Raluca Buzura interviewed by Marietta Kontogianni

Published: 27.09.2017
Raluca Buzura, photographed by Idena Beach. Raluca Buzura, photographed by Idena Beach.
Marietta Kontogianni
Edited by:
Edited at:
Edited on:

© By the author. Read Copyright.

Exploring the most of ceramic, creating the most from porcelain, taking care of it as much as handling the life, meeting our ceramic jewellery artist Raluca Buzura and checking out more of her work at upcoming event Sieraad Art Fair.

Ελληνική έκδοση - Greek version      View / hide description

I met Raluca Buzura, the jewelry artist from Romania in 2016, when she visited Greece for the first time, invited by Erato Kouloubi to show her ceramic jewelry in a solo exhibition called "Irreversible" at Popeye loves olive Art Space in Athens. 
I remember being very happy trying on Raluca’s statement necklaces and brooches which are really amazing!
Since then Raluca Buzura participated in a lot of important exhibitions and fairs, Joya Barcelona (Alliages selection), Sieraad Art Fair (Amsterdam), Loot MAD about jewelry (MAD Museum New York), to name only a few.

At the end of September 2017, she showed her work in a one-day event in Barcelona, the EXPOSICIÓN ARTISTAS 137°. This was an exhibition hosted by the “137 degrees Artistic Studio” where she currently works, like an “opened door day”, where everyone interested, could not only see the works of the artists involved in the activity of the studio but also meet them and get to know more about the process  behind the final art piece. In the same evening, they celebrated the launch of the online platform FRIKI FISH, a platform that wishes to gather a selection of ceramic artists and link them with the public.
Finally 9-12 November 2017 she will be presenting her new edition of jewelry, which is at this moment getting the shape, in the upcoming Sieraad Art Fair in Amsterdam.

Tell me 5 things about you and your art to get to know you better.
Everything that I translate in my work says something about me and the public can get to know my insides just by analyzing it.
1. The first thing that I could say about me is that I am truly devoted to everything I do in life because in the end, I consider that only like this you can grow a beautiful and strong heritage, no matter if we are talking about creating an object or human relations.
2. I am very sensitive, every action affects me, good or bad, but I try to canalize it into something creative.
3. At the same time I’m also stubborn, cannot give up on something until I know I made my best in order to solve it, maybe this is one of the things that helped me and kept me on this line so far.
4. I am honest and I disregard any forced gesture made just because the society considers it a trend.
5. And not the last, I believe in positive and constructive attitude, negative feelings generate the only destruction around us, it is just a matter of personal choice which path you want to take.

Extinct species, brooch, 2017, black porcelain, colloidal gold, artificial leather, brass and steel brooch pin. Photo by: Lars Christiansen.

Why did you choose to work with porcelain in the first place? What did attract you to porcelain and how does it make you feel when you work with it?
I believe the choice was the other way around, porcelain chose me several times.
While being in art high school, the choice of following the ceramic department was just a teenager’s thinking, I chose the group where my closest friends were. After a while, the results started to show up: attending the national contest of ceramics, I won two years in a row the first place which leads to an automatic admission in the Ceramic’s Department of Art and Design University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Even though I was already having a safe spot in ceramics, my preference back then was to follow the fashion design department. It took a short time to realize that my thinking, my heart, my hands were willing to create other kinds of objects, the horizon became clear and I knew I had to return to ceramics.
Ever since then I remained faithful to the material I feel appropriate the most and that listens to my ideas the best: porcelain. Because working with it means different stages, from liquid to solid, but fragile in all its versions, it requires a lot of attention, just like taking care of a life; if you don’t handle it right it breaks.

Dripping from my aching chest, neckpiece, 2015, porcelain, colloidal gold, acrylic paint, artificial leather and silk thread.
From the collection Tell me where it hurts/hearts the most. Photo by: Raluca Buzura.

Most of your works are statement neckpieces. Why?
During my master degree in the ceramic department, I was inclining to create complex installations composed of multiple pieces, then by the time they became wearable installations. I work mainly neckpieces because they offer me the widest surface to develop my ideas and also because is the part of the body that can sustain, physically and visually, the whole ensemble.

How long does it take you to create a necklace?
I cannot quantify exactly the time that I spend for creating a necklace, but because this was the most frequent question I encountered, I decided in 2014 to create a collection starting from this curiosity. The name of the collection is “14.612 minutes” and represents the amount of time that I spent in the studio working on it, because in the end, reduced to an abstract thought, what I offer to the public is my time transformed into these pieces of jewelry… and which is the most precious thing above everything, if not the time that we have?

Gold rush, neckpiece, 2014, porcelain, colloidal gold, artificial leather and gold plated silver chain. Photo by: Raluca Buzura.

One of your neckpieces the “Gold rush” (2014) made it to the cover of Nicolás Estrada latest book “New necklaces” released in 2016. This necklace is composed of mice!  What made you create a necklace with mice?
The origins of this necklace go back in 2009, before starting my path in the jewelry field. While I was still developing ceramic art, I had a project based on human fears and phobias, and it consisted in two installations composed of a multitude of animals that create us an unnatural reaction, among them also the mice. After 5 years, I decided to resume the idea of this installation into a new object, taking just the formal part and giving it a whole new connotation. This time, the mice do not represent the object of the human fear, but it’s a metaphor for the society itself, a society that is permanently running to achieve material fortunes in their limited lives, like a herd hypnotized by its “golden” leaders.

Where do you get inspired from?
Sources of inspiration can be found everywhere around us, from the material to the spiritual world. There are though some elements that awake in me a certain interest, then filtered through mental connections they get translated into a concept which in the end gets the material shape. Inspiration can be in music, architecture, nature, visual art, society, feelings, positive or negative events, you just have to dig deep enough in you to find what affects and interests you. Then, you will know for sure that your creations are honest, because you will try to find the best materialization to reflect and to communicate the message you want to transmit.

I made myself wings so I could fly, neckpiece, 2015, porcelain, colloidal gold, artificial leather and silk thread. From the collection: Tell me where it hurts/hearts the most. Photo by: Raluca Buzura.

Why do you create jewelry mainly in white and gold? I’ve seen only a couple of pieces in grey or black and gold. What does that small amount of gold mean?
Until two years ago I was creating also colored pieces, had collections entirely colored, but I realized I was hiding under the color the material itself which has its own life and beauty, then I decided to show it as it is, playing instead more with the shapes and textures. When I create jewelry in white with a sparkle of gold in between, the piece receives a pure atmosphere, a signature of innocence that has the role to enlighten the one who’s wearing it.  Then, the touch of a small doze of gold, comes to create contrast for the eye and brings light, because gold is the sun, is optimistic and positive, gold adds richness and warmth to everything, is generous and giving, compassionate and loving, the benefactor or patron, sharing its wisdom, knowledge and wealth with others.


About the Interviewee

Raluca Buzura attended the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, department ceramic-glass-metal, and then, from 2007, she followed the master in the same section. During the studies, her works were in the ceramic installation area, participating in various projects and exhibitions. Since 2009, the main focus becomes contemporary jewelry. Her interest in jewelry may also come from the fact that this area has not been given much attention. Frequently, people use to see it only as an overplus brought to the human body, that has a value depending on the material used. Therefore, it was also a challenge to change viewer’s angle and to reveal an alternative, and more precisely that jewelry can be considered a work of art in its own right, having an artistic understanding, concept, and message that can cover a wide range of fields.

About the author

Marietta Kontogianni is a Greek journalist based in Athens.
In April 2016 she founded JEWELRYbox Magazine on Facebook that aims to network with the people involved in the jewelry world. She has been working as a journalist for more than 20 years in newspapers, magazines and TV channels. Meanwhile, she had been creating fashion beaded jewelry herself. When the newspaper she was working for since 1995 bankrupted, she decided to found the bilingual (Greek-English) FB magazine
JEWELRYbox to keep on working as a journalist and to express her passion for jewelry.
Up to now, she interviewed almost all of the prominent artists that showed their works in Athens and attended all the lectures given by the renowned artists/ gallerists, curators in Athens since 2016.
Moreover, her
JEWELRYbox Magazine was a media sponsor of both Greek jewelry platforms: A Jewel Made in Greece 2017 and Athens Jewelry Week 2017. Her future plan is to have a website built dedicated mainly to the Greek jewelry world.