Jarrod Napierkowski is a Grand Rapids woodworker specializing in handcrafted earrings. Taken from organic material, each piece is wholly unique and one-of-a-kind. When cutting into a piece of wood, Napierkowski is inspired by what he finds inside and allows the patterns to influence the design of the piece.
Similarly, the site CurlyHost constructed allowed Jarrod’s creations to speak for itself. His earrings quietly speak volumes about the environment that forged them and the site is a minimalist representation of that work.
“I think that creating wooden jewelry is an extension of this passion for creating that has always been with me.”
“I have always been someone who has worked with my hands to create something strange or new out of something else,” said Napierkowski. “You should have seen my room growing up—it was a hodgepodge of strange creations, paintings and inventions. I had a full-on chemistry set in my room that enabled me to create fireworks with timed fuses and multiple colors, I painted a 6 foot sun on my wall with oil paint (which I later found was very hard to cover up), I had a series of ropes and pulleys throughout my room so I could do simple tasks like “turn on a fan” from across the room, and I had a wall covered with handmade wax creations.”
“I think that creating wooden jewelry is an extension of this passion for creating that has always been with me and seeing how others bring it to life with their own personal style is so fulfilling. It inspires me to develop new designs and practice new techniques as I know that there is likely someone out there that the piece will speak to.”
“I have always feared that if I rely on it to pay my bills and put food on the table, it will lose the passion and drive that keeps me coming back.”
“The most challenging aspect has been balancing it between being a hobby and a full time profession. I fear that leaning on it too much for financial support could result in my love for it dwindling.”
“Often I am inspired by a shadow or a brief glimpse of a fleeting pattern created by moving objects.”
“The most fulfilling aspect has been seeing what I can take in as inspiration and then put out as a physical object. Often, I am inspired by a shadow or a brief glimpse of a fleeting pattern created by moving objects. I try to focus on what caught my attention and what excited me about that particular combination of shapes. I then try to recreate that spark in a way that may not be an exact replica, but still evokes the same feeling. There are also times that I will go in to my workshop and have no idea in mind but just start creating something. Often in this instance I don’t know what a piece will be, or when it is done, until something clicks, and I feel like there is no need to proceed.”
“You may pursue a passion only to find your true calling in something else along the way.”
“My advice to someone who wants to start something is to just start it! Don’t hesitate, don’t wait, just start creating or producing something. You may pursue a passion only to find your true calling in something else along the way. We are given limited time and if you spend too much time planning you may miss out on something that truly fulfills you.”