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This Jeweler Makes Jewelry for People Who Don't Like Jewelry

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Welcome to Open Studio, a Racked feature where we explore the workspaces and showrooms of some of the city's most talented, up-and-coming designers.

Photos: Driely S. for Racked

"To be honest, I don't really like jewelry," isn't something you'd expect to hear coming from the mouth of a jewelry designer, but Alice Waese expresses it freely. She does, however, admit that she was "fascinated with cutlery" as a child and once considered designing forks and knives for a living. Fortunately for all those who do like jewelry, she didn't.

Trained in fine arts, Alice Waese begins the design process with pen-and-ink drawings of anything from epic battle scenes to mythical hybrid animals, then plucks motifs from those sketches—voodoo babies, dripping hands, skulls, hearts—to feature in her jewelry. What isn't inspired by her illustrations often comes from the more overlooked corners of nature—she's cast jewelry from pistachio shells, the jaw of a sheep, pine cones, and a bird skull she discovered in a London park.

We visited Alice's studio on a quiet block just south of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where she discussed the origins of her obsession with animals (she currently has three feral kittens), her incredible, $2,000 limited-edition books (each includes a piece of jewelry in a hidden cutout), and her clothing line.

· Open Studio [Racked NY]