Anne Godshall, chief merchandising officer at AsiaStore, participated as a judge in Pratt Instituteís Senior Jewelry Critique 2013, an academic exercise that provides design students with invaluable feedback on their work in preparation for their professional careers.
Each designerís body of work is the result of extensive research, design development and long hours in the studio, culminating in the creation of a 10-15 piece collection based on his or her chosen theme. The collection is then installed in display environments of each studentís own design.
Selecting and featuring a young designer's work strengthens AsiaStoreís mission and our continuing commitment to showcasing and cultivating emerging design talent. This year, we are proud to feature designer Lia Branning Chen and her innovative jewelry collection during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
Lia Branning-Chen currently resides in Brooklyn, New York where she has earned her BFA in jewelry design at Pratt Institute. She was born in Beijing, China, but grew up in San Francisco, California. When she was young her grandmother, Popo, would watch over her. Lia and her Popo bonded over games of mahjong and exploring her collections of ancient snuff bottles, miniature jade statues, coral pieces and so on. Her love of jewelry began from collecting her grandmotherís antique rings. She still wears all her grandmotherís rings stacked on her fingers and mixes them with pieces that she has collected over the years. Her interest in jewelry has lead to learning classic metal work techniques and fabrication.
Lia has particularly taken an interest in the lost wax casting method because it allows her to effectively articulate her aesthetic. Although she used the casting technique and molds, Lia carefully alters each piece so that no two are alike.
In her most recent collection she pays an homage to her grandmother by using the Chinese dragon, her zodiac sign, as an inspiration. She specifically focuses on the dragons scaled back and ribbed belly. The illustrative patters are interpreted and reconstructed into beautiful jewelry pieces. Lia combines her heritage with her attraction to patterns and illustrative deigns to create her one of a kind collection. Interview with Lia Branning Chen