Kristin Kennedy's Fine Jewelry Design
From single stones to complex compositions
14-karat yellow gold and watermelon tourmaline chandelier earrings. Courtesy photo
At the heart of every Kristin Kennedy piece is a naturally beautiful gemstone. After the stone — watermelon tourmaline, Tahitian pearl or maybe a seductive opal — is chosen, the gold setting is created around the gemstone’s character and shape. Kennedy starts by carving the shape in wax and then casting it in 16k yellow gold or 14k white gold. The carving process, without the need for hammers or saws, allows an organic shape to blossom.
Kennedy, who is originally from the Southwest, studied jewelry design in Flagstaff, Arizona, at the Gemological Institute in Carlsbad, California, and then apprenticed with a goldsmith in Sedona. In 2000 she moved to New Hampshire and was rapidly accepted into the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.
Four years ago, she opened a retail store and studio on Warren Street in Concord to display her lavish collections. Rings are set with large pearls, cut stones and even ancient gold coins. Large luminous opals are paired with diamonds and rubies and set in gold bezels that are further embellished with gold settings for pendants and earrings. Gold pod-like petals are layered with tiny diamonds for a touch of glimmer for statement neckpieces. It’s all the beauty of nature set in nature’s most beautiful metal.
Shown here is Kennedy’s popular watermelon tourmaline line. The natural colors of translucent pink and green vary in intensity, and she is able to select the best specimens for her work, often sharing the selection process with clients for their custom designs.
The old-fashioned rose cut is Kennedy’s favorite facet for gemstones. With fewer faces, the natural beauty of the stone, and eons of time that created it, are not disturbed, but enhanced. Like her work, timelessness is captured and set high on a pedestal.