I’m a little bit earlier than our appointment time so when I get to Noemi’s studio the sky starts falling over in the form of heavy rain (this is London, after all). I take refuge in a cute hipster cafe in front of her studio, warming up with a cup of coffee and making time. As I’m looking up at the Oval Building where her studio space is I’m hoping that those windows with dry flowers hanging belongs to Noemi. Lucky me, cause wishes do come true and the flower sculptures are more beautiful from the inside of the studio than from the cafe.
I first came across Noemi Klein Jewellery while browsing Not Just a Label. I was instantly attracted to her jewelry because not only is it different, it has depth to it. There’s a thorough design process and articulated research of the nature and physiology of objects. It is beautiful, dark and it sets her apart from the mainstream jewelers.
Noemi is a self taught jeweler, which makes her work even more impressive. She’s from West Germany which you can see from her laid back posture and cool spirit. When she moved to London she worked hard for 10 years to gain experience to start her own namesake label, which finally happened in 2010.
As Noemi greeted me into her studio the only thing I could think of was how awesome it is. As you walk in there’s a whole wall that serves as her inspiration board and it has a life of it’s own. A laptop, paperwork, a camera, unfinished pieces, probably studies for new collections lie around. You want to dangle around and take it all in, look at the photos and smell the beautiful dry flowers. Everything is eye catching and I can hardly look away. I think I actually pulled the camera right away and started shooting even before I properly introduced myself and thanked Noemi for her hospitality.
What also makes Noemi’s studio different are the flower sculptures. There are a bunch of them that lie on a cord on her window and that occupy the studio in small buckets, boxes and vases. They are everywhere and they give the space an ethereal and edgy atmosphere, a little bit like Noemi’s jewelry.
Then you start noticing the objects: a suitcase, the books (there’s a copy of Grey’s anatomy), the cups, the cases, the objects on the bench, the notes on the wall, the bits of metal and pieces spread over the bench. There’s also the display case that Noemi built specifically for the exhibition “Made in London: Jewellery now” at the Museum of London. It’s a beautiful large pedestal case, with white arcades on the inside, where you can look inside and see some of the jewelry she created specifically for this exhibition (one of them a taxidermy bird with metal legs that cling to two rings).
From her studio space it’s clear where Noemi draws inspiration from. Art, architecture and nature are present all around and it’s good to see this inspiration transformed into wearable pieces of art. I particularly love her rings, the shapes and their textures. It was also a lot of fun to chat with Noemi while shooting her studio and have a feel how she thinks about the business, the process and the jewelry. She is pretty laid back so it was nice to just hang out at her studio and talk. I could have stayed the whole day just soaking it all in, the inspiration and the talent. It was a lovely studio visit and an even better jewelry designer to get to know personally.
Thanks Noemi for a delightful afternoon and for having such an amazing, inspiring space!
NOEMI KLEIN JEWELLERY
How did you become a jewelry designer?
“By chance really. First I made jewellery as a hobby as I’ve always collected little bits and made things from them. The skills came with practice.”
What’s the first thing you do when you get to the studio?
“Make a cup of tea”
What do you like most about your space?
Pick 3 objects in your studio that make your space yours.
“The mood-wall. My dried flower sculptures . My amazing german drill.”
What’s your favorite spot in the studio?
“I cherish any time I get at the bench”
Any studio rituals?
“Chat with neighbors”
What do you love/hate doing at the bench?
“I can get a little bit bored with polishing.”
What makes you procrastinate?
What is currently inspiring you?
“Kazimir Malevich and a furniture maker called George Nakashima”
What jewelry do you always wear?
“A simple branch ring, usually stacked”
Currently obsessed with which gemstone/metal?
“Amethysts and tourmalines”
Piece of jewelry you’re most proud of?
“It’s not really wearable jewellery, but the pieces I made for the exhibition MADE IN LONDON at the Museum of London”
What’s your dream jewelry piece?
“If money were no object I would pave-set the spine-body piece with diamonds. Will make a start on this dream with simple rings first, tough.”
Worst piece of jewelry you had to design/create?
“I can’t remember ever making anything I’ve not liked even if it was a bit ugly.”
What’s the longest period you spent at the studio and why?
“I once stayed until 4 in the morning preparing for a show, shouldn’t have gone home”
The best thing a client ever told you?
“Andrea Riseborough this week: ‘I’d love to wear everything in the future’ was pretty cool”
The funniest thing a client ever told you?
“It’s usually me who tells the funny stories. Heard the one about when I did a show in Paris and left the jewellery behind?”
What’s on your desk right now?
“A bleedin’ mess”
If you weren’t a jeweler?
“I’d be a physicist or a psychologist”