Designer Spotlight: White Space
Elegant asymmetrical jewelry from Seattle-based designer, Khadijah Fulton.
It was during the 90’s grunge era that Khadijah Fulton originally felt her calling toward design. Trained at Parsons New School for Design, Khadijah relocated to Seattle after spending over a decade in the commercial fashion industry, cutting her teeth in this demanding line of work well before she embarked on her own line. Making use of the some of the most durable materials on the planet, White Space toys with the unknown space betwixt dichotomies, the “white space” in between.
Every piece is handmade in the White Space studio in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle. Khadijah uses silver, gold, and diamonds as well as asymmetrical forms in her jewelry to inspire both individuality and intimacy. Khadijah strives to achieve balance, whether that be in shaping her line of jewelry, or in the constantly shifting roles she find herself in as a woman. Along with the birth of her son came the birth of White Space. The young mother keeps the hectic bustle of women’s lives ever present in her mind when designing, making her jewelry utilitarian as well as glamorous. “As a new mother,” Khadijah says, “I wanted to create pieces that were easy to live with all day, interesting enough to allow your personality to shine, and could speak to a desire for quality and timeless design.”
What do you love most about what you do?
I love that the ideas that I feel compelled to bring to life can not only become reality but actually take on meaning and significance for someone else, or become an outward expression of their individuality.
Mental: gut instinct, curiosity, openness, perseverance, wonder, courage. And by the way, these are all things for which there is a daily pursuit, they are not mastered!
Physical: my sketchbooks, hammers, files, torch, saw, so many other comforting tools that help my ideas come to life.
What is your most loved object?
My engagement ring. It’s by one of my favorite jewelers, Malcolm Betts, and is not only sentimental for it’s obvious meaning and that time period in my life, but also is a daily inspiration in terms of gorgeous, simple craftsmanship, and the beauty of imperfection.
Who do you consider your greatest inspiration?
I don’t really have one greatest inspiration. There are so many people I’ve known in my life (or not personally known, for that matter) whose strength, creative spirit, boldness, elegance, charm, adaptability, confidence, kindness, selflessness, wisdom, innocence, patience, have been inspiring…not to mention all the beautiful things one can see just walking down the street, and how people present themselves to the world… I long to be continually inspired.
The idea of dichotomies and bringing disparate elements together in a subtle way to create something new. I’m a bit of a mish-mash, and have always had an appreciation and thirst for so many different things creatively that sometimes I feel like with my work I’m looking to define the spaces “in between” those things. That’s actually how I came up with the name White Space.
How does Seattle influence you as an artist?
Seattle has a nice balance of a more relaxed pace of life, where people really enjoy the beauty of nature and fresh air, along with an appreciation for art, music and craftsmanship. There are incredible things going on in the world of food and lifestyle in particular, and every day I feel like I’m discovering people doing exciting new things in the city, opening great boutiques, creating gorgeous products, etc., without the harsh grind of a bigger metropolis.
Who are 3 other artists you are inspired by?
EEsh! Just three? Ok…The photographer Loretta Lux, the musician James Blake, and Line Vautrin. ….And Caitlin Mociun. Had to do 4 – her work is just awesome.
I take a 20 minute drive from my neighborhood that is rich with natural beauty, into the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood downtown that is rich with urban beauty. All in all, a lovely commute that gets me ready to create and get my hustle on.
What do you see out your studio window?
A bustling corner in Pioneer Square, where century-old buildings and modern glass towers come together, along with people from various walks of life, fantastic street art, and the world renowned Salumi shop. Yum.
How do you celebrate your creative accomplishments/meeting your goals?
Usually dancing around, enjoying a moment of unabashed excitement with my son (kids are great for that), eating something decadent, and then investing in more tools or things for the business and dreaming bigger.
It’s ability to highlight a person’s beauty and individualism in a very visceral way… It’s a little thing that makes a big difference, like the perfect red lipstick. I also love that it’s the way that we continue to adorn our bodies with Earth’s little shiny treasures. It’s a universal human experience – we can’t help ourselves! People have been doing it since the dawn of time.
How does your design process begin?
Usually with an idea – sometimes they literally just pop into my head, sometimes they come from something I physically see that makes me think of something else, or translating a particular shape or juxtaposition into a something wearable. I then sketch to flesh it out, or take to the bench to start working it out in metal.
What is one thing you would wish for in the next year?
Laser Focus. Being a “design-preneur“ in the digital age is an incredibly amazing opportunity but it’s also challenging in ways that those who came before us never had to deal with. Like many creative people, I naturally can tend to be a little “all over the place”, but the ability to be really focused on a few key things that need to come together to make my creative voice heard is a challenge I am excited to pursue.