Interview with designer Ezra Satok-Wolman (ES), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Nautilus Carboniferous Brooch/Spilla.

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Interview with Ezra Satok-Wolman at Tuesday 22nd of April 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
ES : The brooch is inspired by the Golden Ratio and its prevalence throughout the natural world and virtually everything in it. The concept suggests that the Golden Ratio is a “Universal constant of design.”

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
ES : Having previously produced a similar design in gold, my objective with this project was to create something much more voluminous. Using the carbon fibre / Kevlar composite enabled me to work on a scale that is generally “off the charts” in jewellery, while maintaining an incredibly light weight.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
ES : I plan on continuing to produce jewellery that pushes the boundaries of “traditional”, while keeping alive the traditions and work of the goldsmith.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
ES : This design was something I imagined on the beach in The Netherlands in 2008. It wasn’t until 2010 that I produced the original version in 18k gold. Once I came to the idea to produce the design on a larger scale in carbon fibre, the design process went quite quickly.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
ES : This was a personal project and something that I made because I felt the desire to make it. I have been fascinated by the Golden Ratio for years and have always thought of ways to represent its beauty and perfection through jewellery.

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?
ES : I currently produce all of my jewellery by hand, in house. There are no current plans to work with any companies or sell our designs, but I won’t rule it out for the future.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
ES : I am obsessed with the Nautilus shell form. I have always viewed the Golden Ratio as a “Universal constant of design” and loved the idea of combining that concept with the “flower of life pattern,” which I pierced into the front plate behind the Tahitian pearl.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
ES : I can’t say that anyone influenced this design specifically, but I have certainly been influenced in many aspects of my career by Italian goldsmith Giovanni Corvaja.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
ES : This design is intended for clients who are seeking a unique and special piece. This brooch is not intended for everyday wear, and is suited for special occasions.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
ES : The first thing that comes to mind is that this is jewellery made from a carbon fibre / Kevlar composite, in conjunction with gold, palladium and a Tahitian pearl. I haven’t heard of this composite material ever being used before and I consider myself an expert when it comes to the trends in this field.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
ES : “Nautilus Carboniferous” is a play on words and completely nonsensical. I was trying to create a name that sounded like a “unique species” and liked the idea of using the name of the geologic time period “Carboniferous” to reference the carbon fibre used in the piece.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
ES : I used a combination of design tools for this project. Having a graphic design background, I often use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to produce layouts for pieces I need to cut out in metal or other materials. These programs are especially handy when you need numerous pieces or require different size pieces that are scaled up or down. The ability to reproduce shapes and scale them precisely was essential for this piece.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
ES : The combination of precious metals with high-tech materials makes this piece of jewellery stand out from the rest.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
ES : I worked alone on this project and didn’t collaborate with any companies or individuals. This is common for my practice, as all of my pieces are handmade in my atelier.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
ES : New materials are produced and discovered daily. Being able to commercially acquire carbon fibre / Kevlar composites has enabled the development of a variety of new applications for the material.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
ES : Working with carbon fibre or Kevlar can be difficult and challenging. The challenge becomes even greater when the two materials are used together in a composite. It is extremely strong and can be a challenge to cut. Multiple pieces of the material were required to build the Nautilus shell, and it was essential that each piece was a precise shape and size.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
ES : I have been participating in design competitions for years. The A’ Awards presented the opportunity to have my work judged by an international panel of experts on art and design, rather than a group jewellery specialists. I felt that this was a truly non-biased methodology for a competition, and the fact that it is a global event presented a great challenge.