BY RYAN WADDOUPS at surfacemag.com
Considered one of his generation’s foremost jewelry designers, the London-based Fernando Jorge uses traditional techniques to infuse sculptural earrings, necklaces, and other wearables with elements of fluidity, movement, and nods to the natural beauty of his native Brazil. He also puts his money where his mouth is: Proceeds from each sale are donated to Amazon reforestation efforts.
Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Occupation: Jewelry designer
Hometown: Campinas, SP Brazil
Studio location: Shoreditch, London
Describe what you make: I design fine jewelry and through my work, I express my cultural background and my passion for nature and natural beauty. I love jewelry and try to revitalize traditional techniques and craftsmanship.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: It’s so hard to pick one because there are the designs that changed the way I think about my own work, and then the designs that change the way other people think about my work.
One piece that has done both at the same time is the Disco earrings, which are part of my Brilliant collection. This was my first collection fully dedicated to and inspired by diamonds, and they’ve reached stratospheric levels of praise and recognition in the jewelry world. There are copies of them in the most remote parts of the world, and they’ve been worn by the most spectacular women alive, including Michelle Obama, Oprah, and Beyoncé to name a few.
Describe the problem your work solves: As fine jewelry tends to be, my work is aspirational in many ways, but my aesthetic is rooted in the concept of effortless elegance and wearability. I think my designs are aesthetically accessible without compromising on design integrity and innovation.
Describe the project you’re working on now: I’m working on multiple projects now. Amongst them are a couple of engagement rings. One is based around an important family diamond for a young and talented couple, and I couldn’t be more honored to have been chosen to work with them. I’m also designing more jewelry for men to launch early next year, considering my small offering of men’s jewelry has seen increased demand recently and unexpectedly.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: My new website and online store is about to launch, which is something I’m very excited about. Although it feels overdue on one hand, I’ve taken time to carefully put it together so it beautifully showcases my work, while also being easy to experience and informative.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Brazilian music, coffee, colored pencils, markers, piles of paper, and a good internet connection.
What you do when you’re not working: I used to travel so much for work, and my life used to be quite unpredictable. These days, I’m enjoying having a routine and spending my free time at home, cooking, watching movies, doing yoga, and sometimes meeting friends for long conversations and living room dancing.
Sources of creative envy: In jewelry, I would name Suzanne Belperron and H. Stern collections from the early 2000s co-signed by Costanza Pascolato. In architecture, Oscar Niemeyer and João Artacho Jurado; in art, Tunga and Ernesto Neto. The closer you observe, the more creativity you find.
The distraction you want to eliminate: WhatsApp groups… I’d love to eliminate them, but couldn’t live without them.
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