Dr. Joie Taylor, aka “Yasha,” redefines what it means to be a renaissance woman. She traces her trademark style — rare gemstones in surprising settings — to the experiences of her past, explaining that each step she’s made on the map informs her creations. Utilizing hand-selected, responsibly-sourced precious and one-of-a-kind gemstones, her jewelry evokes her history as an engineer, dancer, musician, and healer. Allusions to dance are found in the graceful curves of her art pendants, while her work as a musician is found in her bold stage pieces. Exacting craftsmanship and geometric twists nod towards her years as a metalsmith and scientist. Meanwhile, Yasha’s ongoing work as a healer shapes the greater context of her work, and several pieces in her collection were fashioned with specific restorative qualities.
A member of the Lahaina Art Society, Yasha’s jewelry exemplifies the modern woman: Powerful and feminine, brave and sensitive, vibrant and unexpected.
The environments that have enthralled Yasha are made manifest in cutting-edge but timeless compositions. From diamonds to opals and turquoise to larimar, each gemstone is carefully selected to be worn both every day and for special occasions. Every piece in her collection was also built to endure — and to be worn from generation to generation.
Yasha holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Clark Atlanta University and a Ph.D. in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. She got her start in jewelry as a self-taught bead-smith, which was followed by two years of courses in the fundamentals of jewelry manufacturing, metalsmithing, and gemstone setting at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center in Maui, Hawaii. Yasha handcrafts pieces herself while also working with a team of jewelers to manufacture her designs efficiently. In design, she calls upon her engineering CAD design experience with Matrix for ultimate precision, as well as 3D printing and casting. She calls the South Side of Maui home, and is constantly at work on fresh, innovative pieces.