For Caroline Whittington, owner and designer of giantLION, creating jewelry isn't about trends or seasons, but about making pieces that are timeless and elegant, and that are at once bold statements of individuality and an homage to treasured memories. As she tells us, "Jewelry always spoke to me on a personal level because it can be very symbolic. I recall having a very special connection with the jewelry of my grandmother and mother, and I think jewelry should be something to be savored and passed along to the people you love." Indeed, there is something exceptionally delicate and mysterious about Whittington's creations, likely the product of this fascination with symbology and jewelry as a carrier of meaning and sentiment.
Since her childhood, Whittington has seen herself as a craftsperson, citing her early love of materials and nature as an inspiration for her work today. She studied at the Ringling School of Art and Design, and then earned her BFA in Craft and Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009, with a specialization in metal and ceramics. Soon after graduating, she put aside freelance painting and illustration to focus her energies solely on jewelry-making. And in 2011, giantLION was born.
GiantLION is a collection of cuffs, rings, necklaces and earrings that are simple, soft and feminine, while showcasing the raw materials from which Whittington crafts them in her Washington, D.C. studio. Her design staples are metal and stones, and her jewelry is fashioned with sterling silver, 14k yellow and rose gold, bronze, brass, gold vermeil and gold-fill chains. These classic foundations are accented with handmade African beads, Swarovski crystals and conflict-free VS-S1 diamonds.
The pieces are, fundamentally, a collection - they are meant to be worn together, to be mixed and matched, and to be staples in every woman's wardrobe. To Whittington, the wearer of giantLION is, "totally stylish, a little bit eccentric, probably nostalgic, definitely classy and cool, and can't help but stand out from the crowd."