Meet the Maker - Francesca Urciuol

Posted on 8 Feb 17:00

This is ‘Meet the Maker’, where you can get to know the story behind the aesthetics. This week we chat with Francesca Urciuoli one of the five designers featuring in our latest exhibition.

Francesca talks about the importance of imperfections in jewellery, her tips on how to make it as a successful jewellery designer and how to find what makes your designs unique...

This is our final 'Meet the Maker' New Designer Series and we hope you've enjoyed finding out more about our New Designers and gained some useful tips on the way. The 'New Designers' Exhibition is available to view until the 31st March at our Bristol Store. 

About you?

I’m an Italian contemporary jewellery artist based in Berlin, Germany.

I obtained her BFA at the Alchimia School of Contemporary Jewellery, Italy and then went on to obtain her MFA at the SUNY, New Paltz, New York, USA. After finishing my studies, I did a few internships around the USA: first at Heidi Lowe Gallery in DE and then in San Diego CA where I was an assistant for Anne Wolf. Then I moved to the UK, to Birmingham, where I completed the residency programs offered by the Birmingham School of Jewellery.

Recently I moved to Berlin, Germany where I’m currently working as a studio assistant in a Jewellery workshop. 

What first attracted you to working with Jewellery?

I always wanted to work with my hands, making things. I see jewellery as a means of communication: Jewellery tell something about the wearer and possibly the maker, it’s about sharing a story.

What has been the inspiration for this collection?

My work reflects the concept of decay, used and lost. I like to make jewellery objects that work as relics, a small-scale armour and at the same time as talismans, or amulets. I like to investigate the moment when an adornment becomes something more than mere ornamentation. My goal is to create a sense of “worn”, often translated by some "dis-functionalities" of the pieces such as holes or rough textures. Each piece invites the viewer to get closer, to see the imperfection. Imperfections are a reminder of transiency, time passing; they draw us with curiosity and allow us to create our own stories lost in time.

What are your plans for the future?

As a long term project, my aim would possibly be to open a shared studio/gallery space where I can teach, work on my jewellery pieces and show them at the same time during open studio times or occasional exhibitions. In order to cultivate these goals I want to keep being active as a metalsmith of course and improve my skills; I want to keep teaching and doing workshops, internships and residencies.

What advice would you give someone who is trying to become a jewellery designer?

If you want to make Jewellery-making as your job, you have to work hard and find something to specialize in, and make it yours. That could be translated into a technique, a way of working, or a specific material… anything that makes your work unique and somehow different. I also believe that visibility is very important so finding time to work on your networking is essential.

Your favourite quote or words of wisdom?

Push yourself out of your comfort-zone!