On many occasions we’ve spoken about 3D-printed jewelry and, on others, we’ve focused on artisanry, art and the power of the human hand to bring illusion to life.
Today we bring you Katarina Zlajic, born in Montenegro, whose jewelry pieces and accessories surprised us recently. Katarina studied sculpture at the University of Fine Arts in Montenegro yet she has focused her work on accessory design since then, applying her knowledge from the field of sculpture.
Her goal is to create pieces of art that can be worn and the use of zippers, in pieces and whole, in her work is extensive. “Every piece is there to enable art to look for its audience instead making the audience look for art The goal is to use banal object and change its function in the artwork. As they did during the DADAist movement.”, she says.
Selected by the prestigious Not Just A Label to show her work at Vicenza and by Vogue Italia as one of the 16 promising accessory designers, the career path of Katerina seems to be unstoppable.
From So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins we’ve been with her recently and this is what she had to say.
SO CATCHY!: You come from a Fine Arts background so when did you realize you wanted to focus on Accessories Design?
KATARINA ZLAJIC I graduated Faculty of fine arts-Statuary. Even before graduation, while I was still studying, my work was based on many experiments when it comes to material. Considering the fact that I wasn’t able to find right pieces of jewelry for myself in environment around me, I came to idea to create my first pieces. For starters, I’ve chosen zipper, because I was fascinated by its look and artistic note that it posses, it simply has incredible esthetic power, and following that I thought of idea to change its ‘boring’ function into something higher, and it really gave me the power to do so.
SC!: What’s your favorite material to work with?
KZ: Material without which I wouldn’t be able to imagine my work is zipper. Although I do like all nontraditional or unusual materials, or as I like to call them ‘experimental materials’.
SC!: Tell us about your main technique as a accessories designer.
KZ: Thing’s that are special for my work are materials that I use, usually those are materials that already have their specific function, and at the same time they have esthetic value. By doing so, with my intervention they get new identity – artistic identity. Making a piece takes a lot of time, for instance to create a bag it takes me around a month. It is because sewing, knitting, melting and shaping, special experiments that take a lot of time. For some pieces, I do special molds for some pieces, molds that I can redo later. Also, mostly I use techniques of sewing, knitting and melting, each of which is highly demanding, but at the same time it gives me amazing options of expression.
SC!: We are witnessing a lot of 3D work on Jewelry and fashion. In your opinion, what’s the future of jewelry?
KZ: I find incredibly fascinating when I see human made art, and when we speak of art, I can never be fascinated by 3D machine, as I can be fascinated by human handcraft. So, in my opinion, handcraft is definitely the future of jewelry and accessories.
SC!: Define your style with a few words.
KZ: Sculptural, baroque, experimental, handmade.
SC!: Do you sell online? If so, where?
KZ: I don-t sell online yet, but starting 2016 I hope that I will.
SC!: What’s the average price of your pieces, one of your rings for example?
KZ: Average price of the ring is approximately 90 euros.
SC!: What’s your greatest success up until now?
KZ: There are so many calls for presenting my work, that I get from different centers from all around the world, and I have many project that I work on. Those are all the things that I am proud of, and that are my success.
SC!: Your style is very recognizable. What’s your inspiration?
KZ: My persistent inspiration is material. I am thrilled by certain materials and their many options, transformations and adjustments to what you want to make. Especially those materials that aren’t used traditionally in making jewelries and accessories, and that is what you yourself recognized as potential material in making special pieces.
SC!: What are you doing now and what’s your next step?
KZ: At the moment I am working on new collection of accessories and jewelry, as on several big and much important project to me.
SC!: Webs, blogs, magazine about fashion and design you normally read.
KZ: I don’t have certain favorites, I also don’t have too much time to look around. I spend so much time working on myself and on my pieces. But if I run into something good, worth of attention, I definitely stop to see what it is about.
Social networks have so much power in promoting what I do, they are also important when it comes to contacts, collaborations, buyers and therefore I try to be active, as active as I am allowed.
SC!: Jewelry Designers you admire…
KZ: I am enchanted by old, museum jewellery, I don’t have any favorites.
SC!: Are there any young jewelry designers you like?
KZ: There are truly so many talented young jewelry designers, so it is really hard to have someone special to like.
All images courtesy of Katarina Zlajic. You can follow Katarina on Facebook
Translation and layout by Michael Padilla