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How my Love of Nature Influences my Work

Karin Jacobson design process inspiration jewelry design

I’ve mentioned before that the natural world is a huge source of inspiration for my jewelry designs, but I thought the skeptics among you might like to see some hard proof! The images in this post can also be found on my Instagram feed, and I’ll admit that the connection isn’t always a linear progression; Sometimes I'll see something, my imagination immediately ignites, and I create based on what I’ve seen. But more often, I design with multiple natural elements in mind, and later find amazing visual similarities with specific plants, animals, or structures. But whether the blossom or river or geological feature was the starting point or the end point, I hope you’ll enjoy seeing them juxtaposed.

Karin Jacobson Design Anise fold origami earrings

This variation on my Anise Fold earrings includes a bright, warm Hessionite garnet. The original inspiration for this style was the eight-segmented anise seed, but as soon as I had that garnet in place, I could see the resemblance to monarch butterflies. Uncanny, isn’t it?

Karin Jacobson Design Anise opal origami pendant

Opals are such evocative, ethereal gems, and when they take on a blue cast they immediately bring to mind flowing bodies of water. This is a close-up of a one-of-a-kind Opal Origami Necklace, and I loved pairing the watery opal doublet with the foliage-inspired burst above. Definitely reminiscent of summer ponds brimming with undulating water plants.

Karin Jacobson Design Origami Sphene pendant


This necklace sold a while back, but when I designed it I found myself mesmerized by the patterns in the mossy green sphene. The green-blue ripples and natural facets reminded me so strongly of shallow stream beds and water sliding over pebbles.

Karin Jacobson Design Malaya Garnet Solitaire

This solitaire is a one-of-a-kind ring, and I’ll admit that the natural connection was made after the design was set! Once I’d finished the ring, I noticed how the twisted band and soft pink of the champagne Malaya garnet call to mind the graceful folds of this peachy morning glory I photographed while vacationing in northern Minnesota.

Karin Jacobson Design rough aquamarine origami pendant

This necklace has also sold (this one has some similarities!), but it’s another piece that involved an evocative gem. This icy blue rough aquamarine looks like a miniaturized glacier, and its jagged surface is such a fun contrast to the smooth curves of the oxidized silver.

Now that summer is in full swing, I’ll be spending more time outside enjoying the warmth and soaking up the natural beauty all around me. I’m quite sure something I see or experience will spark new design ideas! Let me know if you enjoyed this post, and I’ll update you with more as I add new nature-influenced pieces to my collection.



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  • Dad on

    Always love your blogs, Karin! Really fun!


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