Not long ago we received an e-mail from a follower and reader of the work we do here at So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins: Diego Gómez García-Carpintero. He wanted to tell us about his project and once we’d seen it, we became unconditional followers of his work.
García-Carpintero has a degree in Fine Arts and specializes in 3D modeling. When he isn’t running his personal brand, Diegrich, he works as a creative for deLaCour and is in charge of organizing activities for the Brief Festival.
His work is at once delicate, strong and diverse. He is just as comfortable working with opulent pieces of jewelry or with minimalist designs. His ceramic trousseau and pieces for the body are a delight to see.
He defines his work as digital artisanry, as a defense of the medium, and Diego believes that the future of jewelry is customization and the possibilities that 3D design brings to the DIY world.
SC!: Of all the artistic disciplines that can take advantage of 3D modeling, in your latest collection you decided to focus on jewelry and objects for the home (trousseau). Why these two, seemingly different concepts?
Diego G. García-Carpintero: I don’t see them as being so different. In my opinion, one is used to decorate the body, and the other to decorate the home. The option of choosing the two came about mostly because of the material that I used, ceramic. And I like the idea of elements you find on a table extending to the body, and being able to play with and interchange them. The spoon tongue could feed the mouth necklace for example.
SC!: Tell us about Frank Collection Pieces.
DG: My inspiration for this project came from a mug that I received as a gift with thick sides. When I drank from it, it made me feel like I was drinking from a big lip, so I made the mouth mug, and everything else.
After many sketches and drawings on paper, I began the modeling phase, where I had to play around a lot and do tests because not everything I draw or imagine is possible to 3D print. Sometimes it all depends on the material or technique that you’re using.
SC!: And how did you come up with the theme of body parts?
DG: Since I’m using a 3D printing technique, based on geometry, calculus and mathematics, I wanted to go the other way and create something organic and that lacked a certain degree of symmetry and perfection. It’s a collection that I wanted to produce in different phases so I decide to create it as my own “Frankenstein” and finish it piece by piece until I had a complete body.
SC!: Where do you find the inspiration for your work?
DG: Lately I’ve been thinking about my pieces as parts of different collections. It’s more entertaining that way and once I’ve come up with a theme, I can’t stop imagining new pieces, with a clear beginning and an end to the series. This also lets me jump from one collection to another, completely different one with another theme and different materials. It keeps me from getting bored.
SC!: Why have you chosen to work with ceramic on this occasion?
DG: I was chosen together with other artists to try out a new material that had been developed for 3D printing. This material is ceramic and, from that point on, I’ve been thinking about how to get the most out of it. There are some advantages because it has a number of uses, doesn’t cause allergic reactions and can be used with food. However, it doesn’t allow for as much detail as other materials.
SC!: What is your style and how do you explain your pieces to potential buyers?
DG: My style varies depending on the story I wish to tell. Sometimes I come up with simple, minimalist and small collections, and other times it’s baroque, heavy and large.
Buyers of my pieces should be a bit daring with regards to ceramic pieces. They should also be people interested in limited editions and a more intimate relationship with the designer. I don’t have the ability to produce lager series so I try to work closely with buyers and I even do customized pieces.
SC!: You define your work as digitally artisanal. What does that mean?
DG: I came up with this idea some time ago because the way I work is the same as when I produced sculptures at university. It hasn’t changed, I just use different tools and materials than I the wheel and clay that I used to. These new digital tools require a lot of hours of practice to master them completely, and the process has the same steps: studies, sketches, paper, pencils, dossiers, etc,. Work that is produced digitally is often looked down upon but the concept of digital artisanry says that it isn’t inferior, it’s just new and different.
SC!: Do you only work with 3D design or do you do things by hands?
DG: The 3D modeling step, which is one of my favorites, is only one part of the process. There are also the sketches and many of the pieces need to be finished by hand. If a piece needs to be set or requires casting, I’ll usually send it out to jewelers in Madrid (@rivasjewels, Alearte or Daniel Valderrama). Other steps I do myself, like brushing up, polishing or soldering pieces with silver or other materials.
I also like to recycle materials that I find and mix them with the pieces, like decorative tiles, wood, or semiprecious stones.
SC!: What does the future of jewelry design look like?
DG: I see a future with endless possibilities, although there will be more and more people making their own jewelry, which makes me think that the future is customization. There will also be new materials that open up whole new worlds for design like aluminum or graphene.
SC!: How can we get our hands on your pieces and what’s the average prices of, for example, a piece of jewelry?
DG: I’m not selling anything for the moment because they are all pieces of a future exhibition. However, if anyone is interested in one they can contact be through any of my social media accounts.
SC!: Besides your personal project, you’re a Creative / Designer for deLacour. What do you do there?
DG: For the last 9 years I’ve held many positions here. Currently, I work with the creation and management of graphic material for the company, from photography to magazines, etc, as well as the customization of jewelry, watches and the design of virtual pieces.
SC!: You also collaborate with the BRIEF FESTIVAL. What is it and what are you trying to achieve and when is it?
DG: BRIEF FESTIVAL is a creativity festival, a concentration of inspiration that brings together some of the best professionals in the field of graphic creation every year in Madrid. At the Brief Festival you can take in conferences, workshops, exhibitions, meetings, screenings and more.
My role at the festival is as Head of Activities. I organize the visits to some of the best design, marketing and illustration studios in the Community of Madrid. I get in touch with them and we organize guided tours where the studios show us how they work from day to day and where they present some of their work. This is all a part of the official festival program.
Casting and prototype: ALEARTE & Daniel Valderrama, Set: @rivasjewels, Model: Virginia Pozo, Photos: Diego G. García-Carpintero
SC!: What magazines, blogs or design websites should we be paying attention to?
DG: For reference material, I have some subscriptions that I get by e-mail every morning and they provide a lot of inspiration and motivate me to get to work and do something.
SC!: Are there any Instagram accounts you follow?
SC!: Your next challenge is…
DG: To release two new mini collections that I’ve been working on. One of them is based on a story by my friend @davidnevin88, and I can’t wait to finish it. Besides that, I’ll keep experimenting with new materials, blending ideas and enjoying myself as much as possible in the process.
All other images courtesy of Diego Gómez García-Carpintero
Article originally published March 6th, 2016.
Translation and Layout by Michael Padilla