Alexi completed BAJ’s Jewellery Fundamentals Level 3 Diploma and Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Diploma, Level 4 in London. We chat with Alexi about running a jewellery brand, BAJ memories, and the future.
Your jewellery was recently featured in iconic fashion and culture magazine The Face, how did that come about?
Whilst most things happen online these days, I was actually contacted by somebody I previously met at various fashion and magazine events. They thought the jewellery and accessories I had made so far really fit the story that The Face magazine was shooting for; and since then other doors have opened up.
What is the inspiration behind your jewellery brand?
I approach jewellery design in the same way I did being a sculptor; by experimenting with shapes and forms that mimic nature or something totally science fictional. For me, each piece of jewellery has to have a presence, whether it’s the significance of the gemstones or qualities of the metal; but I also love to play with symbolic motifs and subvert them as I believe jewellery has a real power when worn.
What is it like running your own brand?
Jewellery making is a long process for me but I try and work on my “brand” everyday. Usually this means drawing designs or researching techniques. If I’m not sure about a design for someone, I will CAD the idea before committing to the metal or wax.
How did you find studying at BAJ?
Coming straight from a university with a severe lack of workshop tuition I thrived when I joined Level 3 at BAJ, the projects were engaging and I was learning so much I didn’t want to leave the class. The tutors gave me the encouragement I really needed to get started in my own time and persevere with a technique even if it meant 3, 5 or even 8 times to get right.
What was the jewellery technique or skill you learned on your course which you use the most now?
Wax carving! The versatile technique that you can pretty much do anywhere with very little tooling. Whilst I use CAD more, sometimes it is quicker and more cost effective to sit down and carve a block of wax, particularly if you want to create organic forms…oh.. and polishing, because who doesn’t like shiny jewellery!
What was your most memorable moment at BAJ?
The end of year show on Bond street (London) was an incredible experience as we were able to showcase our work for the public and get to know other people in the industry during the private view .
What are your plans for the future?
The best is yet to come… I really want to move somewhere with a proper studio space where I can set up all the 3D printers I want and freely experiment with materials and fabrication techniques. A studio cat would be nice too.
What is your advice for someone interested in starting a jewellery brand?
Don’t rush into branding your style of jewellery, experiment with ways of making and take every opportunity you get!
Interested in our practical, industry focused jewellery diplomas? Find out more about our courses here.