World-renowned jewellery blogger Katerina Perez reveals her dream jewel, highlights the value of jewellery as art, and recommends role models for emerging artist-jewellers. Hear her thoughts on the topic of jewellery as art at our next exhibition in South Kensington.
What is it you love most about jewellery?
Jewellery is an art form, and an incredibly personal one. The jewellery we choose to wear and why we wear it becomes part of the story of each individual. Jewellery is as old as human civilisation itself, and has always been associated with not only personal adornment or displaying wealth, but distinguishing yourself to a particular ‘tribe’. We can trace jewellery styles, components and techniques through the ages, and across the world, cultures and religions. It is one art form which celebrates individuality whilst inherently uniting all of us.
When did you decide to train as a Gemmologist and what opportunities did that open up for you?
When I was working in jewellery retail management I was exposed to gemstones and diamonds, and I wanted to understand every possible element of these precious objects which I adored. It is a character trait of mine to always strive to know more on every subject possible, and studying Gemmology allowed me to differentiate gemstones, but also to appreciate their properties and values, which can directly and indirectly affect the cost and value of a stone, and therefore a piece of fine jewellery. This certainly allowed for the opportunity to create articles for my own website and for print media with a much more well rounded comprehension of fine jewellery, rather than just writing about my own personal taste.
“[Jewellery] is one art form which celebrates individuality whilst inherently uniting all of us.”
Which designer have you seen grow the most since you have been in the industry?
I first interviewed Tomasz Donocik 3 years ago, and when I first saw his jewellery at a small jewellery show in London, they were silver pieces. He has since won multiple jewellery awards and is creating striking fine jewellery which is sold at large boutiques such as Fortnum and Mason in London. I have also seen many established designers reinvigorate their brand by making the most of social media, and this is one facet of the industry which I’m especially invested in, having become a brand consultant and public speaker within the fine jewellery industry.
“The award was affirmation from the jewellery industry that [Nadine Ghosn's] designs and interesting conceptual ideas were not only accepted, but celebrated for their ingenuity.”
As a judge for some of the most renowned jewellery competitions, including Couture, Las Vegas, it must be very rewarding to recognise exceptional design talent. Which of the awards you have given, do you think has made the most difference to the recipient?
Nadine Ghosn who won the Innovation award at Couture for her now infamous burger ring, and it was one of her first pieces. At the time I remember that she was uncertain as to whether people would understand her unique type of jewellery art. I think the award was affirmation from the jewellery industry that her designs and interesting conceptual ideas were not only accepted, but celebrated for their ingenuity.
You have now built up a large social following. What were the biggest challenges you faced when starting out?
I began my Instagram four years ago, and at that time it was difficult to discover like-minded people, and to make sure that you were discoverable for a potential audience. At that time, many people in the fine jewellery industry still were uncertain of bloggers and influencers, and their value. I always loved writing about jewellery and discovering new designers and eventually, the attitude to social media influencers - particularly regarding the power of Instagram - has evolved.
“I have always dreamt of owning the Salvador Dali ‘Wings’ ring in sculptured gold and diamonds.”
If you could own any jewel, which would it be and why?
I have always dreamt of owning the Salvador Dali ‘Wings’ ring in sculptured gold and diamonds. He is one of my favourite artists, and this ring represents the blend of the artist and an art form which is very dear to me, and at the centre of my interest in fine jewellery.
To read Katerina's latest features visit her blog here.