Today we are standing on a terrace within the Renaissance Court of Virginia's Norfolk Botanical Garden. Patterned after ornate, 16th century Italian architecture, the court is a beautiful microcosm of Italian landscaping. Virginia is also the home of featured jewelry designer K Robins.
World news broadcasts often focus on humanity's brutality and indifference to the point that it becomes disheartening. It is sometimes difficult to keep in mind the common threads linking us together.
During a challenging period, Robins discovered those common threads in symbols as she sought healing and insight.
"Many of the jewelry designs come from my fascination with the language of symbols and how the art of different cultures and times echoes around the world," she acknowledges, "I began the practice of designing symbolic art as a necessity as much as one goes to prayer, goes to meditation, or goes to the mat."
Similar to Israeli designer David Weitzman, over 20 years ago Robins embarked on a journey of spiritual enlightenment by immersing herself in literature written by Judy Chicago, Angeles Arrien and Marija Gimbuta, among others.
She learned that symbolic representations of family, love, friendship, and sacred feminine were themes present in cultures as diverse as Greece, Ireland, and China.
Robins' process to interpret these universal themes required a mixture of "contemplation and inspiration," and precision tools. Robins, a former furniture and house-ware maker, learned to create wax casts while working with flute maker, Patrick Olwell.
From the casts, she created fluid, sculptural pieces in sterling silver and 14-karat gold, and her company K Robins Designs emerged.
The pieces possess a soft, voluptuous quality that adds a unique beauty. They are at once simplistic and intricate, delicate and powerful; ultimately reflecting a oneness with God, nature, and mankind.
Each piece is personal to Robins, particularly the Friendship Knot Pendant Necklace, which she created for her daughter's, Leila, bridesmaids; the Raven Pendant Necklace was created in honor of the unflinching valiance of friend, Raven Ruffner, who died from breast cancer six years ago; and the Journey-Adventure Day One Pendant Necklace was created as a symbol of a friend's courageous battle with AML Leukemia.
"Family, deep friendships, and an array of teachers have profoundly affected my work," she says. In turn, Robins' jewelry profoundly affects others.
In 2005, the HeartBright Foundation--a resource center for cardiovascular disease--chose The Healer Pendant Necklace to promote the foundation's mission, and raise awareness.
The foundation's President, Claire Blocker, said this, "We were drawn to The Healer because of the artist's concept and personal description of the design, `The Healer and the Healed become one.'"
Robins offers this, "I am pleased they have selected The Healer from my collection. This design embodies the strength and hope that comes from learning to take care of ourselves and others."
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Infinite Love Pendant Necklace
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Healer Pendant Necklace