DSC_4067The rural hills of New England may seem an unlikely place to find inspiration for what would later become a line of handcrafted jewelry rooted in architectural forms. But, Kiersten Crowley believes it was her upbringing and the natural environment surrounding her as a child that played a big role in how her jewelry line evolved. Primarily raised by her grandparents in Connecticut, who she believes had great taste, Kiersten spent weekends with her grandmother going to yard sales and thrift shops with names like The Worn Yesterday Shop and Second Hand Rose. She also traveled the road with her dad, an antiques dealer at the time, who would drive to Montreal and return with truckloads of treasure. This early exposure to thrifting and uncovering undiscovered relics, coupled with
summers spent on the beaches of the Cape collecting driftwood, seashells and stones, were what captivated Kiersten. She says, “I’ve always been a scavenger at heart.”

Fast-forward several years and a few moves to Portland, Oregon, where she has now lived for over a decade. Unable to find what she was looking for, Kiersten began making jewelry as gifts for friends and family when a friend and textile designer encouraged her to try selling her work. She did just that—showing some of her pieces in a fledgling collection at a Christmas art & craft show, where she was well received. From there her craft emerged and after several collections has evolved into a successful business.

These days Kiersten can be found in her studio; a renovated attic, minimally decorated with thoughtfully curated found pieces like work benches constructed from a fallen tree, antlers, skulls, leather, plush fabrics, a mid-century chair or “noguchiesque” table; all treasures that prove she continues to scavenge and find the most amazing artifacts that others often overlook. There is no shortage of places to look for examples of what influences her and how these interests manifest in her work.