Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Britta Schwalm (BS) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Britta Schwalm by clicking here.
Interview with Britta Schwalm at Wednesday 4th of May 2016
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?
BS: I'm a goldsmith who studied design at university. I always wanted to be a designer and I love designing jewellery the most.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
BS: BrittasSchmiede is a workshop were you can get your unique and individual jewellery made by hand. High quality, high standards, traditionally handcrafted as well as created with the latest technology (laser, CAD, 3D-designed and 3D-printed). There is one series 'Glueckskind' by BrittasSchmiede: 'Glueckskind' is brand new and it is all about jewellery and babies. Please visit: http://www.dein-glueckskind.de All the information is available in English as well.
FS: What is "design" for you?
BS: Design changes ‘just’ useful things to beautiful things. Design should sum up all emotions. In 'Eves Weapon' are all emotions, that are represented by an apple (sin, lust, power, health, fertility...), visualised in a collier.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
BS: Jewellery fitting to the customers wishes - unique pieces for individuals. I found out there is often a good approach to look what kind of jewellery my customers wear. And it's quite often, that I can work with that piece of jewellery as a basis, adding on or changing some things.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
BS: My favourite in design is to 'challenge' the audience to have a second look. 'Eves Weapon' consists of apples - you won't notice at first impression. 'Glueckskind' play's with a baby-theme, top secret, if you wish. And I love figurative jewellery. A woman wrapped around a finger, a man wrapped around the other finger. A chess set full of figures in silver - each one a naked woman. I love to design figurative jewellery.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
BS: Jewellery for F. Stahl Birkenfeld/Germany
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
BS: 750/000 Gold
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
BS: Spending quality time with our son. Being silent in nature. Best place is our garden, cat on lap, looking in the pond.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
BS: That my designs are wearable.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
BS: I'm calm and purposeful.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
BS: I'm happy seeing my design fit their wearer and I'm satisfied that it has the right place to be. I enjoy the design process the best, and once a customer is happy I enjoy getting on with the next design.
FS: What makes a design successful?
BS: When it expresses emotions.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
BS: I should be a new thing to show a theme or thing.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
BS: Sustainability. Design should make things last. As said before I often start with jewellery that is owned by my customers and make it new all over. The gold I use is recycled gold 100%.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
BS: I think and wish it is evolving in the direction of responsibility - in every kind (for nature, mankind, animals, kids).
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
BS: My last exhibition of 'Eves Weapon' was at Expo in Milan/Italy 2015, currently it is in Antwerp/Belgium (5.2016) and will go at roadshow around the world. My last exhibitions with 'Glueckskind' had been at Parallax Art Fair in London/GB and IHM (Internationale Handwerksmesse) in Munich/Germany and will be at "Seele trifft Gold" in Historic Villa Metzler in Frankfurt/Germany.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
BS: My creativity is best when I sit at my workplace and stop thinking. I just follow my hands.
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?
BS: I love working figuratively. The human body is a beautiful design. Reframing this artwork with jewellery is fantastic.
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?
BS: I live in Germany. I'm sure that my design is typical German in a way- I just can't describe it. It is easy to work in Germany, I don't have to fear restrictions or limitations.
FS: How do you work with companies?
BS: My jewellery as well as 'Glueckskind' is directly for customers, untill now I have seldom worked work with companies.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
BS: I can visualize it. I think about the item I want to design and at one point I can see it in my mind. That's the moment I know it is right and ready. Often I have to think about how to realize my inspiration.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
BS: A picture from Prof. Schreiter A bog wooden bowl made by Thomas Pildner A spotted Teapot A glas-skulpture called Nike after the Greek goddess built by me The cardboard box rocket my three year old son built
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
BS: I'm a mom of a four year old boy - all days are great but very different. And time is a rare resource.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
BS: Follow your own way. Don't look how or what others did.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
BS: Positive: If there something in my reach which is ugly, I can change it. Negative: I see a lot of things for which I have ideas how to change them, but of course that’s not always possible.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
BS: Perfection. In all details.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
BS: Passion. Patience. Power.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
BS: Rasp, drill, saw and a 3D cad program.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
BS: Cape diem - cape noctem.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
BS: Depends on the object. At about 3 weeks I would guess on average.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
BS: How did you do it? :-)
FS: What was your most important job experience?
BS: Designing and building a necklace in 750/000 rose and whitegold with 110 diamonds as a nominee for the HRD award. It is called 'Eves Weapon' and brought me here...
FS: Who are some of your clients?
BS: From Duke of Hohenzollern to my son’s nursery teacher, one is as important as the other!
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
BS: I love to carve a figure out of wax. I love to model in gold. I love to set gemstones. I love to draw jewellery designs. I think I love being a goldsmith. Why? It's creative, diverse and demanding.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
BS: I'm happy I’ve been selected to receive a A'Design award Gold! Next project is 'Herz aus Altgold'.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
BS: Usually I work by myself. For the 'Glueckskind' project I have a team member, who is the expert for the 3D program.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
BS: Have a look at http://www.brittasschmiede.de/herz-aus-altgold/
FS: How can people contact you?
BS: Britta Schwalm firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com +49 6103 280306
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