Interview: Nak Armstrong

Meet local Austin fine jewelry designer Nak Armstrong, his partner Walter and their dog Georgie! We will be hosting Nak for a trunk show this Friday and Saturday at The Women’s Shop, where you’ll be able to shop a beautifully extended collection of his pieces. Nak will be there to help you find the perfect gift for your special someone!

What has your biggest accomplishment with Nak Armstrong to date?

I think Michelle Obama wearing my earrings was probably one of the biggest highlights.

What is your biggest design inspiration this year?  

Palm leaves, believe it or not.  I created this earring that was fully articulated that even moved like a leaf.

You have a background in architecture, and it shows. What made you choose jewelry design?  

I love the idea of creating little sculptures that can be worn.  But also, there’s a practical reason.  I like the idea of being able to conceive of something and create it all in the same day or week.  With architecture there is so much time between the concept and the finished product.

Describe a typical day. 

I spend most of my time sketching, sourcing materials and getting inspired.  There’s also a lot of time spent working with my stone cutters and my development team to translate my sketches into reality.

What is your favorite piece of all time?

It’s always the last piece I created.  Ha! But seriously, that’s I think true for most designers.  But If I had to choose just one of my children to call favorite, I did a ring, the Anna ring, several years ago that I still get requests for.  It was a massive ring with multiple rows of rough-cut diamonds.

Describe your workspace.

It’s actually pretty clean and unobstructed with clutter as I need a very calm space to help my clear my head and design.  Although I am surrounded by books and some objects that have special meaning to me.

Who would you most love to see wearing your designs?

I know that usually the response is a celebrity or someone of note, but I actually like to see everyday women wearing what I do.  The biggest challenge in today’s market is to create pieces that are different yet still relevant to a woman in her daily life.  So, I get tremendous satisfaction when I’m able to create something that resonates.