|Meet the Designer-Artist
Swarovski crystal designer-artist, Katherine Song, is Fire Mountain Gems and Beads featured catalog cover artist for the 2007-2008 Jewelry Maker's Catalog with her elegant crystal necklace, Silktree Mimosa, created exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.
Katherine draws her design inspiration from the ancient forests of her homeland in Xi'an, one of China's oldest cities. Named after the ornamental tree native to her home country, Silktree Mimosa's feathery sprays of Swarovski crystals emulate the wispy nature of the tree's mimosa flower. ''Flowers are always the inspiration for my designs. I had a huge silktree in my front yard in China and had a very special feeling towards it. I love this piece because it evokes many memories of my childhood,'' says Katherine.
One of the memories Katherine recalls is of a time when she was ten years old and temporarily blinded after having eye surgery. ''I was in the dark and feared everything, especially the roaring noise of thunder. I spent most of that time sitting under this tree remembering all of the enjoyable times. Breathing in the fragrance from the flower relaxed me and took my mind off my fear.''
Katherine's extensive designer jewelry collection includes several award-winning pieces including the Swarovski first-place winner for the 2005 Culture Fusion Jewelry and Accessory Design Contest. Her work has been featured by Swarovski in a variety of advertisements, displays and trade magazines and can also be seen in the book Beading with Crystals: Beautiful Jewelry, Simple Techniques.
''I've always loved to design fashions--even as a young girl I would sketch clothing and accessories I dreamed of wearing,'' Katherine said. Katherine studied fashion design at the Northwest Institute of Textile Science and Technology in China where she earned her master's degree in fashion design.
She went on to teach fashion and jewelry design at the same university before moving to Toronto in 2000 to work as a design assistant for Canadian fashion designer, Ross Mayer. She launched her jewelry-making career six months later working for one of the largest bead companies in Canada. ''I was so excited about this new fashion field and the opportunity to learn about all the different styles of beads and techniques.'' In July 2006 she left the Canadian bead company to work as a freelance designer for D. Swarovski and Co. in Austria and Swarovski North America Ltd. in the United States.
The following year she established her own jewelry company called Katherine Song Originals. ''My jewelry, as with other types of art, shows some of the more powerful moments of passion and spirit in my life. Conducting my own business gives me the satisfaction of creating my own designs that people will appreciate and love. I wish, through my creations, to let Chinese arts and culture transfer into Western designs.''
''It is a great honor being a featured cover artist and much appreciation to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads for giving me this opportunity to show my newest creation and to say 'hello' to my fellow Fire Mountain customers.''To view more of her incredible jewelry designs, visit her website at www.katherinesong.com.