Light & Breezy - Page 3

Marin artist Kristen 'Bucko' Sinn's upbeat persona and playful spirit flow through her MCM-inspired jewelry
  Light & Breezy
Kristen at work in her studio.
 

Kristen says, "There's so much you can do with enamel. And so everybody's got a different angle with what they're going to do with it. I like mine to just be kind of like shape- and color-driven, and I guess really graphic and bold, and like playful, I guess you'd say."

Kristen's look transcends her materials. When she works with gems, for example, her focus is also on color. "I love turquoise, and I love, as of right now, carnelian. I like aquamarine. So, bright colors, you know, just kind of neon," Kristen says.

Doing your own thing is as important for Kristen as it was, no doubt, for the hippies who likely inhabited her home 50 years ago.

  Light & Breezy
Not everything that Kristen creates is as overtly mid-century modern as what is featured on the preceding pages. However, the jewelry featured on this page and beyond is still simple and vibrant, and sophisticated without being ostentatious. Above: Hot Orange Earrings.
 

"Once I realize I'm making something that looks like other people's stuff," she says, "I stop making that. Or I figure out a way to make it not look like somebody—you know what I'm saying? Because, I mean, obviously everybody's in their own little planet."

Kristen aims at the everyday sort of buyer, selling work for less than $100 to about $500.

"I just make multiples and make things that are very wearable, that somebody could wear every day," she says. "Not necessarily showpieces or things that are trying to push the bounds of designer craft, but things that are wearable and consumable."

Kristen, who enjoyed metal shop as a girl in Michigan, studied at Michigan State, including silversmithing. It's where she met Patrick, the man she would later marry.

  Light & Breezy
Untitled earrings.
 

She planned to teach art. "And so you kind of dabble in a lot of stuff, painting and drawing and printmaking and ceramics and all that," Kristen says. Time in Chicago was followed by time at Lake Tahoe, then a move to San Francisco—and a change in direction.

"And then I decided I didn't want to be an art teacher. And then I said, 'now, what am I going to do?' I guess I'm going to have to make art and sell it. And so I took a class at City College of San Francisco, jewelry making, metalsmithing. And I liked it, and it just kind of snowballed," Kristen says.

For a time Kristen seemed en route to become a production jeweler, going to craft shows to attract wholesale orders from merchants. "I was ready to roll when I finally, you know, started having babies," Kristen says. "And I knew that I wanted to stay home with them and all that. I knew that I wasn't going to be like a working mom out there."

"You've got to be ready at all times to, like, deal with them," she says of caring for children. "So making jewelry was very skimpy for a while there."

  Light & Breezy
Amazonite Cuff.
 

Now, with her two daughters teenagers, Kristen hopes to rev things up. The Marin Jewelers Guild remains her major outlet.

"I want to do an art fair," she says. "I'd love to, you know, get into more stores. So I'm kind of grabbing my engines, getting ready for that sort of thing, because I have too much time on my hands."