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Agnieszka Maksymiuk: Featured Jeweler/Jeweller & Wow-Factor Winner

A must read interview with our competition winner, based in the Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, UK

 

                                                                     City Ring

 

1) How did you get your start in jewellery designing, and please give our readers a little bit of information about yourself (upbringing, education, where you live etc...)?

Art has always been a big part of my life. For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed drawing and painting, even as a child, I was aware, that I become an artist in the future. My aspirations came true at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, when in 2010 I graduated MA Industrial Design course with the master thesis in jewellery. I’ve chosen jewellery as my main interest, because for me it is the combination of all the art disciplines (i.a. painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design), but in a small scale.

In 2011 I left my native country Poland and I moved to Birmingham in UK to improve my skills in crafting jewellery. I did HND Jewellery & Silversmithing course at School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University, to learn more traditional jewellery making techniques, where now I’m an Artist in Residence and visiting lecturer.
                                                                                   Sketches City Ring

 

 2) You mentioned in your bio that you initiate your designs with drawings, can you share an example, and the finished piece?


My first step in the design process is to find the right inspiration through the research, which in “City Landscape Pendant” was intended to expose strong relation between city and nature. Among all my sketches I choose one and work on it to make the final refinement. My drawing, by transferring onto the metal surface, has a new personation as a main part of jewellery.


'Looking into London'/Homepage Jewelspan site

 

3) What inspired you to create your Architectural Collection, which includes 'Looking into London' the Jewelspan's Wow-Factor competition's winning entry?

As most of my life I spent in a city, shape of buildings have always had influence on my artwork and naturally inspired me. Furthermore, my main objective is to catch the essence and potential of the particular place and tell the viewer a story, which is hidden behind each piece. I always find it exciting to notice customer recognizing buildings and wanting to purchase it because of the strong feelings towards this place.

                                                                       Striped Flint Stone Pendant

4) What gives you the most pleasure in your career as a jewellery designer?

I feel that designing and making jewellery is an act of creation. I’ve found the incredible opportunity to express my personal sensation and conversion into objects, which are a wearable pieces. For me jewellery is not only a pretty adornment, but each piece can have a meaning. The awareness that my products are very special and personal for the customers, that they become their innermost treasures, provides me great pleasure and self-fulfillers.

                                                                                  A Day in the Studio
                                                                  

5) What is a day in the studio like for you?

I’m based at Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, which is an amazing place for a jeweller. All the jewellery services and suppliers are next to each other in one area. There are many companies, so it’s very convenient to have a choice and possibility to do shopping anytime.

My design work I do at home, but to produce pieces, I go to a workshop, where during a week I’m staying late even till 8pm. I enjoy working in the evenings, more than in the early mornings.

 
                                                                                 Windsor Castle Ring

 

6) How do you promote your work in the UK? Do you do shows, sell to galleries, stores etc...?

I try to be active in self-promotion all the time. At the moment my works are in the RBSA Gallery in Birmingham at the “Melting Pot” exhibition, and in the New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham at the “Rising Stars 2014” exhibition, which is a touring selling event, and it goes to the Milton Keynes Arts Centre and the Smiths Row next.

I’m preparing for an Artist in Residence exhibition at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham, which will take place in May. In the same month I’m taking part in two craft-fairs: one in Portsmouth as an Emerging Designer-Maker, which is called Living Crafts 2014 and the second one in London as an external exhibitor at Made in Clerkenwell 2014. As you can see these are my plans only for next two months.

In the meantime, I apply for other fairs and exhibitions, which have mostly deadlines now, but take place before Christmas. Planning in advance is one of the necessary duties in a jewellery career.

 

                                                                                  Organic Collection

7) What advise do you have for aspiring jewellers?


From my point of view determination and good time-management are very significant to help make your passion pay. Having a strong selling point and being conscious of your designs are another essentials. You need to understand your work and be passionate about it, and when you succeeded it, customers will reply with the same feelings.

 

 
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