Wearable architecture. That’s what designer Karen Konzuk sets out to create with her jewelry collections.
Inspired from architecture and sculptures, she has a modern-day approach to her designs. Though initially her main focus was sculpture, Konzuk accidentally took a jewelry course at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and loved it.
Encouraged by her instructors to pursue this new venture, she felt it was the perfect fit as it allowed her to work with her hands to do something she loved. She dedicated her last year of school to create her own jewelry, which was different from anything else she’d ever seen. She then launched her new line upon graduation.
The first collection consisted of a strongly influenced industrial aesthetic. “I had a love for everything architectural as well so it was natural to move into a material such as concrete,” says Konzuk, who has been working with concrete for almost 20 years now.
She explores minimal forms through the use of unique surface texture and unconventional jewelry materials such as concrete and stainless steel. Her specialty is finding new uses for and elevating the use of industrial material in jewelry. Her specialty is casting perfect seamless concrete spheres, which you can see in the “Orbis” collection.
Konzuk’s new “Stellar” collection was the product of her current environment. Moving from the city to a small town where she could slow down and enjoy things like the starry night sky, she wanted to create something that conveyed this feeling. “The collection came together as simple minimalistic pieces and evolved into more complex statement pieces,” says Konzuk.
Each one-of-a-kind piece is individually handcrafted and made with authentic diamond dust embedded in black-tinted concrete. The real diamond residue creates a sparkle and shine that elevates the line and creates the true meaning of sophisticated minimalism.
From necklaces and pendants to bracelets and rings, Konzuk makes a variation of pieces that can be worn by men and women. She says one of the benefits of working with concrete is that it’s unusual and people like the design. “Concrete is a difficult material to work with but there are so many things you can do with it,” she notes.