Guest designers at Romanian Jewelry Week 2021

Published: 22.09.2021
Alexandra Bujenita
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Daniela Saraya and Claudia Lepik.
Daniela Saraya and Claudia Lepik

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Alongside more than 190 designers participating this year at Romanian Jewelry Week, two guest designers were invited to showcase their special projects - Daniella Saraya (Israel) and Claudia Lepik (Estonia). Both their works feature a performative aspect of jewelry and a unique connexion to the human body. One in a digital context taking about matters of the heart, one in an architectural and fashion approach to face and nose jewelry.

Daniella Saraya was born in Tel Aviv, Israel (1988) . She is an artist and a curator, completed her bachelor’s degree in jewelry design (2013) and her master’s degree in multidisciplinary design (2017) from Shenkar College (Israel). In 2019 she started studying in the class of prof. Karen Pontoppidan at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. Over the past decade, she creates jewelry and participating in exhibitions both in Israel and around the world. Her works question the Boundaries of the jewelry, focusing on its performative side and its connection to the body.

Project showcased at Romanian Jewelry Week: Take the heart as an example. 2021

One of the most interesting questions that arise when we think about jewelry is the question of the value of the material (and the cost).  Throughout history, it has been customary to make jewelry from materials that were considered precious and expensive, mostly metals and stones. In our work today we have an opportunity to question it through jewelry, challenge and ask about the reasons why we consider a particular material as expensive or valuable. What are the things we choose to sanctify, to empower, what makes us consider something specific as precious?

Over the years, the thought about jewelry in relation to these questions is undergoing significant change, coming from critical thinking about the source of the material we use and how it was created. more than that, to whom this material belonged before, and what was sacrificed for it to reach us. Making jewelry today is an opportunity to offer new ways of defining material as valuable, by a deeper understanding of the ideas and meaning that the material represents.

For me, the most valuable thing about jewelry are the people wearing them, the body that gives them life, turns them from objects into actions. When I say the word body, I mean everything we are, our thoughts, feelings, and experiences - our identity. and sometimes also things we are not, Things we could have been, or things that are reflected through us. The body is full of ideas, related to history, politics and culture, ideas that resonate when working on it and can be used to tell our story. Our organs and their actions Became a central part of our language and are often used as a metaphor to describe emotions and situations that are not physical.

Daniela Saraya. Take the Heart as an Example, Brooch, 2021.

The connection between the physical and emotional meanings of the body is well expressed when one thinks of the heart. An organ responsible for the internal movement of the body, that activates us and allows us to be alive, but also became a symbol, as the organ carrying within it our emotions. In this series, I want to suggest the use of jewelry as tools to express our feelings, and to suggest our feelings as the precious material, valued higher than any other material in the world.”

Claudia Lepik, Cluster Residency Winner 2021, is a jewellery artist based in Tallinn, Estonia. In her crafts, she is dedicated to face and nose jewellery. Movement and sound are key elements around what she works on and her main inspirations come from theatrical fashion and traveling. She obtained her jewellery BA degree at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2018 and was the recipient of the EAA Young Applied Artist Prize the same year. After graduating, Claudia has participated in multiple group exhibitions in Estonia and Greece. She was 3rd jewelry resident at 92Y in NYC in 2019 and in the same year, her first solo exhibition took place in Autumn during NYC Jewelry Week. She was chosen to be 1st Contemporary Jewellery resident for Cluster Crafts in London in 2021 and will have her second solo exhibition in London in October. She is in love with her hands and letting them dictate almost the whole process from sketch to final piece. The main material in her big scale works is brass which is differently manipulated to create an almost garment-like feel from afar but then close by you can see the stiffness of metal. Taking time for each piece is her way of communicating with her emotions and also her way of including her interest in fashion in her creations.

Claudia Lepik. Cosmic Landscape, Body Piece, 2019. Brass. 8.8 x 10.5 cm.
Photo by Kristiin Elmat.

Claudia’s work will be showcased at Romanian Jewelry through a special collaboration with Cluster London. Founded in 2016, Cluster has grown into a celebration of diversity, style, material, and themes, of ethnicity, background, age and class, a melting pot defined solely by the artistic necessity to express. To date Cluster London has held eleven fairs, including ones dedicated to Illustration, Craft, Jewellery, and Photography. With over 300 creatives featured, Cluster has formed a community of practitioners, which it supports through a program of monthly gatherings, career support, one-on-one development sessions, talks, seminars, and workshops, as well as the opportunity to take part in an ongoing series of curated projects and more.

Claudia Lepik. Face Mask, Body Piece, 2018. Sterling silver, fabric ribbon. 17 x 11.5 cm.

Shy by nature, I am quite a workaholic, most definitely got it from my parents. My language is more visual, that’s often the reason why I prefer taking pictures overwriting. In my works, I combine fashion, jewellery, and photography to bring my visions to life. Different interests have come to me naturally and I always seek to find new inputs to my journey. Otherwise, I think there's a sense of Northern European mysticism. Living in Estonia, one has to survive half a year of winter and we have endless forests here, so I think these are strong influences. I just really like to go walk next to the sea and let it carry my thoughts. Putting my ideas and visions into words has proven to be a hard task for me.
/ Claudia Lepik for a  Cluster London interview.

>> Read more about Romanian Jewelry Week Designers here.

About the author

Alexandra Bujenita
is the PR manager of Romanian Jewelry Week team, Art developer of Creative team of Imbold Cultural Foundation, Founder Delalu, PR account at Hello Menthol and Acuarela - Bucharest.