February 14, 2016
May 28, 2015
You describe your designs as innovative and creative, pushing the boundaries both technically and visually. How do you achieve this?
I begin by capturing precious moments, using visual language through photography – freeze framing special moments that the human eye cannot capture. I’m always trying to find new and innovative ways to accurately translate these visual images into jewellery piece.
I have found that using 3D printing to turn 2D images into physical pieces works well. I then experiment on how best to translate the original visual image into a beautiful piece of jewellery. It is a painstaking process with a lot of trial and error, but it is an essential part of the creative process. Often new shapes and ideas emerge that allow me to push technical and creative boundaries even further.
Can you explain what new materials you use and describe how you marry the craft of ‘pate de verre’ and gem-stones into a metal-less mounting?
What makes my jewellery unique is that I use no metal, enabling the true power of the precious natural gemstones to shine through. These processes have taken me a number of years and more than a 100 attempts to perfect. As a result it is a closely guarded secret!
What traditional stones do you use? Do you use diamonds and what types of diamonds?
In my first collection, Splash, I use a wide range of precious natural gemstones to capture different moments. With my new collection, Aura, each piece will focus on just a few beautiful gemstones – with the emphasis on white and black diamonds. I look forward to refining my techniques to encompass more precious gemstones into my work.
What inspires you creatively? Are there threads that link each collection or do you start with a blank page? How do you see your jewellery collections evolving creatively?
My inspiration for the Splash collection came from a song called Sophisticated Love. When I first heard this song, its rhythm reminded me of water drops. I then imagined how these drops of water could be portrayed visually through my jewellery.
How do you see your jewellery collections evolving creatively?
My collections evolve organically from each other – building on the same original inspiration, but each time adding a new dimension. For instance, I am currently exploring the creative concept behind the Splash collection by imagining how a thousand diamonds might look when splashed against a physical object. My aim is to keep translating precious moments of my life into my jewellery – each time using new innovative materials, combining traditional gemstones with new creative techniques.
If you had to say which sector most aptly describes your jewellery, which would it be? Fine? Luxury, Fashion, Other?
I would describe my jewellery as being a combination of Fine and Luxury as I am using precious gemstones with each piece intricately crafted. However, my aim is to present them in a way that defies traditional categorisation and pushes the boundaries of how people connect with their jewellery.
Do you foresee a move away from the classic understanding of jewellery? Are there any boundaries?
The classic concept of jewellery is the combination of metal and gemstones. My jewellery challenges this, using new materials and processes such as hand-blown glass. I want to change how people traditionally connect to their jewellery. I want them to relate to my pieces on a much more visual and tactile level.
Have you always wanted to be a jewellery designer? What led to your first steps in this industry?
I have always wanted to be an artist and designer.
I grew up in China in an environment where I was surrounded by nature and art. My grandfather introduced me to art through teaching me traditional Chinese painting techniques. He translated the natural world into emotional works of art and this really resonated with me. So I followed in his footsteps and studied a number of painting skills while growing up. This influenced my later choice to study architecture as I was interested to learn more about how man and nature can physically interact. It was an intense education in 3D visualisation and as such was a great grounding for my current design work transforming the 2D aesthetic into 3D.
I have found that creating jewellery allows me to combine all my talents, translating visual imagery into actual pieces that capture and engage the wearer’s imagination in a magical way.
What is your plan for Beau Jewellery in the next five years? Is part of this, going to be working more closely with the fashion industry for instance (as other designers have very successfully done)? What other sectors do you think would be of interest?
It would be amazing if my jewellery was recognised on the international stage as one of the premier innovative jewellery brands. Whilst I may well consider links with fashion and other designers in the future, I want the brand to be principally known for its elegance and delicacy. I want my jewellery to be valued as ‘art’ pieces in their own right – showcasing intricate new techniques that have not been traditionally used before.