This week, we are doing a deep dive with the woman behind Luana Coonen Jewelry, one of our former artists who started her brand officially in 2008.
When did you begin your career in jewelry?
When I graduated with a BFA in Jewelry/Metal Arts, it was clear to me my next dream was owning my own business. I took business classes, and slowly gathered the components I needed to launch. I started selling my designs in 2004 and officially launched the business in 2008.
What aspect of your business are you most proud of?
I'm really proud of the fact that I walk the line between fine, craft, and contemporary jewelry. I'm able to participate in all three realms, yet not be defined by any of them.
What fires you up?
Ha, you mean makes me angry? When I can't recycle something in my county.
What processes do you use to bring your ideas to life?
To achieve my sculptural designs, I use a blend of lost-wax-casting and fabrication (which means built out of metal- using a goldsmiths saw, fire, and hammer). I make jewelry the traditional way, by hand. An idea starts with a pencil drawing, gets sketched in metal, then made using a variety of techniques.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your jewelry?
Comfortable, natural, and proud of their style.
Do you have any projects you dream to work on?
The ideas come faster than my hands can work. I have sketchbooks full of ideas, right now I'm enchanted with really ornate wedding & engagement ring ideas.
How do you spend your weekends?
During the summer you'll never find me at home on the weekend, I'm typically camping, hiking, swimming, rafting, or anything which gets me out to the beauty of California. I personally think campfire and diamonds go together very well.
What is your favorite non-jewelry thing to do?
Probably swimming. I'm from Hawaii so I've spent a lot of time in the water. I believe that swimming is a short-cut to rinsing away everything and feeling good again. Feeling bad? Swim. Feeling amped up? Swim. Fresh water, salt water, a river, a pool, does not matter, it always makes me feel great.