There’s no denying that jewelry is an emotive purchase. For designer, Cristina Ortiz it’s her life’s calling. “Jewelry is emotional,” says the Milan-based fine jewelry designer. “We connect to it on a personal level and it’s a connection that lasts throughout time.”

Growing up in the Canary Islands, Ortiz’ designs are inspired by the scenic surroundings of her childhood—the sun, sea and volcanic terrain—but it’s her family that remains her greatest inspiration. “We are very close,” says Ortiz. “They have always supported my dreams. My mother gave me the artistic sense of clean design and proportions, and my dad, the determination to follow my dreams.  ”

Graduating from the esteemed Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris, Ortiz worked for some of the world’s most notable luxury brands before launching her eponymous line of fine jewelry. “Working with prestigious fashion houses is a complex process,” says Ortiz. “You have to use your own creativity and perception to interpret the essence of each brand and their customers. The designer brings out the intrinsic DNA of the brand and develops it into a coherent image under their expression. For the first time, creating my own line allowed me to express my personal DNA,” delivering one of her greatest rewards as a designer: Freedom of expression.

Treading the fine line between whimsy and glamor, Ortiz’ coveted pieces are all handmade by Italian artisans; the designs, both delicate and sculptural. The collection is truly unique with an aesthetic and craftsmanship of its own. For Spring/Summer 2015 strong motifs and graceful silhouettes abound—these pieces are show stoppers. The most iconic piece; the angel ring in black rhodium plated white gold and black diamonds, destined to be a favorite for years to come.

“The concept behind the collection is that jewelry is an extension of our essence, rather than an accessory,” says Ortiz. “I believe the essence of an individual is a multi-faceted balance between light enchantment and dark mystery.” Timeless treasures for the emotive lover of exquisite design. CristinaOrtiz.com — ANGELA GILLTRAP