Have you always been so strong aesthetically? And is it something you’ve been brought up with?
I have always been difficult to make happy. Aesthetics is not something you can buy or order in the mail. To me, it is something you are born with. If you are afraid of failing, you will never achieve success.
You use the techniques hammering, burning and dripping. What do these bring to your jewellery and why exactly did you fall in love with these techniques?
When you build jewellery like miniature sculptures there are so many layers you have to build. So, I drip it; layer by layer. The gold needs to tell a story, so I use my hammer. I melt the gold to get it to drip again and to create the texture I want to achieve. I am completely in love with this way of working, because to me, it is all about the material. Seeing and understanding every inch of the material—and my material is gold.
You only use conflict-free diamonds—how is the supply chain in the jewellery industry? Is it difficult to control?
Of course, we work with papers and certificates and GIA certified diamonds, but at the end of the day it is impossible to be 100 per cent certain. We do everything in our power to ensure that we know exactly where all of our precious stones are from, that they are from conflict-free zones, and we work only with certified local suppliers.
I like your thoughts about jewellery being something that is kept for an eternity, something that we borrow for a period in time, never fully ours—they are imperishable in an ever-changing world that, without exception, disappears.
Ultimately, we do not really own anything. It is just something that we tell ourselves. But we can put feelings in our jewellery to give it a special energy, and then one day, it will feel incredible to pass on to someone you love. Jewellery is something that you keep with you and your family forever. It is indeed something borrowed, something that is never yours to keep. In reality, it gets passed on to the next generation, who eventually passes it on to the next generation again. The future generations are very important and knowing that what I am creating lasts beyond time, drives me in my work.
I know you have a daughter; do you make her jewellery? And what meaning does it have to create pieces for someone you care about?
The beautiful thing about having a daughter, and especially at the age that she has now, is the fact that she comes as you with 100km/hr. My daughter does just that. She grew up surrounded by the craft of making jewellery and she has spent countless hours in my atelier. To her, it is a completely natural thing to observe how the pieces are created and she has a huge respect for the art of creating jewellery. Given her young age, Palma already has some incredible pieces of jewellery. But she just told me that gold is so last year…