Caitlin Mociun On Bi-colar Sapphires, Carribean Beaches + Wearing Gucci To Cleopatra's Wedding
Who: Caitlin Mociun: Artist, Creative Thinker, Crown Jewel
Why She’s Foxy:
She's a diamond in the rough — a former sculptor and textile designer turned Brooklyn-based jeweler whose high-end, eclectic gems embody just the right touch of lux and edge.On Being A Teenager:
“I was born in California and moved to Malaysia. My parents were teachers: my dad taught about computers and my stepmom taught ESL. When I was sixteen, I went to high school in Prague. I was into raves and wore tight black pants and Adidas shell toes. I dyed my hair pink, purple, blue and green over the course of two weeks and only wore silver jewelry and listened to Massive Attack, Garbage, and house music. I was really into theater and art."
On College: “I studied textile design at RISD and learned everything: dying, printing, weaving, CAD, computer, everything. I was planning to study fashion, but after my first meeting was like HELL NO. It never felt creative or weird or experimental. Then I discovered I loved silkscreening. By senior year, all I was doing was silk screening and making small sculptures. I wanted to be a fine artist. My idols were Kiki Smith and Louise Bourgeois and Frieda Kahlo. For my thesis I made interactive magnetic wallpaper backed with metals, covered in coyotes and babies. People could move them around — they could choose to protect the children or put them in harm's way. I also knit fuzzy wallpaper out of silk cashmere blend yarn and embedded it with resin medallions."
On Finding A Creative Career: "
My first job was at a commercial textile manufacturer. I got fired in three months. I’m the worst employee ever. I was twenty-three and I wanted a creative job, but I ended up being so bored. After work, I would go home and work on my clothing line. Then I started silk-screening monster t-shirts in my living room and selling them at Bird. My front-tie dress became really popular. But my design process was much slower than the fashion schedule. I could never catch my breath. So I started making handmade friendship bracelets with crystals and shells. I was really inspired by these little crazy pom poms and felt balls I found in Morocco. Then I translated some of the soft materials into metal jewelry. Stores started to pick them up."
On Rings + Gems: "I started making cluster rings after one of my stone cutters was trying to get rid of all these beautiful stones. I really respond to material and process; my goal was to create a composition around the stones. With my Bauhaus-inspired design sensibility, I started to pair things down. An engagement ring should be something that represents you and not some idea of what an engagement ring is. If you love a solitaire, get a solitaire. If you love pink sapphires, get a pink sapphire. A lot of people ask, ‘Does this look like an engagement ring?’ To me, it’s the sentiment of your union and the couple that matters.”
On The Challenges Of Entrepeneurship: “Getting men to take me seriously is not always the easiest. I try finding a balance between embodying what I want to be and having people take me seriously as a boss: soft and vulnerable, yet a badass.”
If She Was a Gemstone: “I used to think it would be diamond, but then I realized that they're too hard. Maybe turquoise — it's soft and there's a vulnerability to it. It was also a symbol of romance and friendship during the Victorian era. Also, I like the way it ages. Or maybe I would maybe be a bicolor sapphire because I am of two minds about things. I’m really social, but need a lot of alone time. It has more than one color in it. It’s dynamic.”
Her Dream Day: “On a Caribbean beach swimming, snorkeling and drinking coconut water.”
Fave Love Movie: “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.”
Fave Love Song: “Thinking of You by Sister Sledge.”
Fave Love Book: “Princess Bride.The book was written before the movie.”
Fantasy Wedding: “Cleopatra would be the bride. I don’t care who the other person is. I would bring my boyfriend Tammer and wear a bright pink chiffon Gucci dress with ruffles, then spend the afterparty dancing and drinking champagne.”
Pics by Mociun