WRITTEN BY Blair Farris
While visiting Santa Barbara on a recent research trip, I had the pleasure of meeting talented jewelry designer Alina de Albergaria. After a tour of her lovely home and garden, she shared the inspiration behind her passion for jewelry making. Showing us pictures of her mother and grandmother, Alina explained, “As my grandmother taught my mother and my mother passed on to me, an article of clothing is only as good as the fabric and level of workmanship involved in its construction. My obsession with all things creative began at a very young age when I made purses and scarves with my weaving set and my mother’s sewing machine.”
Clearly taking this advice to heart, Alina handcrafts each piece of her jewelry with only the finest materials such as sterling silver, argentium silver, 14 karat gold-fill or vermeil. She has spent many years studying, learning and perfecting her designs and techniques.
Alina scours the LA jewelry mart and trade shows for the most beautiful precious and semi-precious gemstones, including lovely baroque pearls handpicked for necklaces and earrings. Her attention to detail, which runs the gamut from hand forging to distressing the precious metals, is incredible. All of the construction of her jewelry is transparent, meaning there are no shortcuts taken such as crimping and hidden closures.
I fell in love with the “All Wired Up—Sapphire” necklace with its fabulous baroque pearl in the center of twisted vermeil gold and rough-cut deep blue sapphires. The exquisite materials, paired with heavy hardware and leather, give it a feel of casual elegance that could be dressed up or down. Alina offers her pieces in a wide variety of stones and materials in different price ranges. There is definitely something for everyone. Her jewelry can be purchased in boutiques and on her website at designsbyalina.com.
Don’t miss this month’s Interiors article, beginning on page 16, featuring Alina’s beautiful home!
“The concept is simple. Unique, sophisticated designs + authentic materials + attention to detail = Designs by Alina jewelry”