From a terrace of silver, among threads of silk, grey gauze, black velvets and crystal discs that darken like bronze in the sun. Beauty story featuring precious pieces by Monocrafft worn by Johanna, shot by Marco Giuliano and styled by Anca Macavei.
Tell us a bit about you and Monocrafft.
I started Monocrafft in 2014 when I was in search of a new challenge while I was working as a fashion stylist at a corporate clothing brand for a couple of years. During my job I went to evening classes where I learned the craft of metal smithing. It had a meditative influence on me, working on a very tiny object for hours, thinking about nothing else. What started as a hobby turned out into a successful jewelry brand with a wonderful team, worldwide sales carried solely by our own website and store & atelier in Rotterdam. My jewelry is known for its delicate and detailed designs, without unnecessary decorative additions. I like to integrate the efficiency of a closure or a pendant into the design, which sometimes comes out as a little mathematic project at first sight, but as soon as it’s worn it all makes sense. Everything is handcrafted in silver or gold in my atelier in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
You state that you see your jewelry as sort of protective talismans for the big journey called life and your inspirations stem from numerous points from ancient patterns, ethnic tribes, the shapes of shadows, and also music. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Because I wear my jewelry around the clock, it goes with me everywhere, just like keeping a talisman. And when I do forget to put it on after working out for example, I feel “naked” and a bit restless. My jewelry has become a part of me and as silver or gold will age by time, it tells a story by all its little scratches and “scars”. This is also the feedback I get from my customers, a lot of them become Monocrafft collectors, as my designs are timeless and solid quality they will add bit by bit new pieces. In general they have a lot of graphic lines and symbols. I get inspired by shadow plays, as they make interesting and mysterious dark images in motion and beautiful patterns. Another inspiration for me are ancient tribes, their traditional customs and the way they decorate themselves to show what they stand for, especially their jewelry and their placements, it inspires me he how beautifully crafted and authentic it all looks and how it unites the whole family or tribe. Music definitely inspires me as well, but more in a spherical way than a specific song used as a concept.
Is there any kind of jewelry you prefer to design over others? And if so, why?
I do not really prefer one design over another. I make and design jewelry that I would all wear myself, so all pieces are my favorite. I do wear some more often than other, but this is due to the level of efficiency while working, some are just too chunky to wear during smithing.
I understand your process in creation does not involve physical sketches but ones you create in your mind so in the end, you end up with a surprise. Which piece have you made that surprised you most?
My first earring to be honest and so I figured out this is the way for me that works. As I am not a very good 3D illustrator, I doodle some on paper but mostly visualize the idea in my head. After I will go straight to bench and start soldering. With this particular earring, during the craft process I was like, well that doesn’t work because I didn’t think about a certain part of the earlobe and have to go another way which in the end turned out to be much nicer and more unique than what I’d doodled. That’s why for me this way of making works very well, I like to be surprised during the process and like this process to be loose and without any detailed drawings upfront. I can mold the final design along the way as I work with my own ear or hand as a model.
Any future plans you would like to share with us?
I recently opened my first Monocrafft store next to my webshop and it is wonderful to be able to showcase the jewelry in a space and atmosphere I designed myself. In a physical store you can create a Monocrafft world by adding music, props and scent. Working with materials other than silver and gold, I realized that creating in general is something I really love to do. Whether it is a display for my jewels or a little ceramic vessel. So why not making other products next to jewelry?
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Jewellery: Monocrafft / @monocrafft
Makeup/hair: Elena Gentile / @elenagentilemuah
Editorial assistant: Inga Lavarini / @ilavarini
Interview: Maylyn Bertorelli / @twiggymay
Set assistant: Ksenia Geller / @gellerlab
Set design using: Backdrops Canvas / @backdrops_canvas
Model: Johanna at Brave Models / @eddajohanna @bravemodels