Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Melike Kapıcıoglu (MK) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Melike Kapıcıoglu by clicking here.
Interview with Melike Kapıcıoglu at Thursday 21st of April 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?
MK: Everything started with one single question. One single question I was asked at the atelier where I went for the ring that I drew and wanted to get made. “Would you like to make your own ring?” This was how my journey with the workbench started in 2007. My passion and curiosity for jewelry took me to an endless adventure. Attending training events on Jewelry Design, Jewelry-Making Techniques, Design Culture and Management, my journey took me from Istanbul to London. I continued my trainings on jewelry design and gems at GIA and also Hatton Garden in London. The fact that I had the opportunity to work with many masters from various cultures and with several techniques and materials helped me a great deal in designing what I thought of and imagined as they are without limiting myself and filtering my ideas out and in transforming them into concrete objects from mere drawings. Briefly, my journey is an endless one in which I both learn and attempt to learn new things each and every day.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
MK: I founded Melie in 2012 following the training I received with the goal of establishing the brand since I began my workbench training in 2007. I personally took part in the creation of the brand to make sure that the brand’s visual look, delivery style, designs, and stories are consistent. My motivation behind creating a design that speaks to emotions, senses, and memories is to demonstrate to my clients that the jewelry they have goes beyond an ornamental object; it is a treasure that tells their stories without any need for words, and something they can leave behind for the future. We have a showroom in Nisantasi one of the hip shopping area in Istanbul.
FS: What is "design" for you?
MK: Design is like a story without words, and designer, a storyteller... A feeling, thought, or idea you want to get across, a recollection, or a person and the emotions he or she stirs in you, come together in a drawing on paper, then to be transformed into a tangible reality. Design is your reflection, and you are elated when this reflection reaches and is appreciated by people with a similar story to yours.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
MK: I like to design romantic, timeless, delicate and elegant designs All creations of Melie are inspired by the intense emotions of epic romances. As a symbol of sophistication and passion, my designs claim the sparkle and enchantment of true love. I usually incorporate exquisite contemporary style with a feminine touch. Each one of my pieces has a unique and meaningful story behind.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
MK: My most favourite design is the “Swans in Love” perfume pendant. Inspired by a book written in 1027 that tells the story of a love chain that is hung on the neck and never taken off until death, the perfume necklace expresses the unity of two souls, just as the book describes. Connected to each other with an invisible love chain, the female and male swans symbolize eternal love. Swans also represent a divine beauty through mesmerizing and poetic grace that is displayed only for the partner they choose. For me this pendant reflects true love and true love is blind to anything worldly and to appearances, which can be deceiving. Only feelings and emotions attach them.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
MK: My first design was my Meran Pendant. I am very interested in snakes. for me they are the most spiritual creatures in the world. Meran, which means snake symbolizes a passionate love… The snake embellished with diamonds, the symbol of eternal love, and rubies, the gem of passion, embraces this special perfume bottle as love embracing our soul.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
MK: My favorite materials are precious and natural materials like colored gems, pearls, mother of pearls, horns. They are all special gifts from mother nature and they spring to life in jewelry.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
MK: Sometimes a simple line in a book or in a poem or a simple legend from ancient times or a masterpiece reflects my emotions and suddenly those emotions evokes creativity and I just start designing a piece.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
MK: For me the ease of the jewelry is important for me. I usually focus on the comfort and facility of the piece. A design piece also has to be user friendly.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
MK: Mostly my designs are inspired by the intense emotions of epic romances. Sophistication and passion are the two main feelings of my pieces. I feel love, romance, elegance and sophistication and I'm reflecting the sparkle and enchantment of true love.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
MK: I become very happy. I feel like I reflect a part of me onto somene I even don't know.
FS: What makes a design successful?
MK: If the design has a story behind it becomes timeless then for me It is successful.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
MK: Craftmanship, the harmony of the materials, functionality and originality are all important. If a design has all these items then it is successful.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
MK: Social responsibility is very important for a designer. A designer should be sensitive about environment and humanity. And he/she tries to create awareness. For example I was inspired by the Braille alphabet and tried to add a deeper meaning to jewelry. The word "Love" written in Braille alphabet reflects that true love is not seen with our eyes but felt deep within our soul. Part of the revenues of these designs are donated to the local Association for Blind People.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
MK: Our last exhibition was my last collection Gradiva's launch. 5 legendary love stories engraved in the world history spring to life through Gradiva Collection in jewelry that is the symbol of passion and love. The main theme of the collection is “LOVE”. Love embraces diversity, it is never fooled by appearance, it is timeless and immortal. The collection takes us through a journey filled with legendary love stories.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
MK: Nature, Litrature, various field of art, different kinds of people from different cultures.
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?
MK: My design style is romantic, timeless, delicate and elegant… The designs me are inspired by the intense emotions of epic romances.
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?
MK: I live in Istanbul one of the greatest cities of the world. On one hand I inspired from Istanbul but on the other hand I inspired from different cultures and cities.
FS: How do you work with companies?
MK: As I'm the owner of Melie, I work for my own company.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
MK: A designer can be ready to adopt all circumstances. Different trends and different toics acn effect the designer but On the other hand a designer should never deprive her/himself. According to me a company should work with a designer who can answer the company's needs in a better way. It would be mutual beneficial both for the company and for the designer.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
MK: Once you choose the story you start to research all the details about the story. And then comes the final drawings. After that as if the drawings are real I try to listen the sound that evokes the feelings inside my soul. And I choose the material and the gem that suits the most. For eaxamle If I inspired from Cleopatra I use lapis which is a favorite gem in ancient Egypt.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
MK: A beautiful statue of kissing couple which I bought from Santorini, my vintage veil, my mother of peral old lorgnette from my lorgnette collection and my old teardrop bottle.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
MK: I usually spend my time in my design studio with my desihn equipments. I wake up very early in the morning and I walk like 15 km along the Bosphorus. Then I go to my showroom in Nisantasi. During the day I spend time with special paintings, my surveys, my short stories and a nice chat with my guests and customers. New inspirations come and go to my mind and I find myself drawing a piece for Melie. Melie teaches special things to me every single day.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
MK: Research, inspired from everything rather then their own branch and add feelings and emotions to every single design.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
MK: A biggest obstacle is a unexpected production problem. That's why you have to be clear and you have to know different techniques about production so that you can discuss the matter with craftaman himself.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
MK: A design has to have a soul, a story behind and It has to be unique.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
MK: curiosity, hunger for research, the powe of balancing the past, present and future.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
MK: My drawing papers, pens and my painting equipments. Those are my basic needs about designing.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
MK: Time management is important. If you are designer you have to listen to the world itself. Amd this needs time. You keep yourself. You have to march with time.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
MK: It may take one day or it may take one month or one year. Depends on your spiritual level.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
MK: How do you start designing? Is it your instinct?
FS: What was your most important job experience?
MK: After designing my perfume pendants the production of those pendants were a biggest challenge.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
MK: Our clients are sophisticated stylish ladies who seeks uniquness. In addition to the collections, special clients get to tell their own story through designs by using the right metal, stone, and color to shape the jewelry.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
MK: I would like to focus on the jewelry that appealing to all senses. I like evoke the feelings and memories. Each of my designs have a unique story behind.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
MK: I like to continue to design, to create new story teller pieces that spring to life.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
MK: I develop my designs by myself. I read and travel a lot and sometimes a simple line in a book or in a poem or a simple legend from ancient times or a masterpiece reflects my emotions.
FS: How can people contact you?
MK: They can contact me from our web site www.meliejewelry.com and also from my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org And also from +90 0212 283 0012 We have a showroom in Istanbul. Teşvikiye Mah. Atiye Sok. Uzay Apt. No:3 Kat:1 D:2 Nişantaşı / İstanbul / Turkey
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