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716 S. Los Angeles St.
Los Angeles, CA

(310) 489-3763

Kristen Dorsey Designs, LLC was founded in 2011 by Kristen Dorsey, an award-winning Chickasaw metalsmith living and working in Huntington Beach, CA. For Kristen, jewelry goes beyond ornamental adornment; it is a medium with which she has forged her cultural identity as a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, a Native American tribe originally from the southeast.  Utilizing natural gemstones, precious metals, and other materials, her handcrafted jewelry pieces are a unique mix of Chickasaw visual traditions infused with inspiration drawn from the beauty of the California Coast.  Dorsey’s philosophy is that “jewelry is a sacred narrative; it captures moments of significance for the wearer such as transitions in life, relationships with one another, and with one’s community, cultural identity, and spirituality.”

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Crafting a Statement Ring...At the Jeweler's Bench

Kristen Dorsey

Sometimes my most inspired pieces are created when I let the unique qualities of the materials be my guide.  As a metalsmith, the possibilities of construction and design are only limited by my imagination.  Often, my most creative pieces are designed with a general concept at first, but soon take their own shape as I piece them together and discover design solutions to make the piece both aesthetically pleasing and functional.  The Stingray ring was inspired by the Stingray Collar, an extravagant statement neck piece which I designed and constructed with the same type of process.  Both pieces take on an otherworldly aesthetic and play with concepts of wings and flight.  This ring was showcased for the first time at the Los Angeles Fashion Council's Los Angeles Fashion Week Press Presentation on March 12, 2014 in Downtown Los Angeles.  

I love sketching my concepts on graph paper, I will then cut out the actual shapes from graph paper and tape them to the metal that needs to be sawed out.  I also work out the many steps of the creation process through notations on my sketches.  

I love sketching my concepts on graph paper, I will then cut out the actual shapes from graph paper and tape them to the metal that needs to be sawed out.  I also work out the many steps of the creation process through notations on my sketches.  

The ring half way through the construction process.  The wings have been formed using chasing and repoussé, and the main stone setting has been fabricated.

The ring in the final stages... The fabrication and soldering is complete, the stingray skin is fit and glued in, and the final polishing and refining of the bezel will be completed. 

The completed statement ring at the jeweler's bench

A detail of the ring on a model at the Los Angeles Fashion Council Press Event during Los Angeles Fashion Week.  The model also wears the Sky Serpent Cuff in Black Rhodium.

Model wearing the stingray collar and ring
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Statement ring in the succulents

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