Kimberly Huestis ’05 never imagined that she would start her own porcelain jewelry line. Having majored in architecture and French cultural studies, she worked as a graphic designer for an engineering company after graduation. However, she soon returned to her interest in architecture, where she gained the motivation to work on jewelry full time after selling clay jewelry on Etsy.
“I started doing porcelain jewelry because I have a severe metal allergy. It really is because of my metal sensitivity that I started making jewelry in the first place. I probably started when I was 10 or so, and then it just kind of snowballed from there,” Huestis explained. She mostly works with porcelain, speckled stoneware and fine metals.
Huestis’s company, Porcelain and Stone, is described on its website as “dedicated to the coastal life and nautical aesthetic. Individually handmade to look not handmade. The sculpted porcelain pieces designed are classic with intentional clean lines for a timeless style.”
One of her biggest challenges when it comes to making jewelry, Huestis said, is being the first to try a new design.
“My cave-mentality is this idea that anyone can figure something out if there is a need to try. I’m also stubborn enough to do extensive research and experiments to solve for what I need,” she explained.
Huestis enjoys experimenting and trying projects that are outside of her comfort zone.
“I was working on a perfume bottle over this past month, and there really wasn’t anyone that I could talk with about it. It was kind of fun for me because I really enjoy this sort of cavemen mentality where someone didn’t know how to do something, but they figured it out and that is the fun part for me,” she said. “How to make a perfectly screwed on gasket so that I can turn the cover onto the perfume bottle and make a tight closure. It’s very rewarding.”
Her advice for Wellesley students is to “do the things that you’re most interested in.” She recalls taking a class at MIT that sparked her interest in architecture and design. She credits Wellesley for boosting her confidence and helping her learn how to stay motivated.
“I didn’t come [to Wellesley] with a good amount of confidence. But Wellesley kind of helped nurture that belief that I could do things…If you’re doing something that you really love doing it’s just gonna keep motivating you,” she said.
While at Wellesley, Huestis was a part of the Whiptails, the ultimate frisbee team and Fusion, the cultural organization for those who identify as mixed-race. She was also a member of the lacrosse team until a broken foot forced her to stop playing. Some of her favorite memories include working in the computer labs late at night.
“You would just meet the most random and fun people as you worked late into the night, which I’m sure everybody still does,” she said.
In her free time, Huestis enjoys playing with clay, running and experimental cooking, like molecular gastronomy, in which she investigates the chemical and physical changes that occur when food cooks.
Huestis sells her work at SoWa, an art walk, in the South End of Boston on Sundays in the summer. Her studio is in Somerville. She also hosts open studios on the first weekends of May and November and sells her work on www. porcelainandstone.com.