Interlocking rings and sculptural pendants–crafted out of 18k gold–sterling silver, faceted gems and pearls: these are just a few of the creations fashioned at Studio 44 in Glen Head.
Kathleen DiResta, owner of Studio 44 and K. DiResta Design, Inc., walked in to a metal-smithing class while studying for her BFA in sculpture and art history at SUNY New Paltz, and saw her creative direction go from working in wood to creating one-of-a-kind jewelry.
DiResta's attraction to architecture and sculpture is reflected in her 18k gold and sterling silver designs that are bold, playful and fluid in movement. Her inspiration comes from her own sketches, walks through museums and perusing art books.
DiResta–a faculty member of the Art League of Long Island and –moved to New York City and worked as an apprentice to a goldsmith who not only taught her about the day-to-day operations of running a jewelry business, but also taught her the true art of creating jewelry from pure gold, by alloying it and turning it into sheet and wire. She designed and created jewelry for different designers until 1997 when she started her own company, K. DiResta Design, Inc. In 2000, she began sharing her skill by teaching jewelry design classes, and she currently offers workshops at her studio
During the four years that she worked out of her East Village gallery in Manhattan from 1999 to 2003, a movie stylist selected one of her geometric necklaces to be worn by actress Molly Ringwald in an independent movie.
Jewelry should be a reflection of the customer’s vision and designs, DeRista said.
“Some customers keep coming back. They start with an engagement ring, then wedding bands, and then they return looking for a custom piece for their anniversary or baby,” she said.
DiResta said that one of the most important factors in running a business is striking a balance between personal and professional life.
"Be in the moment with whatever you are doing. I design my jewelry based on what works best for me," DiResta said. "I am true to myself and my vision.”
DiResta's jewelry has been featured in three books: 500 Earrings, 500 Weddings Rings and Modern Jewelry from Modular Parts.