FK chats to Marta about her Sydney based jewellery label, Bilingual.
Introduce a little about your label to our readers.
Bilingual is a concept driven jewellery label. All our collections have been created with a minimal, contemporary aesthetic and are focused on comfort and adaptability. Most pieces are unisex & are handcrafted using the lost wax process. I also do a lot of custom work & wedding bands for individuals seeking something unusual & special.
What is your background and have you always been creative?
When I finished school, I really wanted to do a fine Arts degree. And my folks said sure, but do the design one first and then afterwards we will pay for the arts degree. What a generous offer! Of course, after finishing one degree all I wanted to do was get a job and earn some money finally. So as my sneaky parents predicted, no second degree. But I truly loved my course – I did a Bachelor of Design at COFA and I think what makes it different is that it focuses on “the idea” “the concept” which I believe is fundamental to any design. I have always loved making things & coming up with new ideas – once I feel inspired – it is impossible for me to shake – one way or another. I need to explore the idea and have a play. Even as a child I would come up with weird ways to reinvent my room and wait til my folks were in bed and then stay up all night and move furniture, slowly, they were terribly heavy pieces! I have had many all-nighters ever since – I think it is just the way of a designer.
What inspires your work and what keeps you motivated?
I definitely have an obsession with rings. I just feel there are so many shapes and possibilities that have not been explored. When I am designing a collection – I just sketch and sketch and sketch wherever I go. Then I can’t wait to get to my workshop to test my ideas in 3D – wear them for some time & see how they feel. I love creating pieces that are bold but effortlessly comfortable – seeing people’s reaction is really rewarding. I also enjoy doing custom work. Firstly I feel blessed that I have individuals specifically selecting me based on my design aesthetic and thought process, and secondly to be able to realise someone’s wish is an amazing feeling. The whole process is exciting, from doing a mini interview, to preparing a concept & sketches and then handcrafting the piece. I am motivated by my customers – when they seek something special for an anniversary, birthday or other occasion & knowing I have made that happen really makes me smile.
What do you love about having your own label?
Well I love being in control of my time & it also opens up opportunities to create something that is as close to the ideal dream job as you could imagine for yourself. And trips to Melbourne are tax deductible!
What advice would you give others starting out?
If you have a passion – whatever it may be – include it in your life, even if its just a little. And at times, it will be a lot of hard work, but as a wise friend said to me once, when you feel frustrated, just imagine your life without it – impossible!
Can you tell us about your new collections and what you’re currently working on?
My latest collection is called ECLIPSE. Delving into new territory for me…. being earrings & bangles – but some new rings too of course! I love this collection because I have had fun exploring the dual oxidised and satin silver look. My favourite pieces are the bangles because I love the way they sit on the wrist & feeling the weight they carry. Next on the agenda… I am designing a graduation pendant & as for the next collection – well its silver, but its not jewellery… stay tuned!