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Sigrun Conscious Jewellery
Sigrun is equal parts a craftsman and a designer.
She trained at London-based jewellery artist Husam el Odeh and later assisted goldsmith Orit Elhanati before starting her namesake line of handmade pieces.
We visited Sigrun's workshop south of Copenhagen, where the forest functions as both her home and workplace.
She takes inspiration from the surrounding nature to the realm of jewellery design - from its unique structures to a more conscious approach to materials, using primarily recycled (reclaimed) precious metal, "old" gold, and silver, which is cleaned and used again.
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a jewellery artist?
At a very early age, I started making small figures in beeswax - and I probably just never stopped. (Sigrun shapes most of her jewellery in wax and casts them in silver and gold). I do not remember ever deciding that working with jewellery should be my way of life, but at the same time, I have never seriously considered doing anything else. Everything I have done, the trips I have been on, and the education I have taken have all been about jewellery. First in a craft related way, then business-wise, and then as a designer. It has given me the strength and faith to wear all the many hats it takes to be independent.
Have you had any mentors in this industry, and what is the best advice they gave you?
During my design education, I was lucky enough to get an internship in London with my biggest artistic role model, the jewellery designer Husam el Odeh (@husamelodeh). I was allowed to oversee the jewellery production for a show during London fashion week. He taught me a lot. But the only direct advice I remember he gave me, was late one evening after a long day in the workshop where he sat with a bleeding finger and so much accounting work and said: "when you consider starting your own business, don’t. … and when you do it anyway then..." What he meant was that, on paper, it might not be the best idea to start your own business, but I know you will do it anyway. It also emphasized the fact that it has never been a rational decision from my end, but the experience that this is something I can and must pursue.
Tell us about your creative inspiration.
My inspiration comes from nature's structures, contemporary architecture, and ballet. The movement of the dancers is so aesthetic. I think that most creative people have this mental treasure box to draw on. Mine usually opens by itself when I sit down at the workshop table. Other times I wake up at night and have an idea for a new way to make a ring or the solution to an earring I have been working on. The creative processes are always at work within me, and a minor frustration arises if I do not have the time or space to materialize them. Structures fascinate me, and they are usually always included in the preparation of new designs. Structures complement shapes and can either be the basis of the design or the final touch. I have just completed a stone setting course, so hopefully, there will be more stones in my jewellery in the future - stay tuned.
What do you want people to feel when wearing your jewellery?
Valuable and Empowered. Jewellery has the power to express style, character, and attitude! When I develop new pieces, I always focus on the placement of the jewellery and how it should interact with the body, and how it works "in motion". In this way, I hope that those who wear my creations have the experience that the jewellery becomes a part of them.
Do you have a most treasured item in your personal jewellery collection?
In 1933, my grandmother and grandfather got engaged at Svinkløv Badehotel. My grandfather gave my grandmother a thin twisted gold ring, which she wore under her wedding ring. I now have it, and it means so much to me. Also, my engagement ring that my husband had designed and made by Orit [Elhanati, red.], whom I assisted at the time. That piece will always be particularly precious to me. It is as if I have never succeeded in creating something for myself that can measure up to the affective value of these rings.
What is your vision for the future of your brand?
To create a healthy and in every way sustainable business. To design jewellery that is handmade with consideration and aesthetics at the fore. For me, it is in the artisanal process that poetry and magic arise. I want to preserve that.