When Monika Krol introduced the lyre design into her namesake line last fall, she envisioned it as a piece to hold charms fashioned from precious stones. “My work is mostly inspired by the gemstones I collect, and the metalwork has always been a way to cradle and display them,” says the Pennsylvania-based jeweler, who struck out on her own in 2014 after working for the likes of Lola Brooks and Gabrielle Kiss.
But soon the harp-like shape began to take on a life of its own, becoming a signature, standalone silhouette in her line—a result of Krol’s latest fascination with metalworking techniques. “It has been a fun challenge to start to design pieces that are strictly metal work, that also fit into my aesthetic—meticulously crafted and simple with hints of antique inspiration,” says the designer, whose work regularly takes cues from “heirlooms that have stood the test of time.”
Its problem-solving like this that attracted Krol to her chosen craft. “I first fell in love with making, says Krol, who was drawn to finding ways to craft her intricate designs out of metal. Along the way, she became enamored with materials such as 18k yellow gold and unique gemstones (including the “thrill” of hunting for them, she says). But ultimately, she says, her favorite part of the jewelry-making process is always when a piece makes its way into the hands of a client.
Those on the lookout for new additions to their own collections can look forward to Krol’s new metal riffs on her lyre design, as well as custom-cut intaglios, chunky cast rings and earrings and pendants with hinged bails “reminiscent of horse bits,” she says. The artist is also excited to reveal a collection of jade cabochons and Peruvian opals, as well as her latest experimentations with mixing metals including 18k gold with silver.
“There is a great joy and satisfaction in creating a physical object,” says Kroll, “but there is a romance in knowing that that piece of jewelry will be adorned and cherished by someone.”