Karin Jacobson’s Jewelry Journey and How Origami Plays a Significant Role in Her Designs

Karin Jacobson with Jewelry Navigator
Karin Jacobson combines the concept of delicate origami design and metal for award winning jewelry.
– Image Brenna Pakes

The following post coordinates with the Jewelry Navigator Podcast published by the same title.

The episode can be heard on the following audio platforms: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Podbean, or click on the player below to listen.



Karin Jacobson is kind, engaging, and welcoming.
As a skilled jeweler, she interprets her artistic visions into wearable jewelry art.

I had the pleasure of visiting with Karin in February this year, and last, at the American Craft Council (ACC) Show, in Baltimore.

prasiolite and oregon sunstone rings with origami accents by karin jacobson


Above: Geo-cut Prasiolite set in palladium, paired with a Petite Origami Accent Ring;
Oregon geo-cut sunstone set it in 18k yellow paired with a 14k rose gold Petite Origami Accent Ring.

-Image Brenna Pakes

Karin’s artistic journey led to her signature origami aesthetic.

Precious metal origami halos bloom from rings that wrap around vibrant gemstones, dangling earrings, and graceful pendants.


Video by Jennifer Simonson

Karin Jacobson’s Introduction to Jewelry Design and Formal Education

Karin (pronounced car-in) was my guest on Jewelry Navigator Podcast episode, published on April 9, 2020.

I’ve been a fan of Karin Jacobson’s jewelry for a few years now, and I admire how her design aesthetic has evolved.

I am thrilled to share her story on Jewelry Navigator Podcast, which you can listen to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, and Podbean audio platforms.

On the Jewelry Navigator Podcast, she shared how her education, work, and an apprenticeship has defined her journey so far as an accomplished and award winning artisan jewelry designer.

Karin attended a high school for the arts in Minnesota, and while the curriculum offered a variety of artistic media, she found the detail and meticulous methodology in creating jewelry rewarding.

While she chose to major in history, she kept her jewelry career options open through an apprenticeship which she maintained through college.

Super Heros and Cocktails

After completing her degree, Karin continued to explore jewelry design as a career direction by preparing a jewelry fabrication portfolio.

Karin’s jewelry career gained traction after introducing a friend to her portfolio collection, who then shared the designs with the curator of a museum gift store in Minnesota. 

Super Karin by karin jacobson featured on Jewelry Navigator
Illustration and Cocktail Collection images from Super Karin website at superkarin.com

Her initial jewelry collection was the predecessor to her Super Karin Collection, a themed collection based on a comic book super hero alter ego.

The Super Karin collection was fabricated with a mix of lab created and natural gemstones, set in recycled sterling silver.

Award Winning Jewelry Designs

Karin has earned numerous design and trade awards.
The latest recognition was as one of three jewelers selected to participate in MJSA’s annual contest, “Mystery Box Challenge”. (To learn more about the Mystery Box Challenge, click the highlighted link.)

MJSA’s Mystery Box Challenge is a compelling challenge to create a jewelry item from jewelry construction elements contained within the “Mystery Box” provided by MJSA.
(See MJSA’s feature YouTube video below.)

Below are images of Karin’s statement pendant submitted for MJSA’s Mystery Box Challenge she created using the required composition elements of sheet silver, lab-diamonds, citrine and copper clay.

MJSA “Mystery Box” Challenge: MJSA supplied the sheet silver, lab-diamonds, citrine and copper clay . Karin put it all together to make this statement pendant.
– Image Karin Jacobson
Karin jacobson mystery box challenge pendant stand from copper clay Jewelry Navigator Podcast
Karin then made the pendant stand using the copper clay. The pendant was featured on the cover of February’s MJSA Journal.
– Image Karin Jacobson

To learn how Karin developed her origami process, and how she used the copper clay in her MJSA Mystery Box Challenge, subscribe and listen to her podcast episode on Jewelry Navigator Podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Podbean.

SPOILER ALERT!!

Karin transformed her vision for her Mystery Box Challenge entry into a double bloom flower using the sheet silver. She set the diamonds on the points of the petals, and citrine at the center.

In her Jewelry Navigator Podcast episode, she shared that the copper clay posed the most challenging element of the design.

Metal clays are are metals in a matrix of clay mixture. They serve to eliminate the casting component to jewelry fabrication.

When manipulated into shapes, and fired in a kiln, the clay substance is burned off, leaving the precious metal form.

Karin recalled how one of her clients enjoys displaying her jewelry by propping it up on a stand.

Using innovative problem solving skills based on her client’s prototype mini sculpture stand, she created a display stand using the copper clay for her floral statement pendant.

Karin’s entry for the Mystery Box Challenge was featured on the February 2020 issue of MJSA Journal.

Karin’s Jewelry Career Blooms With Her Signature Origami Style

By pairing delicate floral cut outs from precious metal, Karin balances the bold, defined lines of bezel-set stones in her designs.

karin jacobson origami Jewelry Navigator Podcast
Karin’s Origami stick pin set with a rough green sapphire. – Imagae Brenna Pakes

Karin selects from a variety of color stones and diamonds for her designs.

The rough green sapphire she selected for the stick pin, and the bright, faceted rubellite tourmaline set in the ring are examples of how Karin uses a contrast of color and texture to enhance both the stones and shapes of her jewelry.

You can find Karin Jacobson Jewelry on her website, karinjacobson.com, and at select boutiques and shops on under the “Stores” menu on her website.


I look forward to watching Karin’s jewelry designs and career evolve, and to when we can meet up again at another show.

Brenna Pakes with Karin Jacobson at American Craft Council show
Brenna Pakes with Karin Jacobson, ACC Baltimore, 2019.
Brenna is the founder and CEO of Jewelry Navigator LLC, and
creator of Jewelry Navigator Podcast.

Brenna Pakes

I share a world of unique jewelry created by independent jewelers and designers with shoppers and readers.