry, especially from retailers who know their clientele well and are looking for something new and different to offer them.
Are you preparing anything new to showcase at JCK (and, if so, are we allowed a sneak peek)?
My entire jewelry line is new—I’m thrilled to share it with you.
Top: Harmony cuff in 18k gold-plated bronze and hand-painted ivory, $500; Angela MiaFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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