ADORN has been featured in the online magazine of Atelier Nubio. Visiting them last month ended up in a conversation of the way we create, our values and the continuous aim for the best quality in both material as in the process of design.
What is the story of Adorn?
The story of ADORN has dual beginnings. One half starts in the city of Amsterdam where I have lived and worked for the last fifteen years, the other half in Indonesia, where I spend part of the year with my family. This is where I created the first pieces that now make up the foundation of ADORN. For me the inherent dual nature in the creation process is what draws me: the delicacy in designing and finish, together with the more laborious side of shaping and soldering. Working closely with Balinese craftsmen deepens my knowledge in the craft we share. The result: a collection of pieces finished in 2017 which was launched in the spring of this year as ADORN fine jewelry.
I started ADORN because I believed in creating something that transcends styles and ages, one which veers away from seasonal collections. I wanted to create timeless pieces from high quality materials that could be worn by anyone, not in spite of their personal style, but in fact precisely due to that. I wanted to design things that would not just be worn but be loved, over time and generations.
Where do your metals and stones come from? Could you share with us the way you create your own pieces?
Each piece is hand-crafted; from the alloy, which we make ourselves, that forms the basis to the finished product. As most of the work at the bench is done in Bali we work with locally sourced materials.
Sustainability is something that we apply to as many aspects of our business as possible and goes beyond the metals and where we source them. Our packaging, for example, is a combination of leather pouches that can be used over and over again and that will last for as long as the jewelry does, and our wrapping paper is a multi-purpose sheet that includes product and care information, an order statement as well as a personalised letter for our customers. We do not use plastic, and together with our designers, we have created a packaging process that eliminates all unnecessary extra sheets and materials. On many fronts, this remains a challenge, especially when it comes to finding the balance between being sustainable and creating a sort of customer experience that matches with the brand. Still, we are not easily put off and are continuously experimenting and finding out where we can pull our own weight in the production chain.
We work with a limited variety of stones. For me keeping it simple gives a certain quiet feel to the collection. The moonstone and black onyx resonate both in appearance as in their characteristics. We work mainly with one trader who started in the late sixties traveling the globe, during which he decided to set up a business in gemstones. For us this is sustainable, and we are able to combine our shared knowledge to ensure that we only work with stones we believe to be fairly mined.
What kind of relationship do you have with jewelry?
Cliché as it may be, the beauty of jewelry is that a single piece can mean something totally different depending in whose hands it’s in. In my own experience, jewelry has always been something I’ve been aware of, something that has been passed down within my family. This means that you receive something laden with history and meaning, making it immediately of value upon receiving it. When starting ADORN, the idea of creating something that would last is one that stuck with me, which is why we work with only the highest quality materials and do not hold ourselves to what is currently in fashion or on the market. We want our customers to buy pieces and integrate them into their lives, totems of both the mundane and the milestones. One thing in particular that has been really special to see is when ADORN pieces are purchased as gifts for someone else. To see that your customer trusts the brand and the product enough that they deem it a worthy representation of their own love or appreciation for another person is truly humbling.
I believe that jewelry starts with the materials – understanding their components and characteristics to know how I can best work with them. For me design follows materials and from there creates form. This organic process allows me to keep the design simple. Maybe this is the thing that drives me: the essence of materials. ADORN is about creating something by keeping its essence whilst simultaneously drawing out more of what it can be.
Do you have any favourite pieces, and what do they mean for you?
My favourite pieces are the ones that have a story behind them. They speak to me on an intuitive level. One is a kayu tube ring that was a replica of the one my grandmother received from my grandfather when he was living in Indonesia. The design and use of material is pure and logical because they are strongly related to where it was created.
The other is my FLAT cuff, for its simplicity and timeless design makes it a staple addition to my wardrobe, no matter what I have on.
What makes you happiest?
If you look through ADORN, you’ll see a very clear pattern of things that I tend to gravitate towards: light and nature.
Header image © Atelier Nubio
Body image © Sophie Wright