The power of Jewellery isn't just something that looks good I find jewellery has to be meaningful in order to for it to stimulate the wearer. I find jewellery is something that has this power to help someone be it through and individual scenario or with others. It can have the power to heal, help and form narratives to start a conversation and I think this is with investigating which is why I continue to design to this day!
"...if you design something with that extra of though the power gets enhanced"
- Lorna Romaneghi
I spoke to Lorna who is a Scottish Jewellery who graduated from University of Dundee and her pieces are very much to do with the world that surround us such as nature and looking beyond the structure of man. Jewellery is meaningful to her as she uses the inspiration of nature as a form of relaxation when she feels stressed.
For my many years of jewellery design I have always seen the stereo typical designer have this theme of nature and at times it can be over saturated. However, with Lorna she tends to do something different, nature is her catharsis abd has the ability to look beyond what she sees. When she goes on walks she sees more than the aesthetic she sees the way nature moves and smells. She sees more towards how it interacts with the world around it. I would say Lorna is the type of designer and person who sees the world instead if looking.
What I like about Lorna is the time she spends with her wearer/ user providing this personal touch. She provides every client with a "Prosperity book" were they put their names, date and their story. Their story then becomes a narrative and on day an heirloom and then it passes onto the next generation in which they will pass on their stories, making the pieces of jewellery timeless and eternal.
Lorna wants to find ways to reinvent the term heirloom as jewellery has this ability to capture memory and create strong bonds be it a time shared with someone or a moment in time that you want to commeriate.
She sees jewellery in a more deeper level even as a child she would have this black box with jewellery from her relatives, each with a story to tell and I find that so special and it creates this sense of wonderment of where has this piece been? What did it see? Whats its experience? This is such a powerful thought and I can see how this can bring such power to jewellery with this everlasting narrative which continues to be written to be written as long as its been existing. I like the concept of people being remembered throughout time in a journal as I feel this is super interesting to read how people lived, and having this piece of jewellery as a piece of history traveling through time and the experiences the jewellery pieces must of seen.
This is why I want jewellery to go in the direction of having purpose to see someone designing the concept of capturing a person's memory, personality and story rather than it just being nice like you see in the high street or commercial markets. There is meaning, there is purpose, their is value and in this case a memorable story that creates empowerment through history and in a way this provides an almost superpower of time travel to the wearer. I think this also provides a sense of empowerment and creates conversation and using this could help with someone that perhaps doesn't have confidence in themselves and just by someone saying:
"What is that"?
Is enough for someone to take interest and engage in conversation (although in this time of covid_19 im not sure if the same rules apply but I digress)
When interacting with her clients or users she would sit down and chat to them not about the usual "what her size is" or "what colour stone you want" it is always " who is she", What she like" this personal touch almost encapsulates the person inside the stone and this further preserves both person, memory and jewellery.
As we continue to discuss the immortality and meaningful sides to jewellery we went on to discuss our experience at university and what students tend to design. We found it is not because its what they are told its what they believe they should do. As previously discussed a lot of the time students tend to make souley aesthetic pieces and since they are given this brief and deadline, you then feel caught up in this experience and begin to have this mindset of "this needs to get done!"
You get caught up in this making process in order to get it finished, but this way of working needs to be reconsidered. We believe that at times its good to jst takw a step back and remember not so much the "what" but the "why":
"Why are you doing this", Why is this important to you"
Lorna acknowledges that students may have the house but almost dont have the foundations, and at some point it will collapse in on itself because they do not have this driving force that pushes them to make and if your making things that are aesthetically interesting you can only go so far as your not selling anything unique or offering something unique and if you don't push yourself into that your not really engaging with people that want to buy your collection.
She also goes on to say that alot of the time many designers struggle to sell their work an therefore question themselves if its then and maybe their style has gone stale and perhaps needs to update their collection but whats important is that sense of reflection of:
"why do you make?"
This is a tough question to answer for most designers as you do get carried aways and sucked up in the making to present in the degree show and also their final deadline but they need to remember why is it you make or what compelled you to take this vocation in the first place, what is your reason, your purpose?
Alongside this we noticed a lot of the time this occurs during degree shows were graduates present what the topic of their jewellery is about but it doesn't really present that meaningful piece or they are not talking about themselves. She believes there is a detachment between the maker, topic and creations and there should be this underlying "WHY". This driving force allows you to not feel bored of your values. This driving force provides a bit more confidence and security in knowing what your doing is right and gives people that foundation and even if they collapse at least their values based on previous foundations.
This was an interesting conversation as it encourages makers to rethink and give them this sense of purpose. I then went on to talk about the aesthetics and form over function in the jewellery industry and if this will ever change. Lorna seemed very hopeful and believes it is changing as she sees that maybe people are stepping back in this 80's materialistic behaviour as before it would be just to complete an outfit as people had the money and the materials. Now she believes people are stepping back and scaling down in perhaps "cheaper materials" but with the dawn of social media with people talking about themselves and sharing stories it gives jewellery this opportunity as a talking point and hopefully people will get more involved instead of the use of mass production. She believed this since no two people are the same jewellery should also be unique and this is what people want, this unique selling point. Hopefully during this time people can reflect, educate and perhaps question the world around them and embrace the time you have and even educate themselves on the industry they knew nothing about. I do hope the jewellery design industry does does change its values an maybe I don't have to change everything but it's nice to encourage and see change happening one step at a times and throughout my time talking to Lorna not only have I been refreshed and educated its made me feel I am not alone in this thought and that in this isolated world of 2020 thant in itself is the best part!
Thanks everyone for taking the time out to read this and for more on Lorna's Interview you can view my Youtube channel for the video version:
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Founder of Reimagine by Kteodesigns