Hilary Park is a Brooklyn-based designer who specializes in limited-edition and exclusive pieces hand-crafted in silver and gold and often accented with semi-precious and precious gems.
ESW: What is the price range your jewelry?
|Jewelry designer, Hilary Park.|
Everything She Wants went to the opening of Park’s new boutique in Williamsburg for a preview of her Spring 2012 Divination collection, and we later chatted with the former Wall Street trader via email.
Everything She Wants: Please explain the connection between your jewelry and astrology.
Hilary Park: Jewelry and astrology are both instruments of empowerment and transformation. By choosing to don golden feather earrings or a warrior-inspired silver collar, you are revealing different sides of yourself to the world. Once, I stayed up all night making a pair of earrings with Masai warrior silhouettes because I wanted to feel powerful the next day (and combat boots were simply not appropriate for the scenario I was facing)!
Astrology helps to identify our challenges, helps illuminate why those challenges are good for us and tells us how we can ultimately turn them into opportunities. It helps us know when an obstacle needs to be overcome or if you are on the wrong road.
|Photos by Tracy Hopkins|
I believe that true magic comes into play when we combine jewelry and astrology, and when designing a unique piece of jewelry that enhances your life both stylistically and metaphysically. This way we have a beautiful reminder every day that we are proactively improving our world, a magical reminder with the otherworldly power to affect our lives.
ESW: What inspires your designs? And what materials do you typically work with?
HP: I work almost exclusively with sterling silver, fine silver, and argentium. Argentium doesn’t tarnish and has higher silver purity than sterling. Because I believe in making pieces that will last for generations, this is one of my favorite materials.
When I first started making jewelry, a large part of my inspiration derived from travel to Africa, Mexico and India – everything from the foliage to the animals to the tapestries and other indigenous arts. I would make my own souvenirs when I got home.
These days, my personal spirituality inspires a significant proportion of my work. I may draw upon astrological symbols or occult texts, or I may design a piece entirely around a particular stone whose properties I want to invoke.
|Hand-crafted silver and gold and precious stones.|
One of my favorite pieces – the winding path cuff -- was inspired by an afternoon of doodling and philosophizing. We can head down a path only to hit a dead end, but the bends and twists of any particular portion of our life – the so-called missteps -- often [influence] what makes us who we are. Our mistakes can be beautiful and can come to define us. [The cuff] still brings me joy every time I see it.
ESW: How would you describe your design style and the woman who wears your jewelry?
HP: I love the gritty elegance of New York, and I’ve been told that comes through in a lot of my work. I’ve also been having an intense love affair with the beach ever since I discovered sandboxes at the age of two, so timeless natural pieces that reflect a more earthy aesthetic find their way into my creative process again and again.
The woman who wears my jewelry wants something personal that no one else will have. She values both the look and the character of hand-crafted pieces and she – if only secretly – enjoys the idea of inviting a little bit of magic into her life.
|Hilary Park silver and Argentium designs.|
ESW: If you had to pick one precious stone, which one should every woman wear in some form whether in a ring, bracelet or necklace? And why?
HP: I think women should trust in what naturally attracts them, but I do harbor a great fascination with rubies. Rubies promote courage and generosity while at the same time generating love and prosperity. They ground energy, heighten passion, combat exhaustion, and instill vitality. They are even said to protect against negative thought patterns and the so-called evil eye.
If you can break away from the “three Cs” of clarity, cut and carat (well, maybe not carat because I love big stones) and just allow yourself to fall in love with a stone for the stone’s sake, you’ll find the one that's right for you. I always have to laugh when I discover a new stone that I “need” to have. Inevitably, when I return home and investigate its properties, they perfectly address whatever current imbalance I may be suffering from.
HP: Small silver hoops start at $65, whereas my hand-alloyed 22k gold chandelier earrings are $3900. Thus far, my custom stone pendants have ranged from $525 to $2600 depending on the stone, the size, and the metal. I aim to have as wide a price range as possible without sacrificing the hand-crafted nature of the work.