Kate Thorson is equal parts jewelry designer and yogi. She traveled to an ashram in India where she received the name Uma, meaning “fully enlightened goddess,” from a Brahmin priest. Naturally, when it came to naming her jewelry collection in 2013, Uma K—the K is for Kate—seemed appropriate.
Initially, Uma K was a collection of tiny rings meant to be worn stacked or on any part of the finger. Now, she has branched out to a full collection of cuffs, bracelets, necklaces, body chains, and earrings—primarily talismans that are meant to strengthen and empower the wearer.
An antler cuff and antler necklace, for example, symbolize regeneration, stamina, and a strong sense of self. A honeycomb necklace or ring represents diligence and hard work. And the dawn midi ring pays homage to a time of day when the veil between us and the spirit world is very thin.
“I can’t stop designing,” says the Southern California native. “I find my inspiration through nature; I spend a lot of time in the mountains. I also get inspiration from the spirit and the shamanic realms.”
Thorson is also inspired by turning inward in her meditation practice. There, she says, she sees things that she then turns into designs.
Thorson primarily uses 14k gold, rose gold, silver, and brass. However, she’s begun to use precious stones like diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires in her designs and even semi-precious stones like amethysts that she pairs with rose gold.
The heirloom quality—no plating or filling—is the secret to her success, she says.
Honeycomb 14k gold ring, $549
Dawn 14k gold midi ring, $356
Antler cuff in 14k gold, $2,222
(Top: Antler necklace in sterling silver, $220)
Kristin Young is writing the All That Glitters blog while Amy Elliott is on maternity leave.