Currently reading : Introducing “Bevel” by Jonathan Goldstein, interview by Ting Ting Qian
“I’m always interested in what direction people put the jewellery on their hands.”
Jonathan’s approach to jewellery is as much about design as it is a way of cultivating identity and personal history. Having started at Eugene Lang with a joint major of philosophy and psychology and religion and finished with a degree in menswear at Parsons School of Design, Jonathan’s work comes from a strong intuitive core. “Ball Game” is the first collection under the Bevel line.
Mayan mythology seems to be at the centre of this collection- with a story behind each piece of jewellery- was that a starting point for the design process?
I was adopted at three months old, and felt an intense need as I grew up to construct my own cultural ancestry. The tale of Mayan civilization is something that resonated with me very early on and has since become a central element in my life, and the idea of a civilization that held so much power so long ago is another source of inspiration in my “States of Being…” to not only capture the human life cycle but one of a once-great civilization, from its inception to its ruin.
I feel like with this first collection, I am cementing my own identity. It feels very grounding. One’s choice in jewelry is by nature very personal, and to be able to create something and give it meaning and heritage is very satisfying.
Which materials are you interested in exploring?
I’m starting to explore gold as a medium, in the future I would possibly like to work with stones. I like working with silver because the material is like a person, if you don’t love it, it will become blackened and dark, but with care and attention the brighter and the more lustre it will have.
Which are some of the artist or designers that inform your work?
I’ve always loved Francis Bacon. He’s always returning in some way or another. I love a lot of the visuals for Marilyn Manson, Ramnstein. The dark side of mythology is intriguing for me. And my motto has always been ‘dark things breed bright ideas’.
How would you like people to approach your jewellery pieces?
Jewellery is a very personal thing; overtime it can hold a lot of history. I love how things grow. You’ll start with anything perfect or what the person who’s telling you is considering to be perfect and then the more you wear it the more flavour it develops, the more it becomes a part of you and in that way it becomes more personal. For instance silver blackens overtime. Some pieces in the collection are intentionally blackened so the reverse process will happen; where the pieces will become brighter with wear; essentially polishing themselves overtime.
How do you see yourself evolving for the next collection?
The pieces from this collection just came into being, so if this is any indication, the designs for the next collection will just appear. My work grows from an organic process; I started doing jewellery because I had fallen in love with a jewellery designer. Love leads you in these different directions and can be a positive influence, if you let it.