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Interview with Ezra Satok-Wolman

Home > Designer Interviews > Ezra Satok-Wolman

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Ezra Satok-Wolman (ES) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Ezra Satok-Wolman by clicking here.

Interview with Ezra Satok-Wolman at Monday 21st of April 2014
Ezra Satok-Wolman
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
ES: I have always been interested in art and design. Before beginning my career as a jewellery artist I experimented with a variety of mediums including glass blowing and graphic design. It was when I began to work with metal that I felt a true connection to the material and began to truly express myself as an artist.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
ES: I launched Atelier Hg in 2009 with my wife and partner. The idea behind Atelier Hg was to establish a brand and the business arm of our combined artistic endeavors. Since its conception, Atelier Hg has grown to become a recognizable name in the world of contemporary jewellery and has received numerous awards and accolades, in addition to participating in a variety of international exhibitions and showcases.

FS: What is "design" for you?
ES: Design is an intentional artistic approach to creating an object.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
ES: I enjoy creating pieces that are intricate, technical, and often mechanical. I love working with patterns and investigating how they relate to surfaces. I am fascinated by geometry, mathematical concepts, and how they can be represented in a visual way.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
ES: In 2012 I produced a brooch titled “The Mathematical Fingerprint of God”. Not only was it the result of many months of research and development, but it was the first in a series of pieces that it subsequently inspired, including the winning Golden A’ Design “I Am Hydrogen” project.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
ES: My first design for Atelier Hg was the “Orbit” ring. It has been one of our most popular ring designs, and received the 2nd Place MJSA Vision Award, Mokumegane Distinction in 2009.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
ES: I specifically enjoy hammer work when forming metal. Unlike much of todays commercial jewellery, which is produced from casting wax models, I still use traditional goldsmith’s techniques when producing my jewellery, and work directly in metal.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
ES: I feel fortunate to be able to say that I feel most creative when in my studio. It is the place where I feel a sense of freedom and am able to detach myself from distractions.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
ES: My approach to jewellery is rather sculptural. I consider the work from all angles and treat it as something that will be viewed that way. I believe the back of a piece should be as beautiful as the front.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
ES: I feel a sense of purpose and a sense of being grounded when designing or creating. When I am immersed in a project I feel as though I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
ES: There is no better feeling than completing a piece of jewellery. At the end of each project, I truly feel as though I want to celebrate my new creation and can’t wait to share it with the world.

FS: What makes a design successful?
ES: What makes a design successful? A good design is successful when it is noticed. In our complex world filled with so much of everything, it is very easy for things to get “lost” in the mix. A good design distinguishes it self from the “general” or the “standard”.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
ES: Esthetics and functionality are equally important when assessing whether a design is good or bad. More often than not, a design is disproportionately one more than the other. The balance of both is required for a design to succeed.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
ES: Design and Industry work hand in hand. We live in a society of consumers and consumption. Now more than ever, we have an obligation to engage in responsible design, considering factors like a product’s longevity and environmental impact, materials and production methods.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
ES: The design field is certainly evolving very quickly. Computer aided design, material technology and development, and a variety of other factors have pushed design further and faster over the last decade. Our ability to to produce truly “new” things has been elevated by these areas of development. I have no doubt that over the coming decade, we will see things happen that we never thought imaginable.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
ES: My last exhibition was a group show at Milan Design Week, April 8th to 13th, 2014. The exhibition was called “The Jewellery House Meets Design”, organized by Amusingold, a new platform for connecting contemporary jewellery with the fields of fashion and design. My next exhibition will be another group show at the Museum Kunstpalast Dusseldorf from May 24th to July 20th, 2014

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
ES: I am often inspired by nature and its relationship to geometry and mathematics. I have become obsessed with the Golden Ratio, and its prevalence throughout the natural world. Beyond interests from our natural world however, I read quite often about astronomy or astrophysics.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
ES: I think it is always safe to say that my designs deal with geometry. I have a clean esthetic, and enjoy designs that deal with multiple components, patterns, or numerical systems.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
ES: I live in Canada, and was born here. Having lived in other countries however, I have probably been further influenced by those experiences, rather than feel as though I have been greatly influenced by where I currently live. Unfortunately Canada does not have very well established design community, especially when it comes to jewellery. I often consider moving somewhere more connected with what I do.

FS: How do you work with companies?
ES: I am an independent, completely autonomous. All of our jewellery is handmade, in house, from start to finish. While this is unusual in the jewellery field, all of our work and processes are conducted here including stone setting, which is commonly outsourced.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
ES: I think it is very important for jewellery designers to understand how jewellery is made or know how to make it. Far too often jewellery is produced by designers who don’t understand jewellery past the design stage, resulting in a poor overall result.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
ES: My design process always begins with something I see in my head. It is not uncommon for me to work directly from memory, rather than rely on a drawing. Certainly any of my technical work that requires calculation will have to be worked out on paper, but for the most part, I am able to design from beginning to end in my head.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
ES: My espresso machine, My Hasselblad camera, My light fixtures, My foundry area in my studio, My Paul McCobb chairs.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
ES: I live in a very rural setting with my wife and dogs. We start our day walking and spend the remainder in the studio working. Being in the countryside gives us plenty to do in the outdoors when we aren’t making jewellery.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
ES: It is important for young designers to remember that they are their own best representation. It is very important to always be actively communicating your activities to the public. Be proactive and be prolific!

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
ES: My golden rule is, “if you are going to do it, do it right.” Forget about finding shortcuts and give every project 100%.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
ES: The ability to communicate with people is incredibly important, Whether you are trying to convey a design or concept to a potential client, or explaining the premise of your work to the public, it is essential to be able to do that clearly.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
ES: Beyond the standard tools and equipment of a goldsmith, and a plethora reference books of the subject, my toolbox consists of a variety of resources. I use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for various things, Apple’s Aperture for photo handling, and the internet, which has become an indispensable reference tool for almost anything.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
ES: The reality is, trying to manage a new business is a full time job. Beyond the actual work required to design my jewellery, there is always an endless list of things that require attending to. Managing my time is certainly a challenge and I am usually work seven days a week.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
ES: My designs can take anywhere from a week to a month to get to the point where I am ready to start producing the piece. There are many factors to consider when making a piece of jewellery that all need to be incorporated into the “design”, such as weight, structural integrity and size or fit.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
ES: The most common question I am asked is, “how do you come up with your designs?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
ES: While it was not specifically a job, I worked in the atelier of a very talented goldsmith for several years in Italy. It is by far the experience that has impacted my career the most.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
ES: My clients tend to be people interested in both jewellery and contemporary art, and show an appreciation for hand made objects. I try to appeal to both men and women, and often create pieces that are intended to be worn by both sexes.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
ES: 2013 saw us exhibit in Europe, Asia and North America. I expect much of the same for 2014 and 2015. Also look for us in fashion and design magazines including British Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
ES: I tend to work on my designs alone. While there are areas where I do collaborate with my partner Jennifer, design isn’t one of those areas.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
ES: I have a project underway that I have already spent two years on. It is very exciting and should be ready to submit to next years A’ Awards. It involves a combination of new technology and traditional goldsmith techniques, but I can’t reveal more than that at this point.

FS: How can people contact you?
ES: www.atelierHg.com - is the best place to start. From our website you can find links to the various other platforms we use including Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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