In August we ran our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year competition and were thrilled by the amazing designs entered! So many of you wanted to know more about the designers behind the winning entries.
In part 1
of this series we featured Kim Styles
who won 2nd Place
in the competition. And today we are speaking to Vlad Zoldak
who won 1st place
for the amazing Interstellar Ring design.
Huge congratulations Vlad! Your Interstellar Ring is breathtaking! Can you tell us a bit more about the piece and the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration for the ring came out of the stone itself really. When I looked at it for the first time after it arrived I couldn’t help myself wondering what made it possible that such stone grew here. The stone immediately felt like frozen block of crystals clear blue water that may have landed here from place not known to us yet. I loved the stone from the beginning and it is one of my favourite stones to this day. I knew that I wanted to keep as much of the stone on display as possible so I had to think of the best way to set it. The choice of material and design came out naturally as just silver and good old soldering is really what I love about making jewellery. I knew that I wanted to set the stone in strands of silver square wire to resemble the geometric cut of the stone but the idea with different lengths strands came later and resembled crystallising water.
How and when did your jewellery making journey start?
I always loved silver jewellery. I lived in Camden Town for a time and I grew to admire the craftsmanship of some of the jewellery makers at our local market. I began to think about jewellery making more, and found myself searching for jewellery courses that would fit my family and work commitments. I found the London Jewellery School and I liked what they had to offer so I went for it!
Have you had any formal training? If so where did you train?
My only formal training that I had was at the London Jewellery School. I took several courses on subjects that I knew I wanted to concentrate on. I then took everything that I have learned there to my studio and began to experiment.
Where do you typically find inspiration for what to make next?
I primarily work with stones set in silver or plain silver. The inspiration always come directly from stones that I buy the design comes later. On pieces without stone I gain inspiration from pretty much anything; my surroundings, nature, my family…etc.
What are your favourite techniques or medium?
Good old soldering and 925 Silver.
What are your favourite tools?
My torch, saw and dremel.
Do you offer workshops or classes?
Yes, I offer free classes to my 4 year old son . No I don’t have immediate plans to provide any classes or workshops but that is something I would eventually like to do.
\What is the favourite thing(s) that you have made to date?
A pair of earrings that I made for my other half.
What is next for you and your jewellery business and what do you hope to achieve in the next 18-24 months?
I am currently working on new collections but also a few one-off pieces. I will be spending a lot of time in my studio in order to prepare for jewellery shows and fair that I would like to be part of. I am also looking to complete few more courses to develop my techniques.
Do you have a website? How can we see more of your work? [Please include web address or the likes of etsy shop links plus your social media channels]
I am currently updating my website and blog as they no longer served the needs of my business. However, you can find me on Etsy, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Vlad. Your work is just outstanding and we are so proud to have played a small part in your jewellery making journey. All of us here at LJS wish you the very best of success!