Courtesy of Kirk Kara
Kirk Kara began as an apprentice to his father in 1965. Since 1890 the Kara family has earned a reputation for creating beautiful jewelry that reflects a woman's individual style. The Kirk Kara collection is a mix of modern pieces inspired by vintage styles. Each piece is handcrafted so no two pieces are exactly alike. We asked Kirk Kara to tell us more about the process that goes into making a beautiful ring, here's what he had to say: —Michelle Preli
Kirk Kara is a family business. What did you learn from your father and why was it so instrumental in your jewelry design work?
My passion for jewelry was fueled at a very early age. My inspiration was my father Artin, a master jeweler. He took me under his wing in the summer of 1965 while I was in high school. In his workshop, I began to learn the skills and craft that I apply to jewelry designing today. Back then...
nothing was done with machinery. My hands, creativity and technique of artisan were my only tools. I worked part time, developing an eye for selecting the highest quality diamonds and gemstones, learned wax carving, stone setting, and the specialized art of hand engraving and filigree work.
I love that your mother Angelique is the inspiration for your Angelique right hand ring. How did she inspire you to create that collection?
Growing up in our family's jewelry workshop, I watched my father created extravagant jewelry designs for my mother to wear and enjoy. As a young jeweler learning the craft, I was always awed by the many ways in which wearing jewelry made my mother's personality shine through. I knew that one day I would create the "Angelique" collection is dedicated specially for my mother.
Your rings are noted for intricate engraving and detailed design work. From engraving to setting the stones, what is the process in creating one perfectly crafted ring?
Creating one Kirk Kara design takes unified vision, passion, and appreciation for the art of hand crafting. After I sketch a new jewelry design, my team of skilled artists begin to prepare the molds for production. They cast the metal, set the diamonds, polish the ring and carve the intricate hand engraving that makes each engagement ring one of a kind.
In many of your collections, you work with colored gems, as well as diamonds. Why are you inspired to use color in your designs?
My designs include a kaleidoscope of stone options. I believe that if a women's personality is colorful, then her engagement ring should be special and colorful too! I am inspired by colors that come from nature. Nature is beautiful--the blue of the sky, the vibrant color of flowers--it brings beauty to one's heart.
Every women wants the right engagement ring for her. Every man wants to give her the right ring. What are the things each can do to make this happen?
First and foremost, know your partner. When you know your partner, it becomes easy to know his or her needs!
Bonus: What has changed over the decades in the process of couples buying rings?
In the past, the parents of the couple made recommendations on where to buy an engagement ring. Today, the new generation of couples is taking initiative by researching brand names, falling in love with brand name designers and making a unified decision for the perfect engagement ring and men's band.
Click here to learn more about the Kirk Kara collection.