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Artful activist


Dedicated to women’s and children’s rights, this Boston-based designer is committed to creating classic fine jewelry from sustainable materials.
Sep 2, 2020 10:13 AM   By Sonia Esther Soltani
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“In my mind, there are fireworks that are constantly going off,” says Ana-Katarina Vinkler-Petrovic, the founder of sustainable fine-jewelry brand AnaKatarina. This eclectic way of thinking appears in her soulful, beautifully made creations, which the designer describes as “classic with a wrinkle.” They have a smooth, elegant and luscious look that makes them instantly stand out.

The Boston-based designer, who is self-taught, trained in Kuwait with a Lebanese craftsman who had learned his skill in Italy. She also spent time in Istanbul’s goldsmith workshops, Athens, Paris and New York. She devotes a lot of time to researching her collections, and follows her intuition when transforming an inspiration into handcrafted jewels.

Her most recent collection, Love Token, started as a Pinterest search for ancient coins. It led to the discovery of spintriae tokens from ancient Rome, which scholars assumed to have been a currency for brothels, as well as a way of communicating specific sexual requests between people who might not speak the same language.

As with all her projects, Vinkler-Petrovic embraced the concept, elevating it into a deeply emotional luxury item.

“Wouldn’t it be beautiful [if] every time we have a love relationship that is meaningful to us, we were gifted or we buy ourselves a token — a love token — to represent that?” she muses.

Set in 18-karat yellow gold with a hand-carved blue agate cameo — an element the designer used in her previous series, the acclaimed Eye Love — the pendants represent friendship, intuition, playful affection, and romantic and familial love. Each is engraved with a mantra the designer thoughtfully considered.

Earlier in her career, a podcast on brain science and the way babies see micro details sparked off the concept of the inverted diamond setting, one of her signature techniques. Once turned upside down, “the diamond was no longer just a beautiful gemstone, it became a structural, architectural element. It changed the whole energy of the piece,” she explains.

One thing that has been a constant in Vinkler-Petrovic’s jewelry journey — which started in 1999 when she worked as a buyer in her mother’s art gallery — is her dedication to ethical sourcing. She uses Canadian-mined diamonds, mercury-free gold and recycled gemstones and materials. She’s also been an outspoken activist, especially for women’s and children’s rights, giving a percentage of the proceeds from her jewelry sales to charities supporting the most vulnerable.

Her forthcoming advertising campaign, “Intelligence — The New Sexy,” aims to bolster women’s confidence. “I see young women and young girls that are told they’re either smart or they’re beautiful women, and they fall into those roles,” she says. “That’s not fair, because women can be sexy, sensual, beautiful beings and be very intelligent. They can embrace the totality of themselves.”

anakatarina.com

Images: AnaKatarina
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Tags: Sonia Esther Soltani
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