Top drawer: fashion news and views

Insight: Necklace of sterling silver with jade, turquoise, clear quartz and moonstones.

“Give me people who are earthy, natural and lacking in pretense,” says jewelry designer Akiko Gordon. “It is their work I emulate.” That wild, untethered influence is readily apparent in the artist’s clustered, textural creations.

From 1996 to 2001, Gordon was a host sister to Japanese students in Massachusetts. One of these exchange students taught Gordon to make jewelry in 1999, and she’s been perfecting the art ever since. In 2001, Gordon relocated to Asheville with her boyfriend and increased her repertoire to include gothic and Lolita pocketbooks and bags, T-shirts and plush toys. She sells them locally at Earthworks Gallery (452-9500) and Indigo Salon (454-5460), both in Waynesville.

Gordon’s one-of-a-kind jewelry—featuring sterling silver, semi-precious stones, pearls, antique findings and fossils—run from $25 to $500. Asymmetric turquoise beads, swirls of oxidized silver and natural metallic pearls all conjure up the Asian roots of Gordon’s first name, but when she sets to designing, Japan isn’t necessarily her first thought. “While I am intrigued with many styles of jewelry, it is tribal influences that endear me the most,” she says. “This work reflects life on earth that lacks the self-consciousness and sophistication of ‘more civilized’ societies.”


• [left] Pearls of wisdom: Charm bracelet with freshwater pearls.

• [right] Spirit healer: Bracelet with a handmade chain, turquoise, clear quartz and Bali silver beads.


• [left] Ancient mountain: Necklace of sterling silver with tiger-eye, turquoise, river rock, fossil stones and leather cord.

• [right] Purple wildflowers: Necklace of amethyst with clear quartz and jasper.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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5 thoughts on “Top drawer: fashion news and views

  1. Jill

    WOW!!! What beautiful work – Akiko Gordon’s the real deal. Love “Spirit Healer”! Nice job.

  2. Leigh

    Her jewelry is gorgeous! I just looked at the website and her artwork is stunning as well…more local shops should carry her work.

  3. Not that these aren’t outstanding works of art, but we’ve had a lot of extremely flattering comments under different names from the same I.P. address (aka sockpuppetting). Please take all of these comments with a grain of salt unless they are posted by a verified Xpress site member.

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