Harlem-based jeweler Katrin Zimmermann was born in Germany. Stylistically, her work is informed by extensive travels throughout both Europe and Asia. Zimmermann melds old-school handcraftsmanship with up-to-the-minute machine technology to create gestural, minimalist necklaces and bracelets that are contemporary but infused with the form and spirit of diverse cultures. Zimmermann is most inspired by the sculptures of Richard Serra, mobiles by Alexander Calder, and meditative aspects of Japanese Zen art. She works mostly with silver and acrylic; her organic Lucent series is fabricated from the latter. Although computer designed, each piece in the series is unique – laser cut, heat formed, and hand polished. Asymmetrical neckpieces and spiraling bangles – in a variety of glorious hues – often contain a randomly placed, faceted white topaz mounted in gold-plated silver. Large but graceful, the pieces are designed ergonomically, so they comfortably hug the body.
Zimmermann was educated in Switzerland, England, China, and the United States, and is fluent in four languages. She graduated from the School of African and Oriental Studies in London, from which she holds a degree in Chinese and Art History; she later studied jewelry design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Zimmermann is a member of the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches a course in professional practice.