Meet the Designer: Elena Kurginyan
1 Describe your brand in one sentence.
Contemporary jewellery translating movement through metal.
2, What inspires your designs?
Pretty much anything can be inspirational from everyday life/objects and experiences to museum/gallery visits. I am also very much inspired by people, locations and memories.
3. What type of woman is an Elena Kurginyan customer?
Someone who likes sculptural jewellery, aesthetically I love to explore curve and like my pieces to be appealing just by themselves as objects. So I would describe someone as confident, feminine and creative.
4 How long have you been designing and what inspired you to get started?
I have always been interested in design, but designing and making jewellery in particular- during my bachelor degree in Central Saint Martins. Before that I was studying graphic design and fine art, so I think when I realised that I enjoy the making process of 3D objects that was the point of discovering jewellery design.
5. What was the first ever item of jewellery you designed – and do you still have it?
Probably one of the first projects, I believe it was made of wood and copper, representing ‘contained memory’. Basically making something sentimental, and having an idea of a container/ box.
6. What kind of designers did you intern with, and why did you choose them?
I interned for a very short time at Vivienne Westwood.
7. Who inspires you, both from the jewellery world and other spheres?
A lot of artists inspire me - I can give an example such as Tracey Emin. I think because of how honest and sometimes ‘raw’ her work is that is exactly why you can relate to it. The main subject is herself - her feelings, her desires, her experience. I do like when there is a story behind any art piece. From the jewellery world I am inspired by Stephen Webster - I just like his approach to jewellery, inspiration points and bold designs. Also, Shaun Leane, his works with Alexander McQueen.
8. Who are your jewellery idols and why?
One of the contemporary jewellery designers that I really like is Gerd Rothmann. I admire his approach to jewellery - and that there is an emotional connection between a piece and a wearer. I also really like the visual aspect of his work- shape and structure of the pieces, but most importantly the message behind each one of them. As a result he creates a bond between a piece and a wearer, that can evoke strong emotional responses to them.
9. What are your main goals for your jewellery brand?
I guess the main goal is to be able to combine making everyday jewellery and contemporary sculptural pieces as well.
10. What has been the best part of your jewellery journey so far?
So far, I guess, having an opportunity to exhibit my work and get feedback from people in the industry.
11. Any advice for someone just getting started in jewellery design?
I would advise to be experimental and most importantly to always keep getting inspired from different sources outside of jewellery. Researching and really start ‘seeing’ everything around you.