design of original handcrafted jewellery and creation of photography art prints
design of original handcrafted jewellery and creation of photography art prints
My path to art began with my decision to study Art at university, where I came into contact with artistic processing of various materials and with art as such. If I look further back, I’d say it probably started even earlier when, as a child, I would spend long hours over detailed drawings. In the first year of university, I started with photography art and I discovered the charm of ornamentalistics. I started learning about the principles of ornament creation throughout history of art and subsequently found my own style, which I used in my designs.
I think I dreamt of having my own brand from the very start, when my first designs got their material form. However, I only gathered up the courage to make this dream come true after completing my studies. I had created hundreds of designs and dozens of pattern prototypes, which I presented to the world under my own brand of original handcrafted jewellery, Katarina Žiak, in 2016, after finishing my Master’s degree. I had started creating for myself and now I continued, hoping that one day, my work would turn out to be a success.
Creating a new piece of jewellery is an everyday challenge for me because each design requires hours of work as well as many correct desions in order for the piece to turn out just the way I want it to, and, of course, to actually make it physically possible to be made as well. I am a designer and a manufacturer in one, which means that all of my work goes through my hands, beginning with the design, through the graphic processing, the manufacturing process, all to way to taking the final product photos. My aim in designing jewellery is for it to become an elegant accessory of every woman, whether she likes eye-catching pieces which attract immediate attention, or just modest, subtle ones. That’s why I design all my patterns in several sizes and colours.
All of my jewellery is made in Slovakia, manufactured and processed solely by hand. The main material used in my work is surgical stainless steel, which is galvanically plated with 23.5-karat gold and 99% rhodium later in the creative process. I work with yellow, white, rose, and black gold. This material allows me to create even the most difficult and fragmented pieces, which would be impossible to make out of a different material in the final form which I imagine in the designer stage of the process. Some of my jewellery uses precious and semi-precious stones such as brilliant cut diamond, cubic zirconia, aquamarine, amethyst, ... which give it its unique look.
I consider myself a perfectionst, I love precision in details... Perhaps that’s the reason why I found my path in making jewellery. The process of creating a real, finished piece of jewellery out of what was initially just an idea, feels unique to me. When designing jewellery, I connect modern and traditional, and find uniqueness in folk culture and minimalism of natural patterns. Symbolics is another important element of my designs. I consider ornaments to be amazing in many aspects. They can have thousands of forms and can be very simple, but also unbelievably complex. They offer a great number of possibilities for their representation. Sometimes, it feels like a game, at the beginning of which I wouldn’t dare guess what the end result will be, which I find fascinating. Our ornamentalistics, folk embroidery, lacework, and beautiful painted ornaments are an endless source of inspiration for my work. The details of the past hidden in a new modern form remind us of the fragments of history which for many are but a forgotten element of our national identity.
“The first piece of jewellery I ever made
was a pendant with a motif of a dressage horse.”
My life has been connected with horses ever since I was a child. I spent long years doing horse riding. To put it simply, horses are still an important part of my life, which is why it doesn’t come as a surprise that they appear as a symbol in my work. It is said that horses are uniquely beautiful and that their movement is absolutely graceful. I think that dressage horses prove this statement is true as together with their riders they can perform highly skilled movements to the rhythm of music with perfect elegance and dance grace.
READ MORE ON: http://katarinaziak.sk/en/blog/
Fashion as such is constantly changing, either with new trends coming in or old ones coming back. It’s an endless merry-go-round that cannot be made to stop or slow down. Fashion simply lives its own “life”. When I design jewellery, I try not to limit myself by what is currently in fashion. My work has several forms. I make jewellery based on things which have impressed in some way, be it a folk ornament from a hundred-year-old historical book or just a tiny butterfly that landed on my hand in the summer.
Nature can impress me at any time; it is different every day, but always keeps its charm. At a glance charming as a whole, but also extraordinary in the smallest details. All you need to do is to look around — the world around us is full of surprises, we just have to pay attention.
“My inspiration is the outside world and its nature, but also folk tradition,
which conceals the exceptional beauty of our nation’s history.”
“Slovak ornamental decoration is an important part of Slovak culture — the expression of perception through ornamental drawings and paintings, and decoration using various techniques is a gift from God to the Slovak people.”
Š. L. Kostelníček
The creative process itself brings with it the unique story of each piece of jewellery. On my blog, I want to share with you my thoughts, inspirations, but also parts of history which moved me in one way or another. To enable you to look at the processes involved in my work, so that you can truly see what lies behind the “finished product”.
Once a person knows the story and the idea behind a piece of jewellery, they look at it from an entirely new perspective. A good example of this are the pendants from the “SLAVIC POETIC MUSES” collection — The Daughter of Sláva, Marína, The Gamekeeper’s Wife... As their names suggest, my inspiration for these pendants came from literature. At first, you can see only girls in a folk dress, but once you get to know their story, these poetic muses will become much more than a nice pendant or a piece of metal — for many, they’ll become a precious memory of their own childhood, family, native land, or first love.
An interesting reference to history can be found in my jewellery collection “SOFTNESS OF LACE HIDDEN IN METAL”, which is dedicated to the beautiful and unique art of bobbin lacework. Did you know that the first lacework was done with gold and silver metal threads? This interesting information led me to the idea of creating this jewellery collection. Lacework is one of the most difficult and the most peculiar techniques of Slovak folk art.
Uncovering a part of history and creating a new piece of jewellery is always a big challenge for me. Dubnica Museum had contacted me asking whether I could design a jewellery collection inspired by their embroidery. This collection is dedicated to the unique and incredibly difficult embroidery technique known as “gatra from Dubnica nad Váhom”, which is almost forgotten nowadays. Gatra came to Dubnica nad Váhom thanks to the well-known Izabella Group, which had one of its embroidery workshops in the Dubnica Mansion.
A small part of our cultural heritage — ornamental folk painting from Vajnory. I found my inspiration for the “To Fly in the Sky” collection in the original wall paintings, created by women in western Slovakia as a decoration for their homes. When looking at these beautiful painted ornaments enriching the walls of their houses, one cannot but admire the incredible patience of the artists needed to create such masterpieces. Were they led by a desire for beauty? Or were they simply following the local tradition? The answer to this question might be forever hidden in the hearts of these women.
TO FLY IN THE SKY
TRADITION HIDDEN IN THE HEART
SOFTNESS OF LACE HIDDEN IN METAL
SLAVIC POETIC MUSES
ON THE WINGS OF BUTERFLIES
FOWERS & ORNAMENTS
THE BEAUTY OF FOLK GEOMETRY
LITTLE BIT OF LUCK
IN THE LAND OF WILD FLOWERS
HEART OF SLOVAK ORNAMENTALISTICS
KEYS OF MEMORIES
GATRA - FORBIDDEN TREASURE
Sometimes we are guilty of living life too much in the ‘fast lane.’
We juggle work commitments with the demands of family life. We have such little time to slow down, stop, relax and think.
Opportunities to sit back and meditate can be few and far between and we find ourselves out of touch with nature. The beauty of the natural world inspires my art and my mission is to try to bring something of the essence of this beauty into our homes and workplaces.
My aim is to try to capture the unique colours of nature via macro photography and then transform them back into abstract images using the principle of symmetry.
Each print refers to an unforgettable moment that has been indelibly etched into my memory.
Henri Rousseau, the French Post-Impressionist painter, famously claimed that he has, ‘No teacher other than nature.’ I strive to work to the same ethic.
I hope that my works depict beauty through representations of a wide variety of flora and fauna. I want people to discover something new in their own environment.
Fotografovanie sa stalo mojou záľubou už počas štúdia na univerzite. Pri svojej tvorbe nachádzam jedinečnosť v makrofotografii a prostredníctvom nej sa snažím zachytiť zaujímavé a neopakovateľné podoby prírody naprieč všetkými ročnými obdobiami. Fotoaparát ma sprevádza na každej moje ceste, či už je to turistika v horách alebo len prechádzka parkom.