m! work space: ‘made of stone’ origin story

I’ve spent the past two months sketching — vaguely, loosely, and during odd moments — trying to come up with a focused idea of what to do for the next capsule collection for m!spunktuation. Its said that inspiration strikes when you least expect it, but I wasn’t necessarily looking for inspiration, per say; rather, I wanted to find a concept to springboard from that would stem from my own heritage and story. But to have my story be something external, I needed to extract myself and make the collection’s story about all of US.

One of the characteristics I’ve maintained throughout my 20-something years is the ability to keep my exterior firmly intact when facing the world.

(It’s more commonly known as my ‘bitch face,’ har har.)

It’s this invisible exoskeleton which has kept me from falling too far into deception in adulthood, the same type of armor which prevented the women before me from doubting themselves and becoming emotionally self-destructive.

Taking in the color palette of my South Asian heritage — sparkling golds and vintage brass, deep scarlet and bloody red stones, fresh forest greens and solid whites that gave a stark contrast to the metallics — with themes of strength, valor, persistence, and sacrifice, I wanted to create pieces that would be a reflection of my own struggles, as well as the rise of women warriors from their ashes.

heroine collage

women warriors (clockwise) kali ma / athena / joan of arc / hellenic persephone

Looking at some of the more well-known ‘warriors’ throughout history — from mythology and history — I wanted to take shapes and motifs found in the imagery of these women and reinvent them for the 21st century. It’s not about redesigning the wheel; what I aimed for is to create pieces that would both look well-worn with the passage of time but sturdy enough to last generations.

‘Made of Stone’ is one of the tracks from Evanescence’s most recent album, but I found it to be amazingly accurate in describing my intent with this collection. Women are expected to play multiple roles, from supportive and loving wife, to humble and obedient daughter, to a ‘Superwoman’ mother; through all of these roles, the woman as an individual is constantly faced with self-doubt, fears of failure, and and being seen as incompetent. It’s no wonder that in 2013, women make only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns — our value has been diminished into simple dollars and cents. These pieces are the beautiful armor to adorn every strong woman and remind her of her true worth, beyond just what’s expected of her and how she is perceived.

With these pieces, she can channel her inner goddess, fiery and determined to ravage all others with her wrath.

kali ma face

details / illustration of kali’s face

kali ma collage


the Golden Flare head chain


the Ek Aank [one eyed] asymmetrical earrings

The shield motif is pulled from classic medieval armor, curved lines which intersect to create arches reminiscent of vaulting in Gothic architecture. A reference would be Joan of Arc’s armor as seen in the painting below, as she is blessed at court and dressed in full military regalia. Her stance of confidence shouldn’t be limited to solely a soldier facing imminent war; it should be how we awaken each morning to face the day.

the fierce soldier for france, wearing her coat of arms.


the Mossed Gateway earrings.


the Shield Ladder hand chain.


the Winged Savior pendant necklace.

These were just a SNEAK PEEK… stay tuned for the full collection reveal!

— Nita


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