What’s your five-second elevator introduction when a stranger asks about your jewelry business? Inspired by nature and its beautiful forms, I use extremely fine gauge wire of high karat gold and platinum to hand fabricate jewelry.
Did you go anywhere for summer vacation? I went to China this summer, where I was born. I traveled with my kids to Beijing, visited the Forbidden City, and National Museum of China. I was amazed to see the ancient antiques. The fine craft exhibits are among the best in the country and emphasizes Chinese history, as well.
Will we see any future collections based on your summer travel experience? Yes, I am working on new pieces inspired by my travels. Precious metals have been appreciated for thousands of years. As a contemporary craftsman, I would love to combine these ‘new’ skills with some ancient techniques to create my contemporary jewelry.
What’s your spirit animal? The red-crowned crane (丹頂鶴). It is known as a symbol of luck, longevity, and fidelity. I love to travel and explore new things and different cultures. I relate to how the crane is able to travel between so many places.
Red Crowned Cranes
What's the most exciting thing you designed in your collection right now? I have been focusing on platinum pieces lately. Platinum is a very time-consuming material to work with, but it does capture my designs incredibly well. Because of the reflection and color, they can catch the light just right to look like broken glasses.
Platinum and Sapphire Earrings
Where is your design studio located: My studio is located in San Jose, California.
Name your favorite brunch restaurant in San Jose: Enoteca La Storia in downtown.
Favorite part of being a jewelry designer? As a goldsmith, I am really grateful to make what I truly love. I am energized by my craft every day even to set a tiny stone or solder a small joint. I love to work with my clients from rough sketches to the process of making. The joyful moment when they see the finished piece and that sparkle in their eyes are the rewards of countless hours of the bench work.
Do you cook? I do, I really love cooking.
If yes, what are your favorite dinner party menu items? Korean BBQ Short Ribs！One of my favorites, and always a huge hit at dinner parties. They are thin 1/2″slices of ribs that are marinated in soy sauce, brown sugar, pear juice, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. I cook them on a preheated grill until the meat is no longer pink.
Who would be three of your guests (living or dead) be at a dream dinner party? Gijs Bakker, Giovanni Corvaja, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Gold and Tahitian Pearl Earrings
Who would you most like to do a design collaboration with? Baiyang Qui X ??? Issey Miyake, He is known for his technology-driven clothing designs. I love his designs because they allow both flexibilities of movement for the wearer as well as ease of care. The structure lines are so simple and basic but create a dramatic look. These are some underlying characteristics in my work too.
What award are you most proud of to have received? Last year I won MJSA Vision Award Award Professional Excellence (1-3 Years in Business). It was a huge accomplishment for me.
Square Pendants in Gold with Diamond and Platinum with Sapphire
Where do you keep the trophy? In my studio bookshelf.
What languages do you speak fluently? Mandarin and English.
What’s your favorite slang phrase in English? What goes around comes around.
What’s your favorite slang phrase in Chinese? 笨鸟先飞
And what does that phrase mean? A slow sparrow should make an early start.
What’s the most exciting thing you have coming up in your business life? I am super excited for the upcoming holiday season. It’s the most magic time of the year, and I took orders for some one-of-a-kind custom design pieces. Several of my clients will give these finished pieces to their special person, and I can’t wait to hear the feedback or see the joyful photo. I truly believe that a piece comes to life when the wearer’s movements are transmitted to the jewelry.
Why is design important as a part of culture and why is designer jewelry important (as opposed to generic jewelry?): Jewelry is a very personal object which carries our memories and personal identity. Every jewelry piece we wear daily, tells viewers our own story of everyday life. It should be personalized and connect to ourselves, the material, and how we wear it. The uniqueness of the jewelry design adds that distinction to our story. I think that's the beauty of designer jewelry.