I think I first encountered Hark + Hark years ago, by way of a pop-up shop I co-founded with creators Catherine Richards and Anh Tranh. Even then, I could tell they were ahead of their time: each of their pieces was simple yet imaginative, created with an eye for minimal design and a touch of kooky humor.
So when I visited Catherine’s architectural installation at the Contemporary Arts Center (go see it now) and she showed me a few of the designs from their new line of on-trend sculptural rings, I was completely on board. I asked about their design inspiration, how the production process differs from their do-it-yourself roots, and how their art and science backgrounds influence their work.
Remind me again how Hark + Hark got started.
Hark + Hark is a big art project for us. We are inspired together. We are always mixing magic with a little mystery and mischief. We like to see what new idea we can make real. I think Magritte said it best: ‘Everything visible reveals something that is invisible.’ We make art; we design experiences and products. Everything we make has this feeling of outer space exploration, combined with a little bit of rock and roll, combined with glamour.
What was the inspiration for creating this line of rings?
We have been designing jewelry for several years. We had this idea for a ring made with a cube stone and went looking for the right stone. That one simple design led us to a whole collection based on Galileo. We are inspired by his thought process, his sketchbooks, and his combination of art and science. Our brand is a melding of science and art in the same way. One of us (Anh) studied science at university but has worked in art book publishing, and the other (Catherine) studied architecture and now works as an artist. We allow ourselves to be influenced by different disciplines, which lets us explore and figure out new ways of working and seeing.
How does the design and production process work?
We draw up the designs exactly to scale and work with master jewelers in New York City to produce the designs. We have sample rings now, but are excited to showcase our new collection in the coming months.
I love how architectural everything feels. Where can people find the collection?
We have products listed online at harkandhark.com, and in Cincinnati we are currently selling products at Sloane Boutique in Over-the-Rhine.