Epoch 5: Strange Volitions

Striking Jewellery Series Takes Wearing Rocks to a New Level

London-based jewellery designer Noemi Klein takes a uniquely conceptual approach to her work. Her recent series Epoch 5 is certainly no different. It juxtaposes the imagery of the fragility of the human eye with the rigid and harsh textures of geological structures; all jutting angular lines. As a contrast it almost makes you grimace, but the beauty of the designs provides a nice counterpoint.

“I called the Epoch 5 collection ‘Strange Volitions’ because I was fascinated by the ethereal and sensory notion of the eye as a window to the soul which I contrasted with the world of geological crystals and clusters, to provide a sharp physical alternative taken from the natural environment,” she tells us.

The pieces are a stark reminder that there is beauty amongst seemingly brutal; the harshest of nature’s landscapes are often the most beguiling. Epoch 5 asserts a subtle and alternative sense of femininity, avoiding hackneyed clichés which so much jewellery design is replete with.

Noemi talked to us in more detail about this intriguing collection:

The Plus: What was the inspiration behind the series?
Noemi Klein:
It was a single image, a still from the movie Le Chien Andalou by Luis Bunuel, which took me to reflect on the vulnerability of the eye, as in the movie it is depicted being sliced with a razor blade.

TP: Would you describe your work as art, fashion or design or even poetry? Or all of them? Are these false dichotomies?
Yes I think they are. I wouldn’t describe myself as an artist and I have a bit of a complicated relationship with fashion as I don’t feel comfortable with its seasonality and the expendability that comes with that. But I like ornament and I would love to think that my work carries a message. I’m not a designer by trade but design takes up a large part of my time. So perhaps there is a bit of all of those things in what I do.

TP: Could you tell us briefly about your background and how you got into this kind of work?
I was always making things from when I was a kid. I became quite serious about making jewellery for me and my friends so my dentist father gave me a very special drill when he refurbished his lab. I’d been studying English Literature but by the time I finished my degree I was making jewellery full-time.

TP: Does all of your work make socio-political or metaphysical statement?
I guess I’m quite a socio-politically and metaphysically-minded person so I take this question as a compliment as it seems to imply that that can be seen in the work? Thank you that’s very kind. Still, I would like to think that it’s the effect of my work being personal, rather than me overtly intending to make a statement with it.

TP: Any new work in the pipeline you’d like to tell us about?
I’ve started work on a new collection, although it’s very early days so we are not sure what it’s going to be yet.