Interview with designer Katherine Brunacci (KB), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Gemel Earrings.

For High-Resolution Images & More Info Visit:

Interview with Katherine Brunacci at Thursday 19th of April 2012: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
KB : The main principle behind my design is to create an imitation faceted gemstone, to be used in jewellery. The idea comes from the need to develop a light weight versatile component for the use in jewellery. My inspiration for jewellery design mainly comes from historical pieces, that I incorporate into my work and apply a modern interpretation.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
KB : My main focus was to design a product, which mimicked a gemstone but was completely different from other gemstone imitations. I wanted to achieve a component, which I could incorporate into my jewellery design that was unique and would clearly define my jewellery in the market place.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
KB : Further research and development, and to fully realize the potential of 'Gemel' I would love to collaborate with jewellery and fashion designers.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
KB : It has been a long process of trial and error, the main concept took about a year to perfect. The prototype was conceived in 2007.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
KB : This concept began as a University research paper, whilst I was studying a Bachelor of Fine Art.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
KB : 'Gemel' is currently only used in my designs. I don't at this stage plan to sell the production rights, but I would be very interested in leasing the production rights.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
KB : I have always had a love of antique jewellery and wanted to modify and replicate pieces by giving them a modern twist. I particularly like elaborate pieces, with an abundance of large coloured gemstones. I wanted 'Gemel' to be different to other products on the market. I have always been interested in press forming and enamelling, so I began developing a method in which I could create my own shaped, sized and coloured gemstones.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
KB : Yes and No. Yes for the references which influence my jewellery design where I use 'Gemel' and no in the actual design of 'Gemel'.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
KB : Jewellery wearers who like something completely unique.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
KB : There are so many achievable variations in the one design concept of 'Gemel', that can't be achieved using other imitation gemstones. 'Gemel' can be varied in colour, translucency, sheen and pattern. 'Gemel' unlike other imitation gemstones is not limited by size. 'Gemel' can be made very small and also large and still be comfortably worn by the wearer. ‘Gemel’ is both lightweight and durable, being perfect for use in all types of jewellery, such as earrings and rings.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
KB : The name 'Gemel' comes from mixing the words Gem (What the design is replicating) and Enamel (What gives the design, colour and added strength).

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
KB : I took a very practical and traditional approach whilst working on this project. A lot of manual trial and error with metal thicknesses, dies, enamels and numerous drawings, to support the product.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
KB : I think to be able to recreate an imitation gemstone that looks so much like a real gemstone. Also to be able to produce a shape with such defined facets using the press forming method.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
KB : 'Gemel' is totally my own design and concept.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
KB : I took a very traditional approach to this design. All designs were hand sketched. The manufacturing of this design is all done by hand. I use a manually operated kick-press to form the ‘Gemel’ component and all of the finishing and enamelling is done by hand using traditional jewellers methods and hand tools.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
KB : No.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
KB : Press forming geometric shapes with sharp edges and corners without the metal tearing. Enameling a geometric shape so that the sharp edges of the press form are still visible and tactile and not rounded by the enamel coating.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
KB : I wanted this design to reach a global audience and I thought that the A' Design Competition would be the perfect platform.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
KB : Patience, “If at first you don't succeed try again, and again and again”. Countless things didn't go exactly to plan whilst I was working on this design. I found that I had to learn to adapt and work with the materials limitations.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
KB : No, but thank you for asking.