Wednesday, January 4, 2012


18-Karat Rose Gold Plated Sterling
Silver Fish Weight Pendant Necklace
Poland’s Wieliczka Salt Mine is a centuries-old burrow situated within the city of Krakow.

A one-time location for producing table salt, the mine is now a popular tourist attraction holding “mythical and historical” figurines made from rock salt and an underground lake.  Poland is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Kasia Piechocka.

What is your idea of personalized jewelry?  Is it a nameplate necklace or perhaps an initial necklace? 

Although personalized jewelry items like initial pendants or nameplate necklaces can and do speak to someone’s individuality I find them rather limited in expressing more specific details of personality.

Piechocka redefines the concept of personalized jewelry as her approach strives to capture specific nuances of a particular individual.  She does this while also challenging perceptions of what is considered timeless form in classically styled jewelry.

A recent graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (she graduated in June 2011) and recipient of the Marmalade Jewelry Award, the London-based jeweler seamlessly blends understatement with the unexpected. 

Having gained tutelage under such notable British jewelery designers as Hannah Martin and Shaun Leane, she launched her collection, About the Man Who Loved Fishing, in late 2011.  The fine jewelry collection of 18-karat gold and rhodium plated sterling silver is based on her father’s favorite pastime: fishing.

The collection, based on actual fishing paraphernalia owned by her father, is a sole expression of a specific predilection making the collection uniquely personal.  “I sadly lost my father a few years ago; he was a very prominent figure in my life,” says Piechocka.  “Having supported me through my studies it felt so right to dedicate my last year of education and my debut collection to him.

I asked my mother to specially look for my father’s old fishing equipment and send it over to me from Poland,” she recalls.  “Almost every single design is based around the mechanisms and objects that my father used when he went fishing.

It was during this design process that I discovered how much I enjoy researching and designing around a real person.  This is a theme I want my future collections to also follow.”

18-Karat Gold Plated Silver Fishbone Necklace
Piechocka brings remarkable elegance to the otherwise dirty, smelly business of fish heads, fish weights and fish bones.  While decidedly masculine in tone, the designer makes a point not to create gender-specific jewelry. 

“All of the jewelry that I create is unisex.  I never design my jewelry for a specific wearer.  It is designed for all ages, genders, races and religions.  The collection had a very bold, masculine and rugged characteristic behind it; however, I only used these qualities to form shapes of the jewelry, not visions of the wearer.”

Piechocka’s design approach reflects a fearlessness that I appreciate.  I like that her aesthetic, though classic in its proportions, is not based in conventionality.  Her collection is proof that the mundane and unattractive can be transformed into luminous and timeless forms of wearable art.

“There are no set rules to designing timeless jewelry. I think this is the case because we all have different definitions of what makes something valuable, timeless, classic or meaningful. 

Although some of the pieces may look simple at first glance, there are a surprising number of edges and curves in each piece.  This makes the production process extremely time-consuming. 

I always start from a lot of research.  Choosing the right images or objects is very important to me, as this becomes the starting point and the key to the entire collection. Once I obtain a core them, I start drawing.  

This process takes several weeks as I like to have at least five or six designs ready for each piece.  Before I sit down at my work bench, I also build up an idea of the color palette and type of finish that I would like.

From this point onwards my time in the workshop consists of a mixture of drawing, sample making, sketching, finalizing designs, paint-ups and of course making the final pieces.  When I am designing jewelry I feel like I am drawing, painting and sculpting at once and I absolutely love it! 

I am still developing my brand and I think one of the most exciting concepts to my brand is my 'inspire me with someone who inspires you' campaign.  My future collections will all be similarly inspired by real people, only this time the inspiration of others.

I am inviting fans of my work to email me at and tell me about someone inspirational in their lives.  I will then choose one of these people to collaborate with and convert their inspiration into a jewelry collection.  Of course they will also be gifted with one of the pieces that they helped to create.”

Sterling Silver Fish Weight Ring
with Orange Sapphires

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