Was there a significant moment when you decided to follow your path as a jewellery maker?

There wasn’t a particular point that I decided ‘I’m going to be a jeweller’.  I started making jewellery when I was 12; weirdly my high school had a metal and jewellery workshop, so we all got an introduction to basic techniques and it has (on and off) gone on from there.  There have been conscious moments like deciding to apply for my MA at the Royal College of Art, London, or taking the plunge and working full time for myself, but mostly my path to ‘jewellery maker’ has evolved.

 

Can you tell us the process of making your pieces? What is the first thing you do?

I’m quite an instinctive maker; I don’t really sketch, I like to get straight into the metal.  I have the pieces in my minds eye and then it’s a question of realising them!!! Usually it takes quite a few metal models before I come to the final jewel.

Natura Morta: Buttercups
Natura Morta: Buttercups - 18k gold hand painted

Who’s your main inspiration for your work?

History.  The history of how people wore things, what they wore, and why they wore it – endless inspiration in there. It also gives a perspective on today and what we are choosing to adorn ourselves with.

 

What does jewellery represent for you?

Everything and nothing.  It is probably the one ‘luxury good’ that everyone in the world owns, whether that be a plastic trinket, wedding band or full on diamond tiara.  It can be used to symbolise power, wealth, status or be used to brighten up an outfit.

 

How important is it to you that your pieces be worn?

Most important is for them to be owned!!
My work has always addressed the fact that a piece of jewellery is not necessarily worn all the time. In my most recent pieces – Against Nature – they are both object and jewel; when not being worn they can be displayed as small sculptures.  Similarly, with the Natura Morta pieces, the boxes and folios they come in invite display.  But this is all within a context of being worn, that’s what jewellery is about.

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IRENE BELFI
GALLERY

P.IVA 02270080563

VIA NINO BIXIO 12, MILANO
M2 PORTA VENEZIA

INFO@IRENEBELFI.COM
+39 0249618176

Photo credits
(Portraits and Gallery space)
Studio LAPSUS