So excited to post about Kendra Renee today, I fell in love with her jewelry the moment I saw it. Kendra Renee Bryant is a metalsmith and jewelry designer, handcrafting her pieces at her San Francisco Studio. Designs typically start out as a pencil sketch and are transformed into jewelry using old-school techniques. Her aesthetic is simple, but demands a double-take. Designed and fabricated with the comfort and durability to be worn everyday, a Kendra Renee piece is sure to become a staple in your wardrobe. Kendra Renee offers something for everyone including: rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, men's jewelry, bridal and custom.
Get to know Kendra a little more in the Q&A below.
What inspired you to design jewelry?
I love adornment, I always have. I tend to be introverted and I’ve always embraced jewelry for it’s power of self expression. When I was young my parents forbade me to pierce my ears, and so I wore a ring on every finger. I began secretly collecting earrings, and by the time I snuck off to get my first piercings, I had a whole collection of artist-made jewelry just waiting for the holes to heal. Note to parents: forbid your daughters from wearing earrings and they might just become jewelers! When I began to learn jewelry-making it was pure joy. I realized I had these ideas that were waiting to be brought to life, and to do so is intoxicating.
Where did you learn the art of metalsmithing?
I was incredibly lucky to have learned basic fabrication from Boston jewelry artist Melle Finelli. She agreed to let me work in her studio for a summer, though I had no training or experience in metalsmithing at all, which was an incredible gift. She was a patient, generous and encouraging teacher. I left her studio knowing I had found my passion. Since then I’ve built upon those basics mostly through doing.
Describe your design process.
It’s an unpredictable process- at times frustratingly so. Sometimes I labor over a design, working and reworking an idea for weeks or months. Other times a design just pops into my brain fully formed and ready to be made. When I design, I think about creating pieces that demand a double-take, that have a tension between order and chaos.
Describe the process of working on a custom piece with a client.
For me the process starts with getting to know the client more personally, something I very much enjoy. I have them come to my studio and bring with them any ideas, gemstones, or materials to inspire the project. I listen to what is important to them in the piece we’re creating, and craft a design that will reflect their vision and personality. I carve a model in wax, which is cast into gold or silver and hand finished. It’s a very personal way of working, and I often feel like I’ve made a new friend by the time the piece is finished.
What is next for Kendra Renee?
This Fall, I’m launching a new offering for my wedding band clients called Double Pour. In conjunction with my casting house, we’re inviting couples to take part in the creation of their wedding bands. It’s an evening where they can come behind the scenes to experience the actual moment when the gold is poured to form their weddings bands. The second pour of the evening is a local champagne toast to celebrate. It’s a wonderful memory to go along with their newly minted rings.