VK Designs consists of Valerie Kasinskas; sole creator currently (happily) focusing on designing and creating unique engagement rings, wedding rings and other meaningful pieces. I operate in a tiny jewelry studio located in Portland, Oregon where all materials are ethically sourced and each piece is fully handcrafted. I love creating custom work!
I hold a bachelors degree in metalsmithing. I chose to focus on metals because I love the physicality of working with it, utilizing specialized tools and continuing the legacy of time tested techniques.
I became dedicated to ethical materials after traveling and having first hand experiences in my husband's home country of Peru. I’ve been humbled & inspired by people who have been directly affected by gold mining; the people of Choropampa, which has the largest gold mine in South America. In July of 2000 there was a massive mercury spill that devastated the community. Many people died and many suffer permanent heath problems from this exposure. This incident is only one example of how mining communities are negatively affected.
I support efforts that are safer and cleaner than this by using 100% recycled metals. I also utilize only certified conflict-free stones and donate a percentage of my profits every year to organizations that support ethical practices & materials in the field of jewelry.
I transform recycled metal and unexpected stones into comfortable, functional jewelry. The forms are organic, feminine, bold, textured but are also leaning on the edge of modern and simplistic. I work in palladium, sterling, all karats of gold, and silver and love working with uncut or raw diamonds as well as rose cuts and other unexpected shapes. I focus on wedding rings and engagement ring but create all types of special pieces including necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
My daily mantra is to make each day better than the one before. I make this happen in many ways which range from using ethical materials in my creations to donating a portion of my profits to charities that supports mining communities.
I carefully choose the most responsibly sourced materials & demand transparency with my suppliers. All the metal I used is 100% recycled or Fairmined and all diamonds are certified conflict free. I stay informed and support mining reform efforts locally and internationally.