One of the amazing things about jewellery is that it’s made all over the world. And one of the amazing things about social media is that you get to see work from designers you’d never otherwise see!
I just loved Simone Bartolucci’s designs when I saw them on Instagram, and didn’t realise until later that he’s actually based in Rome!
Here he talks about his inspirations and how he originally started out as a product designer…
How would you describe your jewellery?
My ambition is to create synthetic, but simple designs.
How did you start creating jewellery?
I originally wanted to become a product designer, but as soon as I finished university I had the chance to collaborate with a company that produces very modern jewellery. They used composite materials, combined with metals and precious stones. I then saw how my design skills could be used to produce jewellery and that’s when I decided to go into jewellery design as a career.
Why did you fall in love with jewellery design?
After being used to designing larger, more complex products, the first thing that struck me is how quickly you can move from the idea to the finished product. It’s all so much smaller than a chair, a table or a sofa. And even the production process is much quicker too.
Lots of contemporary jewellery is still made in a traditional way. But there’s so many new exciting technologies available now which means I can create some complex designs which are still affordable for the customer. This makes it very exciting and means I can focus fully on the designs and not worry about the processes.
What’s your favourite part of being a jewellery designer?
Jewellery is so interesting. Although it’s a product, it’s also a piece of art.
It doesn’t have a real practical use, like a lamp, a screwdriver or a pen would, but they must be designed and manufactured in the same way.
The reason for their existence is to decorate, celebrate, and remember. They’re almost always loaded with meaning by those who design them, who wear them and who gives them. They also often have a “social function” because they help to communicate something in relationships between people.
Because of this there’s a lot of space for concepts within jewellery design and that’s why I love it.
What materials do you use?
I like to include precious metals and gemstones in my work, but I also love experimenting and looking for more unusual and unexpected materials to use in my jewellery. So far I’ve had the chance to work with composite materials such as carbon fibre and glass, epoxy resins and materials used in 3D printing such as fusible resins or other types of plastic. I love to work with materials that people might not expect jewellery to be made from.
What is the favourite piece in your jewellery collection?
I really love the GRAVITY ring. It has the shape of a knight, but the central stone and its concept make it a loner. The solitaire indeed helps to say “I love you” giving the utmost importance to the person it’s given to. This concept is represented by the stone that seems to deform the surface on which it rests because its weight is too large. It’s made of carbon fibre and a ruby.
What is your proudest moment of being a jewellery designer?
When I finish a job and I’m happy with the result, it’s definitely a good moment. But the best moment of all is when I deliver it, and I see the enthusiastic and satisfied customer’s look. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Do you sell your designs all over the world?
I don’t have any sales channels to sell internationally at the moment. But I can certainly ship my items around the world if customers want to buy my work.
Do you work directly with customers? Or do you sell your work to galleries?
I often work directly with private clients, but I also work with galleries here in Rome. I’d also like to expand in the UK and more generally in northern Europe … I’m working on it!
What inspires you?
Inspiration can come from anything, but when I need stimuli I go looking for them in design objects trying to capture details and start from there to design a jewel. Digital art also interests me a lot and there are several 3D artists that I love to follow.
A jeweller must be very multi-skilled – ie web designer, photographer, teapot etc. How do you find that?
It’s very tiring but it’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about this work. I never get bored and there’s always something new to learn!