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An Intimate Interview With an Authentic Jewelry Designer

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An Intimate Interview With an Authentic Jewelry Designer

With a new collection called Anthozoa, Carolina Gomes creates exclusive and artisanal pieces that make everyone fall in love. 

Being an artist requires a unique vision and the thirst to transform things, and, well, this is something that Carolina Gomes always had! 

With a new collection called Anthozoa, the Jewelry Designer creates exclusive and artisanal pieces that make everyone fall in love. 

The process is not easy, but it’s another reason to appreciate her art at a high level. 

Come with us to meet her and learn about her work and career. 

1) Tell me a little about you. What is your background and what are you working on now? 

Hello! Thanks for inviting me for this interview. My name is Carolina Gomes, I’m Brazilian, I live in San Francisco now and I’m a contemporary jeweler, with a background in graphic design. What thrills me most is to be constantly creating new things. I can’t remember the last moment in my life that I wasn’t creating something. My life wasn’t easy at all, especially when I was a kid and a teenager, but I was always surrounded by art. 

Throughout my life, I created a variety of different things: paintings, graffiti, flower arrangements, illustrations… When I was 16, I participated in my first exhibition, where I could showcase my paintings. 

A few years later, I’ve organized some photography exhibitions and a literary project. Since 2016, I’m focusing on my own jewelry brand 

2) How did you end up being a jewelry designer? Was it always your dream? 

As I said, my background is in graphic design. I was a partner of two design and branding offices back in Brazil, and after 12 years in my career, I decided that I needed a restart. 
I was looking for a more artistic job, more personal, and in which I could express my ideas. I remembered when I was a kid, I used to craft my own accessories to sell in my neighborhood. I also remember that when I was a teenager, I did a course on jewelry design. 
Then I gathered those memories and combined them with my passion for fashion. That was when I realized I wanted to work with wearable art. Art is a strong human expression that connects ideas, worlds, and perspectives, and our body is a meaningful canvas for art. 

3) Your products are very unique and have a lot of personality. What inspires you most when you create them? 

Anthozoa, my current series, is inspired by marine corals. 
I lived by the beach for the first 2 years my life, and that made me very connected with the sea. Since then, the sea has been my biggest inspiration. 
I’m a very visual and sensitive person. I like to observe details around me and the feelings and emotions that they cause. 

The combination of visual aspects with emotions is responsible for the infinite worlds that my imagination comes up with. My imagination never stops! Even sleeping is a very difficult daily task… I see the world as a giant stage for various forces and energies that are around us. I believe that being open to observe different perspectives brings us a deeper understanding of the world. 

I like bringing that to my work. I mix strange shapes, unique color, and add a playful touch to them. I make pieces that have different shapes and details so the person can observe them in a different way depending on how and from where one looks at it. 
It’s my way to make them curious, to make people look at the piece again and again, and finally interpret and give the piece the meaning that they want it to have. This is not only an invitation to look at the piece as it is but to discover new meanings to your life…

4) What were the biggest challenges you had at the beginning of your career? Have you ever thought about giving up? If so, what made you continue on your path? 

Working by yourself is always a big challenge. I’m not only responsible for crafting the pieces but for taking care of the brand and its needs: logos, website, packaging, posting, photographs, videos, social media management… 
I have to be constantly engaged and discovering new trends and techniques for my craft. Manual crafting of unique pieces, as I do, is a very demanding work that takes a lot of time. 
Following a career other than the standard ones where you look for a position in a big corporation is difficult but makes me feel happier. I really love what I’ve been doing! 

5) Tell me about the process of crafting the pieces. How long does it take, how do you find materials, and how do you work on them? 

When I started my career as a jeweler, I was testing different materials and techniques. I developed two collections back in Brazil. One was all crafted with metals and toys: Lego, dolls, dominoes. I wanted to evoke a nostalgic, playful feeling. 

For my second collection, I utilized industrial materials like steel cables and construction hoses, trying to achieve a more urban vibe. 
After that, I discovered the material I work now with, and which I love the most: polymer clay. It is a plastic material that I can shape, add some texture, paint, etc. It allows me to be free! It’s wonderful. 
I think of an initial idea, sometimes I do a sketch, but most of the time I find the right design in the process. The complexity and time to finish a piece vary every time. 
Once I spent three days on a necklace. It’s a very delicate and manual process, sometimes I spend hours just creating a texture with a needle on the material. 
After that, comes the finishing process, in which I combine it with silver parts and make adjustments on the body. Every jewel is a unique sculpture.

6) Tell me a little more about your creative process. What do you do while creating? Listen to music or brainstorm ideas? 

For Anthozoa, I studied, watched and re-watched videos, to personally see everything that involves the marine corals’ universe. 
Every piece comes to life through music and natural sounds. Music was always an essential part of my life. Since I was little, I loved listening to music and create stories in my imagination. 
My atelier at my place is surrounded by plants and my three cats. 
I like to create in an ambiance that even inside an apartment makes me feel that I’m, somehow, in contact with nature. 

7) You have a very unique personality. If you weren’t a jeweler, what do you think you would be? 

When I decided to change my career and abandon graphic design to build my own brand, I considered several different jobs related to fashion and decoration. 
I think both contain means in which humans express themselves and communicate with others: their bodies and the places they live in. 
I still want to do sculptures and costume design. 
I’m very passionate about how costume design can express ideas and images with intensity. 

8) What is your biggest dream? 

My career in this industry is very recent. I dream of being recognized by my artistic work. I also want to be able to always support projects in which creativity is a major factor in helping other people. 
Creativity is a force that cures, reinvents, and moves you forward. It brings meaning, helps us to express messages and emotions. 
Also, it makes us discover new paths. It brings us purpose. 

9) What is the message behind your pieces? 

I want to invite people to enjoy lighter, more relaxing days and have a more creative and sensitive life. 

10) What are your next steps? 

I’m launching my brand in San Francisco and working on advertising my work to the industry.

You can find all her artworks on her new brand website, Carolina Gomes Wearable Art.

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