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One to Watch: San Francisco Designer Mariele Williams

Instead of the unattended-to mail, errant articles of clothing and various electronic gadgetry one might expect to find strewn across the desk of the average 21-year-old SoMa resident, there’s a band saw and what remains of a pheasant carcass perched on the one belonging to Mariele Williams, whose leather, antler and feather jewelry made us stop and stare (in a good way) during a recent visit to The Perish Trust.

Amid the Divisadero Street antique shop’s vintage typewriters and oddities from bygone decades, Williams’ work stood out as both very here-and-now and yet still somehow curiously unique. And so we were not at all surprised upon talking to Williams this week to discover that the local jewelry designer and artist conveys much the same vibe.

During the daytime, you’re likely to catch redheaded Williams at Lower Haight Street boutique doe, where she’s both an employee and the shop’s current artist-in-residence. If she’s not there, she’s likely at her second job as an assistant to San Francisco artist David Gremard Romero. By night, Montana-born Williams fires up the band saw and gets to work fashioning jewelry made of wood, antlers, feathers and other found objects sourced mostly from her family’s hunting trips and her own adventures (you can read about the new materials she found during a recent road trip through the Southwest on the doe blog).

While Williams’ jewelry at doe tends toward the simple and demure such as one-of-a-kind wooden shapes suspended from hammered rose gold loops, her current show at The Perish Trust focuses on high drama accessories laden with rooster feathers, bone and carved leather. And while it’s true that feather accessories abound these days, we think you’ll agree that Williams’ take on the trend rises above the fray not just with its commitment to sustainability, but also by incorporating unexpected metal shapes and touches like “feathers” fashioned from leather scraps. It also doesn't hurt that her pieces are insanely affordable ($20-$100) - for now at least.

Want to see it for yourself? Find her work at The Perish Trust, 728 Divisadero St. or doe, 629A Haight St., 415-558-8588. Find out what she’s up to right now by visiting her blog.