Current Obsession: Jeweler Sofia Eriksson’s Stainless Steel Exam Project
For her master's exam project, Stockholm-based jeweler and crafts student Sofia Eriksson created a small collection of stainless steel jewelry inspired by the exploration of the human body and ornamentation.
Sofia is just about to be awarded a master of fine art within the field of craft at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design. After being on a break from her studies since 2011, working on her eponymous jewelry brand, she decided to go back to the classroom to explore different materials and methods at the so called Ädellab (the department for precious metals); and the result is quite stunning. After spotting the pieces on Instagram, we knew we needed some details.
You’ve been working already as a jewelry designer for several years. How was it going back to school?
– For me, it’s been amazing to study again and to experience the challenges and freedom that education gives. The Ädellab, meaning ‘precious laboratory’ if directly translated, was originally dedicated to metal works only, but has developed into a place for material experimentation. I have my roots in the traditional craftsmanship of jewelry making and metalwork, but during my master studies I’ve tried to extend the detailed way I treat materials, and use concepts related to jewelry in new ways.
We’re totally amazed by your exam project, what can you tell us about it?
– My exam project is called Beyond the Skin, and I’ve been exploring the stages of transformation by using the human body and ornamentation as tools in different ways. I see the act of adorning the body as an act of desire. We modify the original condition of our bodies in order to enhance or alter ourselves into a desired state of being. The work consists of a collection of jewelry in stainless steel, three garments in silicone and a video.
Would you like to share your creative process?
– In the process of designing and making the jewelry, I’ve worked with a wide variety of techniques and methods to investigate my subject; like collages, photography and installation. One of the starting points in this project was drawings of historical jewellery and anatomical drawings of muscles that I transformed to new hybrid shapes by blurring the silhouettes of them. Taking this 2D silhouette drawings and giving them volume through the technique of hydraulic pressing created new qualities in the materia. The way material, concept and shape informs one another is important in my process.
The jewelry is made from stainless steel. Why did you choose to work with this material?
– I chose stainless steel for its physical qualities, like the fact that it can get a mirror finish, which will create distorted reflections of the body in its surface. I also selected it for its almost anti-human connotations, being a material used within medicine and technology.
At art school, what discussions have you had revolving sustainability, and is this something you’re consciously trying to incorporate into your own work?
– We’re discussing sustainability in different ways. We talk about it in a direct sense when it comes to production and materials, and approach it through discussions and reflections regarding for example humanity’s place in nature and role in a future society. In my work, I think that the relationship between the natural body and the artificial discusses sustainability in relation to being human out of both personal and collective perspectives.
What’s up next for you?
– Now I’m looking forward to developing some of the ideas that I didn’t have the possibility to realize within my exam project, and to continue work more collaboratively. I will look into the possibility of working with photography in relation to my jewelry, and am planning to create a small series production of jewelry.
The Konstfack students are exhibiting their exam projects in Stockholm on May 17-27. Get all info here!
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