New York-based jeweller Caitlin Mociun is as much a curator as she is a creator. “I’m drawn to the hunt of finding unique and beautiful things,” she says. “Discovering the places where I can get these materials is very much a part of my brand.” Mociun’s namesake label began life as a hand-printed clothing line before she took to “making pieces of costume jewellery with crystals, shells and coins that I picked up while travelling. I thought of them as talismans.”
It’s a pick-and-mix approach she’s brought to the fine jewellery atelier she launched in 2010. Today her ad hoc elements have been elevated to ethically mined sapphires from Montana or vintage diamonds from antiques stores, brought together in striking clusters. The often one-of-a-kind designs currently include a statement cocktail ring ($5,800) centred on an Australian opal, offset with diamonds and sapphires in 14ct gold; a more subtle ring ($6,755) in an elegantly asymmetric composition of sapphires, emeralds and a baguette-cut diamond; and drop earrings ($11,100) combining Oregan opals and sunstone with turquoise elements.
“Jewellery is a much more satisfying creative outlet for me than clothing,” Mociun explains, citing the medium’s parallels with sculpture and her own love of the bespoke process, which accounts for a third of her business. What started as a relatively informal offering after a client requested an unique engagement ring has since been refined into a streamlined custom service for rings (from $7,000), bracelets (from $4,500), necklaces and earrings (both from $3,000), with an advised timeline of eight to 10 weeks. The process begins with a questionnaire, followed by a direct consultation with Mociun over the phone, via email or face-to-face in her Williamsburg outpost. Pieces are realised by a handful of trusted jewellers nearby.
Requests range from the repurposing of an heirloom stone to the project Mociun is currently working on for a suite of bridal jewellery inspired by traditional Indian textiles, the wedding venue and a mutually loved painting. It’s precisely the type of brief she can throw herself into – one that factors in provenance and, most crucially, a personal connection with the jewellery.