Please tell us a little about yourself. How did your career in this field begin? Why jewelry?
I have a professional background in fashion, doing a fashion design Bachelor and working in the industry for quite a few years. During the time, I gained various insights from costume designers and also from a brand perspective in Munich, London, Mexico City and Berlin. I’ve always strived for getting advice from different artists and people around me, who inspired me in many ways. When I started studying, it sometimes felt like I could have chosen any subject in order to follow my creative voice and the obsession with figures and sculptures, especially with the human body. Making jewelry eventually came to me by coincidence, when I was still designing for a company; Designing something so little sharpened my concentration again; alike meditation, it helped me process a lot of personal topics.
Your jewelry is handmade. Where did you learn this? What tools do you use in your work?
I grew up in a family of free and active people with a strong hands-on mentality. All my three siblings, same as I, chose something practical as their profession, where you can create and invent at the same time. We had a very playful and experimental childhood, thus an important education for improvising and just making anything possible. Based on my self-taught hand - modeling skills, I got an interest in making jewelry when space and sources were limited. I stuck to it, being curious about new techniques - such as casting- but also about other creators. Not only jewelry designers, in particular people who make big sculptures with their hands I love to watch and ask. The greatest tools, to me, are my eyes and my hands.
When and in what setting do you prefer to create? What does your workspace look like?
Often there is no perfect set-up accessible. As I travel a lot between Mexico and Berlin, I need to be flexible. A multidisciplinary routine helps me to always allow my ideas to flow. It starts with a sketchbook / journal, that I can use even on the bus, and it ends in my spacious and open studio in Mexico City, where I have a large desk with everything I need and a few vintage boxes to store my collection and photos.
Most of the jewelry is made in the shape of a hand, which gives the products a certain style. How did the idea to use this symbol come about?
The first set of earrings were ones I made for a muse of mine. I got the chance to meet and dress Rodrigo Zorzanelli, a fascinating performance artist and philosopher. They inspired me a lot in times when I had lost the connection to my own creation skills. I think the symbol of a hand came to my mind to reveal a deeper need: to follow the passion of making, being close to the product and shaping materials instinctively. In the end, the hand stands for the magic of this genuine process, the depth of uniqueness, but also for holding, giving, releasing. I consider our hands to be the most precious resource we have, especially in view of times when anything artificial feels no longer reliable.
You use certain materials in your work: silver, polymer clay, rose quartz, gold-plated brass, freshwater pearl. Why do you choose these materials?
As an autodidact I don ́t want to limit my selection of materials with the messages they carry by being too pragmatic or commercial. I am a collector - of vintage finds, beautiful stones, peculiar things with an authentic story - and have the the automatism to turn them into something useful.
The interest in sculpting led me back to polymer clay, something we had as kids, making things for our Barbie dolls. It allows to work detailed and has all the attributes for a durable and wearable piece. At times, I use clay for prototyping because I try to keep the material ́s natural texture. The casted silver and brass pieces make visible the amount of coincidence and imperfection I love to allow.
Where do you get inspiration to create your jewelry?
Most inspiration comes from living creatures and the miracle of life itself. In fictional worlds and myths against norm, I find explanations for our contemporary social structures, which I aim to explore and question by working on narratives holistically; Building big sculptures, directing fairy-tale performance pieces with them, staging naked bodies or styling editorials make my routine to reach the core for my designs.
What jewelry do you wear yourself? Any favorites?
Using pieces of jewelry is a fantastic way to always feel dressed and, with this, protected. Its relevance lies in the personally given meaning, that one always wears it so close to the body. The Silver Hand Earrings or Charms bring me luck, and the flashy statement pieces like the Satyr Necklace give me confidence.
What difficulties does a jewelry designer face? What helps you to continue creating jewelry?
In all the fast fashion dream worlds I have seen, I always realized how essential value is. We are responsible for the things we make and throw out into the real world. Sustainability is our toughest challenge, as it is the most important.
To me, the answer can be found in putting the best of everything into a small range of products. All your creativity, effort and fantasy, same as good materials, for each product - this can create something poetic and powerful, that deserves to be used and loved. The response of people I can make happy with my jewelry is the greatest gift.
What are you aiming for? What are your plans for the future?
Referring to my personal tale, to go on with my own individual journey, accepting the challenge is my biggest aim. Things have to be kept moving in order to make them better. I see it as my purpose to touch things or humans where I have the ability.
What would you advise novice jewelry designers?
Create and innovate. Be fearless. Be patient. Genuinely believe in your vision and its progress. Ask others for help if you need them in order to learn more.
Text bu Lyubov Melnickowa @lumenicka