“Brass has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, this warm metal is versatile, easy to mold and holds a striking presence. Brass goes against our present day throw-away culture, while it can age beautifully if left to pletina, it has the ability to be brought back to life and can last forever if nurtured correctly” (Jenifer, 2016). Speaking exclusively to HausMag, Brooklyn designer Jenifer Reck showcases the brilliance of brass through her bold collection of jewels for her label Brash Cat.
Brash Cat | Fish with Spikes Bracelet
Having moved from the Philippine’s to New York as a child, Jenifer was inspired in her youth by the immigrant experience and her mother’s bold pursuit of her dreams in New York. Since then, she has always admired the alpha females among her family and friends, “there’s nothing sexier than a woman who looks good and is in charge”.
This admiration of the alpha female is a strong theme in Jenifer’s work, her designs for Brash Cat are elegant and modern with a fierce edge, reflective of her own personal style.
Brash Cat | Fish Cuff | Fish Cuff with Spikes
Travel is one of Jenifer’s biggest inspirations, she finds culinary experiences particularly poignant. On a trip to Capri, Jenifer picked up a recipe for paccheri with fish, when she makes it at home she says it has the power to bring her right back to that trip. This particular culinary experience inspired Brash Cat’s playful fish collection.
“A great piece of Jewellery can be a reminder [of a trip] like that as well,” says the designer, who always tries to pick up a piece of jewellery from local artisans on her travels.
Jenifer takes a hands-on approach with her creative process, “I love getting my hands dirty carving waxes and reforming prototypes. It makes me feel like a kid playing”. Once Jenifer is finished with the wax process, the piece is handed over to her artisan partner to be made into prototypes. Then, they are sent back for a final mold and cast in brass, Jenifer’s metal of choice.
Brash Cat | Leaf Necklace
Jenifer chooses brass for the majority of her pieces due to the high quality of the metal, “there’s so much scrap metal junk out there these days. It initially appears cool but is ultimately disposable. That’s not Brash Cat”.
Brash Cat | Octo Hoops | Bubble II Ring
The substantial presence of brass compliments Jenifer’s style, giving the pieces a bold finish and bringing a unique flair to the Brash Cat designs. “The material represents the attitude of the brand. It is not so rare that it’s out of reach for most women.”
Brash Cat | Octo Bracelet
The desire to empower women is very much at the heart of the Brash Cat, in-keeping with Jenifer’s vision that “the women who wear Brash Cat feel feminine and powerful at the same time. I think that’s special, but I hope it’s not unique”. As the brand grows, Jenifer hopes to do more to support this cause, which is being embraced more and more in the fashion industry.
Brash Cat | Fish Cuff
As any entrepreneur, Jenifer is required to split her time between being a business woman and an artist. While getting the balance right is difficult at times, when compromises must be made the art always comes first. “A nice piece that no one knows about is better than a big promotion for nothing.”
When asked how she wants people to feel in her designs, Jenifer says:
“I want them to feel like Wonder Woman wearing her magic cuffs. They can do anything.”
With thanks to Jenifer Reck for her insightful words and artistic inspirations.
Written by Anneka Shally
Edited by Christina Wright