Karla Olšáková interviewed by Jiří Šibor

Interview  /  Artists   Making
Published: 09.02.2017
Karla Olšáková Karla Olšáková
Jiří Šibor
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Karla Olšáková & Rudolf Rusňák. Necklace: Primitive, 2016. Slate, rubber.. Photo by: Mia Köhlerová. Karla Olšáková & Rudolf Rusňák
Necklace: Primitive, 2016
Slate, rubber.
Photo by: Mia Köhlerová
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Karla is enjoying focusing on the architectural quality of her jewellery pieces. She usually expresses herself by means of geometric language combining kinetic variability and architectural principles. Clean, discreet and refined, the core of her work is to explore the intimate poetry of jewellery. The range of materials comprises wood, veneer, rubber, concrete and slate; hence she finds the very strong expressive potential in these materials.
Karla's works was chosen for Schmuck 2012, 2015 and 2017 - The International Contemporary Jewellery exhibition in Munich and I asked her for a few questions:

How is it living as an independent talented jeweler, outside schools and big cities?
I have been living in Mikulov for four years and I really enjoy living in a seemingly small town, yet full of vibrant and inspiring culture. I love Prague, I lived there for 8 years and I like coming back to visit my friends or clients and gallerists. However, living in Mikulov is more convenient. Here, I am able to concentrate on my work. Simply, it is the right place for me, I feel like at home.
Do you discuss your work with other jewellery artists or any other person?
When making a new collection, I weave a small microcosm around me, a world of my own, where I don’t need anybody else. I approach the material and attempt to figure out what the material may allow me to do; I gradually work on different compositions and play a game of modifications. But it never takes long until I need to share my ideas with my boyfriend. He works with porcelain and sees things from a different perspective. Our long discussions are very fruitful and trigger my creative process. 
Do you collaborate with other jewellery artists or any other person?
Yes, I have collaborated on several projects and I really like it because when there are two of us, ideas come up twice as fast. I have worked together with jewellery artist Kateřina Matěchová under the label Dechberoucí since 2011. We have designed roughly ten collections together. I am sure that I wouldn’t have been able to embrace such a number on my own. It’s likely that I would have given up somewhere in the middle of the experimental process. That is the benefit of teamwork - when one of us grasps for breath, the other one is there to pick up steam, encourage and push forward.
The last collection called PRIMITIVE was a brand-new experience for me. I made it in collaboration with Rudolf Rusňák. And it was amazing, because the creation of the whole collection was very spontaneous and intuitive.
Karla Olšáková & Rudolf Rusňák
Necklace: Primitive, 2016. Slate, Rubber.
Photo by: Patrik Borecký & Tomáš  Brabec

What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction?
Usually things that are new or upcoming give me a lot of satisfaction. Searching for shapes and visual appearance or exploring possible ways of how to transform ideas into objects, all this is a great challenge for me. If I succeed in that, I get real satisfaction and happiness.

What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
Expectations may lead to disappointment, so I usually don’t expect anything. I am rather interested in people’s response, what emotions and reactions my work may bring.

What was the last inspiration, from other kinds of art or maybe from some life situation or alternatively from something other?
Inspiration is everywhere. It is important to have eyes wide open and perceive details. The last collection PRIMITIVE refers to simplicity, freedom, liberty and return to the roots. The collection is about true life and it articulates our connection to nature and landscape. It may be reflected as evidence of a last hitherto unknown primitive tribe in central Europe. It is brutal and raw and at the same time fragile and minimalist.

Karla Olšáková
Necklace: Treasure, 2015. Wood, Cotton.
Photo by: Mia Köhlerová

Where do you participate in the coming days, months - (events, exhibitions)?
Now, we are preparing with Rudolf materials for Schmuck 2017 in Munich that is due to be held in March. We are delighted that the PRIMITIVE collection will take part in this event. As for the rest, this year is one big surprise and I am very curious what 2017 will bring.

Karla Olšáková
Brooch: Go&Stay, 2016. Wood, Silver, Stainless steel
Photo by: Michal Ureš


About the Interviewee

Karla Olšáková, born 1983.
Awarded with the Marzee Graduate Prize 2011 by the Marzee Gallery in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Her collection was also chosen for SCHMUCK 2012, 2015 and 2017 an international contemporary jewellery show in Munich, and for LOOT, an annual exhibition of contemporary jewellery hosted by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

She currently works in Mikulov, the Czech Republic.

About the author

Jiří Šibor, 1966 Brno, Czechoslovakia. Since 1990 exhibited abroad and home, occupy mind by theme "Cold Connected Constructions" in jewelry; occasionally graphic designer, sculptor, curator of exhibitions and correspondent.