Leading up to the 50th celebration next August, we will be featuring various alumni and professors of the Cortona alumni family. This week we would like to introduce you to jewelry designer Kristin Miller!
Name: Kristin Miller
University/Major/degree: BFA in Graphic Design
Semester in Cortona (season and year): 2006 summer session
Course(s) taken in Cortona: Photography, Watercolor, Art History
Favorite flavor of gelato: dark chocolate cinnamon (which I only found once...sad face)
Current profession: jewelry artist
Accolades: jewelry featured in Refinery 29, Fashion Gone Rogue, D Magazine
Currently residing in: Dallas, TX
Tell us a bit about what you've been up to since Cortona.
I worked as a graphic designer specializing in packaging for several years after graduating and eventually transitioned to jewelry design. I may have also helped organize a music festival that got rained out (?). In between there's been lots of travel and the renovation and subsequent flipping of several houses.
Tell us a little more about your career path.
A jewelry fabrication elective at UGA actually got me hooked on the art form. I love graphic design, and it's been immensely helpful in building my business, but after school I definitely missed the studio environment. I love creating a physical product and wasn't crazy about the office surroundings I found myself in, which ultimately led me to go out on my own with jewelry.
Let's talk about Cortona. What is one of your favorite memories from your time there?
There are so very many, so I'll have to fudge and list two. The first was when a big group of us made a spontaneous day trip to a tiny island in celebration of our friend's birthday. We had to take a bus, train and boat, and once we got there everything was closed. Somehow we stumbled upon a restaurant owner who spoke virtually no English, but opened up his backyard to us and proceeded to serve a feast, bringing us platter after platter of delicious food. The scene was idyllic – overlooking the water, the light turning golden, orange flowers blooming everywhere. We ended the day by all jumping off a pier together. The whole thing was a magical, unplanned moment.
The second memory would be Italy winning the World Cup while we were there. Enough said.
How did studying in Cortona influence how you live or work today?
Well, it quite literally influenced the way I live, considering that I met my now-husband there (he was actually the birthday boy in the story above).
Speaking of influences, if you could have dinner with any three people, from history or alive today, who would you pick?
Keith Richards, Frida Kahlo, Queen Elizabeth I
Before we go, what are you currently working on? Any projects or announcements you would like to share?
I currently produce my pieces primarily in bronze, but I'm working on some new methods that will allow me to use gold without exorbitant prices.