JEWELRY DESIGNER TO WATCH: IA PIRTSKHALAVA
One day, I decided I wanted to get involved in the Georgian art event here in London by bringing together a hand-picked selection of Georgian jewellery designers. Soon enough, I came across Ia Pirtskhalava designs at Bluebird in London and instantly fell in love with her designs fusing modern and vintage elements in one-off pieces, which I simply could not resist sharing with you! Each of Ia Jewels pieces is handcrafted and unique (from £200). Luckily, Ia was in town herself, so I caught up with her in order to learn about her approach to jewellery craft.
When did you start creating one of a kind jewellery? What are the distinguishing traits of your jewels?
I’m always searching… But, to answer your second question I’ll cite a jeweler who said that I “destroy all the pre-existing rules of the art of jewelry.” I think this might be what distinguishes my jewels…
I DESTROY ALL THE PRE-EXISTING RULES OF THE ART OF JEWELLERY
Where is your atelier? How does work take place in your atelier when you design new pieces for Blue Bird?
My studio is amazing – small, cozy and at an extraordinary location in the capital of Georgia. It is on the ground floor of an old house. The studio itself makes you creative. It’s like a cauldron bubbling with creative work.
I have completely fallen in love with your alexandrite ring; what inspired this piece?
There’s only one answer – Alexandrite on it’s own is a stunning gem with an interesting name and history, as well as an ability to change colour depending on the weather and the time of day.
Your jewellery collections always feature beautiful stones, how do you decide which stones to use?
My stones almost always have inclusions, they’re usually faded, with mysterious glow, with their own emotions. They carry something interesting, something magical, something mysterious for us… Sometimes, they come with small flaws – I think this is what the Portuguese called “Barocco”… I love to use them with antique diamonds, which my jewelers extract from old, broken items.
What is the story behind your pieces with turquoise?
This is a real Georgian turquoise, and it has its own color – the color of the Georgian sky. It comes from the collection of a Geologist, a real expert and a professional – who sadly, passed away.
What is your earliest memory or experience of jewellery?
There’s a spot in Tbilisi called the “Dry Bridge”, where historically merchants of carpets, materials and jewels gathered and still do. My earliest memories of jewellery jewels are from the Dry Bridge open-air flea market.
With what materials and techniques are you experimenting now?
I only work with gold and silver. But I constantly experiment with design.
Where do you find your inspiration/influences? What are you currently working on?
The beauty of the world inspires me – this might be it… There’s also music, or an old mosaic, or ancient jewels in a museum, but most of all the stones themselves inspire me. They lead you, you just have to listen.
At the moment, I’m collaborating with designers Tata Naka, which have suggested creating a jewellery collection with a theme that I’m not familiar with, and I accepted this challenge.
With Ia Pirtskhalava selecting my favourite pieces at The Shop at Bluebird, 350 King’s Road.
What must never be forgotten when designing a jewel?
About charm. Jewellery should cast a spell.
JEWELLERY SHOULD CAST A SPELL
Was jewelry always an important part of your style?
Probably not always.
How would you describe your personal style, and do you think that your collections directly reflects that?
Definitely, they reflect my taste, style and, I would add, imagination. I would describe my style this way – it’s a contradiction of the intangible.
How much do you think one can tell from a woman’s own collection of jewellery?
I would like to quote an older, wiser person here: “Taste can be bad, or can be good, or it can be flawless”. You can say the same thing about a woman, after taking a look at her jewelry box…
TASTE CAN BE BAD, CAN BE GOOD OR IT CAN BE FLAWLESS
GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.
*Photographed by Liza Urla and Xenia Tchoumitcheva. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla
All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE. Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.