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Jewelry does not need to imply wealth, power or status. Interview with Iro Kaskani by Klimt02

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 13.12.2021
Iro Kaskani Iro Kaskani
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klim02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2021
Iro Kaskani. Brooch: Even if, 2021. Silver, dried prickly pear leaf, jesmonite, porcelain powder. 9 x 6 x 3 cm. Photo by: Demetris Vattis. Part of: Selected artist for Gioielli in fermento 2021. Unique Piece. Iro Kaskani
Brooch: Even if, 2021
Silver, dried prickly pear leaf, jesmonite, porcelain powder
9 x 6 x 3 cm
Photo by: Demetris Vattis
Part of: Selected artist for Gioielli in fermento 2021
Unique Piece
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
I was drawn to Contemporary Jewelry because by reading and studying about it as well as through my experience as a creator, I came to the conclusion that we have to set Jewelry free from the narrative of the past. The materials, symbols, connotations and semiotics of a jewelry piece need to keep pace with the times. Jewelry does not need to imply wealth, power or status anymore, nor contain prejudice.
Tell us about your background. What were your first influences to be creative and become an artist and what has drawn you to contemporary jewelry?
Going back to my childhood, I remember myself continuously inspecting the hands of the adults – almost not paying attention to whatever else was happening at that moment – and being enthralled by the rings they were wearing. Beads and bits, buttons, and mechanisms were my favorite toys, and when left unsupervised I was always peeking into my mother’s jewelry box to explore. In my teens, I started getting some first ideas, mainly for rings but also for other types of jewelry. Later, when I was studying architecture in Florence, when I first started visiting the university library, I found a book illustrating rings made by architects, from the Renaissance up until the book’s publication, in the mid-1980s. This book became my favorite of all the books in the library and, in a way, my refuge. I also made sure, early on, to find and attend a Jewelry Making and Design course. The knowledge and skills I gained from the course pushed me to start making jewelry and keep being up to date on the subject in my spare time when I was a student, as well as later on when I returned to Cyprus and was working as an architect. In 2007, I decided to become a jeweler full-time.

I was drawn to Contemporary Jewelry because by reading and studying about it as well as through my experience as a creator, I came to the conclusion that we have to set Jewelry free from the narrative of the past. The materials, symbols, connotations and semiotics of a jewelry piece need to keep pace with the times. Jewelry does not need to imply wealth, power or status anymore, nor contain prejudice. At the same time, it is no longer considered as a mere adornment or fashion accessory. I see jewelry as a self-expression of both the person who creates it and the person who wears it. And then both want to share it with the public. Sometimes while working on a piece, I arrive at certain conclusions: that architecture and jewelry are very much alike due to their special relationship with humans, and the fact that they interact with our senses. Or that alternative materials give me more of a challenge to make jewelry “shine”.


How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
Networking has always been essential. It’s the way we reach people; potential clients and associates, fellow artists, event organizers. The difficult circumstances we went through over the past two years, turned the internet and social media into perhaps the most powerful networking tools at our disposal. And I don’t think that this will change with our return to normality. Through these tools, we can promote our work and obtain information about exhibitions, galleries, workshops and other events relevant to our sector. Even online events offer good networking opportunities for the people of the field. What has been worrying me for some time now, is that we may need to spend more time on our screens than on the bench.

 
Thinking about your career, what role do technology and the digital play in your artistic development & communication?
I believe that every artist needs to take advantage of the technological or other opportunities that are available in their era. This is an element that may help them break free from the past and create something entirely different. I would say that technology and digitization contribute to the design as well as the creative process. Currently, I’m using a few CAD software programs, while I’m also employing laser cutting. I also make use of composite materials. I always try to be up to date on the new capabilities of technology, but I also have a need to create with my hands.


How has your work changed over the past few years and what are you excited about these days?
Certainly, many things have changed. Most of the changes are primarily related to how I understand the concept of jewelry itself, as my engagement and activity as a jeweler expand. Also, the different materials I use and experiment with have also led me to a few other changes. During this period, I’m once again in discovery mode. In this new project, I am trying to create surprising pieces, by simplifying the creative process. I don’t know how this sounds, but for me, it means working in a completely different way than in the past. It is very exciting that I’m now challenging myself to think, create and work differently than I used to. I don’t have a predetermined design in my mind or sketches that I try to follow. Instead, I let the process find its way to the final result. As such, I no longer feel the need to strive for originality, while I continue to maintain a perfect technique. In a sense, I become the spectator of my own work.
Appreciate APPRECIATE