Meet Miranda Hope, a leading lady I am SO excited to finally feature on the blog! Miranda is not only a talented jewelry designer, but she is one of the most down to earth humans I've had the pleasure working with. You may even recognize her jewels in our latest Dreamweaver campaign which was shot in Bali! Miranda's pieces are timeless, bold and hands-down stunning.
How did Miranda Hope Jewelry begin?
I was torn between sculpture and jewelry in throughout college. There was a place somewhere between the two disciplines that I was interested in working. I loved the wearable functionality of jewelry but was also drawn to the rough and boundless wold of sculpture. Most of the work I was making were large cast bronze pieces designed to fit onto the body, but in a more conceptual capacity, and not functional at all.
After college, I apprenticed with a goldsmith in Northern California who inspired me to find a path merging both sculpture and jewelry techniques. During this time I was also teaching jewelry/metal arts classes to grade school children, and these simultaneous immersions into the discipline helped me to find new ways to think about jewelry and metalwork.
I moved to NYC in 2010 and began experimenting with new methods of metalwork. I was learning to work with the raw, uncut gemstones that I had been collecting for years. This experimentation eventually led to the signature look of the line; hand formed metalwork and rough gems and minerals and a project that merged my love for wearable art with my fascination for collecting gemstones.
Who/what do you look for when hunting for inspiration?
The stone dictates the piece. Im always looking for a new unusual shape or color. But a lot of my inspiration also comes from ancient designs. I am endless enchanted by renaissance brooches, medieval repousse helmets, ancient Egyptian collars, and Incan earplugs. I like things that have small imperfections and a feeling of timelessness. The handmade quality of these objects is a point of fascination for me.
How has your technique evolved over the years?
In the beginning, I just had too many ideas. The work did not feel like a related line because from week to week I was playing with entirely different aesthetic and concept.
I almost never repeated a design because I was so excited about the next idea. It was a wonderful way to grow and inspire the work but eventually, I found the aesthetic of the line and was able to really narrow down to the core look of the collection. Now I work with a more specific palette depending on the season and keep the new designs cohesive with the look of the line.
What draws you to a particular stone or mineral?
Initially, it will be the either the color, or a particular sparkle, or whatever beautiful quality that is unique to that particular stone. But then I do have to think about the logistics. Is it too fragile to work as a wearable art piece, is it a shape that I can set into a bezel, is it too heavy to be comfortably worn on the body? But the first step is just to scan the trays of gems and see what pops out at me.
The most valuable lesson you have learned in your business?
I realized that the only way I would make it as a creative person would be to launch myself into the work. I had to find a way to work every day and make it my main work.
What was crucial about the formation of the line was that I was able to start selling it right away. I set up a booth in SOHO in NYC and sold all those early pieces. They were all experiments that came before I really understood what I wanted to be making, but I had to make them get to the place I am now. Without the amazing opportunities that came with living in such a giant city it would have been hard to find a way to support myself while I gained the thousands of hours at the bench the I now have under my belt.
Do you have a most treasured item in your personal jewelry collection?
I recently made a charm necklace from all my treasured bits and pieces I had tucked away over the years; a set of gold teeth from my mother, a piece of Portuguese beach glass from a trip with all of my closest girlfriends, a chunk of obsidian from the vineyard where I first met my boyfriend…
Also, I often will keep the first piece of a new design idea. One of the very first Capped Crystal pieces I ever made was with a phantom quartz capped with a tumbled smokey quartz. It marked the beginning of one of the signature pieces in my collection. I never sold that piece and it's still one of my favorites.
How do you like to wear your favorite pieces?
I can’t wear any jewelry on my right hand because it gets in the way while I work. So to compensate I completely load up the left hand. Stacks of Herkimer cuffs and gem inset bangles, stacked rings, midi rib rings. I never take them off. I also have a lot of ear piercings so I like to keep my ears stacked with little gemstone studs and cuffs. When I go out I add a big pyramid ring or a bold necklace (like the statement necklaces featured in this look book) or long earrings like the kyanite straps.
You’ve recently moved back to California from NY, what’s next for Miranda Hope Jewelry?
I was lucky to have formed some great relationships with shops in NYC and so happily we are continuing to work together long distance. But I am excited to expand and now be offering MH jewels to boutiques here on the west coast as well.
I'm also working in partnership with a number of online boutiques and designers. Collaborating with other creative people makes this work so much more enjoyable.
We LOVED working with your pieces in our ‘Dreamweaver’ campaign shoot- what would you say is your favorite TAMGA look from the range?
I practically live in jumpsuits so I was really excited to see the Novi Jumpsuit. I love the prints and the flowing design. And TAMGA is made with the softest most delicious fabric. I wear my kimonos from her original line every day and they go with me where ever I travel.
Miranda Hope in her LA home studio wearing the Novi Jumpsuit
Big thanks to Miranda for amazing interview and insight into Miranda Hope Jewelry! Get her look below and keep checking back for our next leading lady- you won't wanna miss it!