Jef Hoo is an American artist, designer, architect, husband and father, who grew up in upstate New York. He lives with his wife and two children in Virginia, where he maintains a studio on the banks of the James River.
Jef’s inspiration comes from nature’s endless variety and beauty. He views nature as a romantic formula for all living things, executing the grace and essence of the individual form. As an architect, he believes Jewelry and Architecture are very similar; both react to their distinctive site. Jewelry adorns the human body, and has to move with it. Therefore each Jef Hoo piece contains special features designed to allow the jewelry to react to its wearer, accepting rather than rejecting the actions of the body – such as a ring rolling on the finger with the movement of the hand or an earring wiggling with the movement of the head.
Since childhood there have been two constant influences in his life: Nature and Jewelry. Each of Jef’s jewelry collections focuses on one natural element that has influenced his life in some way. His current collection, Sea Life, is a tribute to his relationship with Water.
For as far back as he can remember, water made him feel comfortable, relaxed and reassured. Growing up he spent countless hours on the pond on his family’s farm, located in the middle of dairy country in the rural upstate New York hamlet of Machias. At age 8 he was entranced by the fossils and sea shells he found in this land locked pond, and wondered how they got there, so far from the ocean.
When he was 10, Jef’s family moved to the banks of the James River in Virginia, and travelled extensively in the Caribbean and the Philippines. His explorations of river and ocean formed the basis of a lifelong love of water and marine life. Whether swimming with schools of tropical fish, exploring ship wrecks or hunting for Revolutionary War relics, he was “hooked” on the wondrous creatures of the sea.
Jef comes from a long line of engineers, artists and jewelers, stretching back at least 100 years. He combines his love of marine life and jewelry with a third critical element which infuses his work with a unique beauty: Architectural Design. His education includes rigorous training at renowned institutions including a B.A. in Architecture from New York’s Pratt Institute, a Master’s Degree in Advanced Architecture from Columbia University and advanced study in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Jef loves combining formal geometry with natural, organic forms. Much of modern jewelry consists of stripped down designs with very little bold detail. Jef Hoo jewelry exists to express his vision of the bold, elegant, and oft times humorous beauty of the natural world. His chosen medium of earth friendly and sustainable precious metal, and conflict free gemstones, gives the discerning collector a chance to possess beautiful, one of a kind art, hand made by a master craftsman, in the traditional way – where lasting value and beauty still reign supreme.