Let me explain something more about my work to you…!My work is what I love. It is my biggest passion and it lets me express my unbridled mind. However, it also means I’ve taken many roads to get where I am now, as I keep coming up with new ideas for my work.
Especially in the beginning, I made (almost) unwearable jewellery as a way to express my feelings. It wasn’t about adornment in the first place. In fact, I tended to use waste that washed ashore on the beach near my my holiday house as materials to create. For years, I saw the plastic candy wraps on the ground in the mountains, or the litter everywhere on my journeys… Pollution kept worrying me, and I felt that I needed to do something against it by making statements.
With a love for beautiful things too, I started collected stones (both precious and non-precious) which I used in my work. These works were mostly statements, but they were a lot smaller than my first work. As a self-taught artist, I gradually came up with my own techniques and it took me a few years to develop my own style. During this development, my use of material also changed: I started working with sterling silver and 14 karat gold-filled wire or with 18 krt gold to sculpture my jewellery and in my own techniques. After years of experimenting with different materials and styles, I found myself with a large collection of various sorts of wearable pieces.
On the one hand, some of these works were true statement pieces; these were jewels that expressed my criticism. As such, these pieces tended to be big and unconventional, their wearability or ‘beauty’ came second to the purpose of conveying a message, in some way. On the other hand, I had created an abundance of rings and necklaces, which centred around my love of the beauty of stones. By using my own techniques to set these beautiful stones in wire, I made them wearable, enabling myself to keep them close to me at all times. Each stone I worked with had quite a quirky vibe, because I used anything from pebbles found on the beach, to raw crystals and gemstones, and sometimes even faceted gemstones.
This duality between pieces that focused on statements on the one hand, and pieces that focused on the beauty of stones on the other, made it hard for me to characterise my jewellery in a straight-forward manner: it just had all of these varying aspects to them. I found the need to keep on creating sculptured jewels with a message, as well as creating these one off beautiful jewellery pieces with an edge, to offer an alternative to the more traditional jewellery out there. I did not want to limit myself to either one, and I decided I did not have to… this eventually led me to divide my work into two collections that I still have today: Arty Scenes and Conversation Pieces.
Arty Scenes is the collection with pieces in which I truly express my soul, my social criticism, and my feelings. Being an ‘outsider’ (art brut), I really just make according to how I feel and what I feel. I came up with the tongue-in-cheek name myself, and it refers to my critical attitude towards the definition of art.
Shoots, 2011/12 and 2017
In principle, I do not limit myself to any type of material in Arty Scenes, but the pieces tend to be rather big. In the past, some of the materials I used were pieces of glass, wood, small pebbles, vintage leather, cord found on flea markets… anything that inspired me. Nowadays, I mostly use sterling silver, 14 karat gold-filled and 18 krt gold.
One of my first shoots with Giuseppe Bini (Rome, 2016).
Arty Scenes is the collection that landed me my two first art gallery exhibitions over the past years. (There was a gap of a few years between these two exhibitions, as I did not feel ready to present my work at the time.) I made a bigger jump in 2017, when I was asked for a contemporary jewellery exhibition in Milan in 2018 and 2019. This is where I got enough confidence to work on a better image to present my work on social media. I recently updated my website to show more pieces of my Arty Scenes collection on the homepage, where the banners are largely dedicated to these pieces. I have much more to show you and I am working hard to upload even more Arty Scenes on my website…
My latest shoot by Alice Angelini (Amsterdam, November 2019).
The work that you find in my Conversation Pieces collection covers the other part of the duality as I discussed earlier. Conversation Pieces revolve around the beauty that I see in a stone, and the stones are set in wire with the sole purpose of making this beauty wearable in an unconventional manner. I developed different techniques to set the stones with, which resulted in different styles and vibes. Years ago already, these rings were noticed by many enthusiastic friends in London and all around the world, as my work tends to attract people who want more authentic jewels.
My growing list of clients frequently told me about the numerous times that strangers stopped them on their way to ask them about my jewellery that they were wearing… I realised quickly that these rings had become true eye-catching cocktail rings, which draw attention and spark a conversation. That is how I came up with the name of the collection: Conversation Pieces.
Shoot in Rome with Giuseppe Bini, 2016 & 2018.
In 2018, this collection got recognised by the Dutch concept store XBANK in Amsterdam, and not much later I was offered to sell my work on the New York-based platform 1stdibs. Of course, the largest part of this collection is available via my own website, that I update frequently.
Shoots with Alice Angelini (Amsterdam, November 2019); and Giuseppe Bini (Swiss Alps, February 2019)
Next to these two collections that cover both parts of the said “duality” in my work, I came up with my Purely Wired collection. This collection mostly consists of earrings, and is created out of my need for light-wear jewellery to take with me on my travels.
I started with my first Purely Wired earrings in 2012, because I wanted a pair of earrings made with nothing but wire. Today, the pieces in this collection are all shapes and forms created by me, and driven by my moods. My idea of beauty is personal and quirky (as you probably noticed by now), so even my seemingly ‘simple’ jewellery like Purely Wired will always have a certain edge to it… Never boring!
Shoot with Giuseppe Bini (Milan, 2018)
All in all, my collections differ from each other in a substantial and in an essential manner. Each of the three collections represent a part of me and my personality, and by naming them, a lot of confusion was cleared up!