Jewellery Designer

Kimberley Dawn by CreativPaper

The Alkonost is an independent London based jewellery brand.  Founded by Kimberley Dawn, she produces unique, handmade sculptural jewellery. CreativPaper caught up with Kimberley, we talked about Russian mythology, hope and creativity.  

Kimberley, There’s a strong organic theme through your designs, Talk us through that?

I like to challenge the idea of what beauty is. To me beauty is using something already ignited by beauty through nature itself. I then take that form and generate something new. As I use moulds from real bones in the design of my work, it is like giving it a new life and purpose – a reincarnation into something that can be timeless. In todays world I think it is a good way of showing how you can use something that is around you in nature to create things stylish yet sustainable.

Who is the ideal customer for The Alkonost?

I feel as though the designs connect with people in different ways. The use of bird beaks is almost a metaphor for peoples journeys in life not running smoothly all the time, with sharp twists and turns – yet still they find their way to glide through the air like an elegant bird. I want my jewellery to speak to people to give them empowerment and the assurance to be exactly who they want to be .

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The name ‘The Alkonost’ stems from Russian mythology, Tell us more about that?

The Alkonost, according to Russian mythology, is a creature with the body of a bird but the head of a beautiful woman. She makes sounds that are amazingly hypnotic. Those who hear these sounds forget everything they know and want for nothing more. She lives in paradise but comes into our world to deliver a message of hope. Unlike her counterpart Sirin, she brings good, not evil.

The world of mythology fascinates me as it makes the world of the impossible, possible. The content of this particular story in its relation to birds and the good message the Alkonost brings are both prominent features in my work. The combining of a human form and a bird brings to me the notion of strength and freedom. I think it is important for your work and your brand to stem from something that inspires.

What challenges do you face during the creative process of your design work?

As a creative person it is important to finish things. Imperfections and mistakes can lead to our own version of ‘perfection’. The struggle can often be that your imagination is limitless, yet when that collides with the hurdles and frustrations of completing a piece, it can be hard to get past that. All you can do is your best and let mistakes and fails strengthen you and lead you to a better creative process and achievement.

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Are there any designers living or passed that inspire your work?

I am constantly inspired by beautiful designers and individuals around me. Katrin Spranger is a designer who particularly inspires me. She explores the use of natural materials with strong narratives or concepts and the outcome is truly stunning with a dark edge. She is a person who makes one challenge ideas which I hope to achieve in my work.

Another artist outside of the jewellery world who inspires me is the musician and artist Grimes. Her persona in going against the grid and her grunge styling is someone I imagine representing my brand. Most importantly I respect the strong sense of freedom she expresses through her work.

What materials do you use in your work?

The main content of my work is silver. In a world of fabricated jewellery it is important to keep a sense of the value of craftsmanship. My designs are handcrafted with moulds made from real animal bones, combined with wax carving. This allows the original natural form to be transformed with the addition of my own imagination - becoming a unique piece that is raw and refined at the same time.

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Photographer: Nicole Gomes

Makeup Artist: Hannah Williams

Lisa Krulasik by CreativPaper

Lisa Krulasik, is a talented jewellery designer based in New York City, she has been honing her craft at Pratt Institute for the past several years. Lisa was awarded the 2015 Saul Bell Design Award and received first place in the emerging  jewellery artist category. 

Her BFA Jewellery Thesis Collection embodies her passion for Jewellery and reptiles. We took time out to speak with Lisa about her collection and the creative processes involved. 

In what ways has your background influenced where you are now?

I am a first generation American from Polish parents. Growing up in a Polish household plays a minor roll in my work. My BFA Collection is titled Istota, which in Polish means “being, essence, creature, entity, substance, and soul.”  

My education has definitely had a major impact on my work. I have always been very interested in architecture, math, and science so much so I originally was going to study Chemical Engineering. Once I found my love for creating, I trusted my gut and pursued art to see where it took me in life.

Please describe your design aesthetic in three words?

Crisp, dynamic, and sculptural.

Who would you most like to see wearing your jewellery?

It brings me great joy having anybody interested in my work and I honestly would love to have anyone wear my pieces.

Please describe the creative processes from start to finish of a new jewellery collection?

Typically, what sparks my urge to make something new is when I’m inspired by materials and forms. I then start sketching ideas while referencing the inspiration. For example, if a piece of wood sparks my creativity I will hold and rotate the piece in my hand so that I can discover and draw out new forms. After sketching, I either make prototypes out of base metal and paper, then move on to making the piece in the selected materials, or I just jump right into making the final pieces. Also, there are times that I don’t sketch at all and just start to make intuitively. All of this depends on what my instincts are telling me to do in the moment.

What’s your jewellery philosophy? How do you like to wear your favourite pieces?

While I design and create, I make sure to stay in tune with my intuition and allow for change as I progress. I find that this lets my work radiate the passion that I have for each individual piece. The process for my thesis collection, Istota, involved designing and rendering thirty brooches with watercolour and gouache. This was to gain a better understanding of how the materials worked with each other and with the concept. To further progress, I had a few outside artists critique the designs, and then I selected the ten strongest designs that complemented my personal artistic instincts.

I enjoy wearing pieces to complement an outfit, show off my personality, and boost my confidence. I also enjoy when people ask me questions about the piece I am wearing.

What type of woman did you have in mind when designing your collections?

Instinctively I design work that is gender neutral, I believe everyone has the capability to wear whatever they please. However, when I am commissioned to make a piece for someone specifically, it may be more associated with a gender if this is what they would prefer.

Where did you find inspiration for the materials you use?

I have always been interested in work that included non-traditional materials. During my third year of college, I took a class titled beyond metals, where I was educated on how to work with many new materials like wood, plastic, paper, etc. Since then, I have been inspired to stay on the look out to find unique and beautiful materials that allow me to create freely.

What is the future for your jewellery brand?

I am working on many new and exciting projects, which I cannot wait to share! A few have been shared on my website but I am also working on various commissions and creating a new selection of jewellery.

The next few months have a lot in store. Stay updated by following my social media accounts and checking my website.

Ayala Uzan by CreativPaper


Ayala Uzan recently graduated with a Bachelor of Jewellery Design from the Skenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan, Israel. As a sculptor and painter, she perfectly utilises these skills to push the creative boundaries of her jewellery designs. 

CreativPaper took time out to speak to Ayala, take a look below for the interview and more of her designs.

In what ways has your background influenced where you are now?

Well, right now I'm just starting to figure myself out outside of design school. I graduated last year and I'm trying to leave the bubble of school behind me and focus on the rules of design and commerce in real life with all of its restrictions.

I'm a Perfectionist so my road is never easy. Never was. 

My background is what's motivating me to be excellent. Just Good is definitely not an option. All my life I have struggled the feeling of mediocrity that surrounded me. No one really expected more out of me. "You are average and that’s good enough" they said. But it was never enough for me. I wanted, and I still do, to be great at what I do. Not so much for recognition, but for my own personal Fulfilment.

And that’s why I'm determent to create beautiful and unique jewellery at the best quality.

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Please describe your design aesthetic in three words?

Clean lines, cool look & different. 

Please describe the creative processes from start to finish of a new jewelry collection?

It always starts with the hope and determination to create in an organised fashion.

So I sit down and think of inspirations, draw something, define some goals, what would I like to achieve this time around, materials I'd like to use and so on. I prepare a full inspiration board and then… What actually happens, is that I start processing the metal, and it just happens intuitively. I do have guide lines, but inside all of that order and lists and decisions, I have to let my hands and my soul just do what feels right, and then I do some fine tuning and adjustments. 

What’s your jewelry philosophy? How do you like to wear your favourite pieces? 

My philosophy is that it has to look effortless. Just a good clean design, that celebrates the everyday as well as the special occasions. I love wearing a combination of my favourite pieces, normally a cool pair of pants, v neck oversized T shirt and a pair of white converse. 

What type of woman did you have in mind when designing your collections?

First of all she has to have a lot of character Both Looks and personality. She doesn't have to be the prettiest, she is a real person. With faults and all. She is strong and confidant. She has a good sense of style. Definitely not a fashion victim! She likes the one of a kind pieces. She'll put together both high and low fashion. She has a bit of everything in her, she is a girly girl and a tom boy. And maybe some tattoos.

Basically – she's me.

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Photography by Yafit Simcha.