Interview with Me ♡ Intervju v prilogi Ona

I didn't write for a long time. I am busy designing jewellery, therefore I attached the translation of the interview, which iwas published in slovene newspaper's supplement Ona. Read in english below the photo.

Že dolgo nisem nič napisala. Trenutno sem v fazi oblikovanja nakita, zato pripenjam intervju, ki je bil objavljen v prilogi Ona, časopisa Delo. Na desni strani, pod mojo fotografijo, lahko najdete povezavo do spletne strani nakita Sumina Jewellery in do trgovinice Etsy, kjer lahko nakit tudi kupite. Določeni kosi nakita so dobavljivi tudi preko splene trgovine Slovenske ustvarjalke.

Klik na PDF datoteko za branje intervjuja v slovenščini :-)

Interview in English☆.......................♡...................... ☆

Barbara Nardoni, designer

Jewellery that surprises
Barbara Nardoni. Barba to her close ones. An industrial design graduate born in Škofja Loka, living in Dragomer and creating in Vrhnika. Once a furniture designer, she has always been interested in an overall approach to a product and considers the word sustainability a standard feature of her designs. For the last two years she has been intensively creating her own brand, Sumina Jewellery, which follows the principles of reuse. She is strongly captivated by the symbolics and by the invisible aspect of the product – the one that a person cannot see, but is strongly influenced by.

By Melita Meršol

Years ago you spent most of your time designing furniture. How did you make the shift towards jewellery? My colleague and I spent several years designing under the name IN.DI.GO. Slovene wood industry was still alive back then, so we designed a lot of furniture: kids' rooms, systemic furniture for living rooms, sofas, chairs, interior doors. Then came the family: first my daughter, then my son. Eventually, the economic crisis came as well. I was drawn more and more towards unique design, while being involved on a daily basis – through my husband – with the screw manufacturing company that our family runs. In the end, my restless spirit got me thinking about how they could be used elsewhere. So, yes; the screws were the starting point.

What is the jewellery that you create under the brand Sumina Jewellery actually like?
I design a rather broad spectrum of men's and women's jewellery. The screw-based pieces are made of stainless steel and comprise earrings, bracelets and pendants. I combine them with organic epoxy resin, colour, leather and strings. Some come across as quite robust, but elegant. It's somewhat hard for me to really place them within a certain style, so you can wear them every day and match them however you like. It's jewellery that might seem trivial, but once you look carefully, it surprises. The silver pieces are different; more feminine and very intuitive.

What lies behind the name Sumina? What does it represent the most?
The name Sumina brings together the stories, history and tradition of two families, Nardoni and Sumina. My grandfather, Julij Nardoni, was a master blacksmith and that knowledge saved his life when he was interned at the Mauthausen concentration camp during World War II. The forge there gave him warmth, keeping him alive. After retirement, he would spend his days in his workshop, where I watched him every day. The other story is that of the Sumina family, into which I was led by love. The family company has been manufacturing cold forged screws for over three decades. Forging, or better put, reshaping metal is what both families have in common, and that is how these two different worlds met to start a new story of jewellery design. I’ve enhanced that story with my own view of the world, of everything around me – of how we can see beauty and positivity in anything, as long as we wish to. And so, even the seemingly simple, mundane object such as the screw, which usually goes unnoticed, can become a strong and aesthetic symbol after we have recycled or reused it.

Could you please give us some more insight into the symbolics, the invisible side of the product?
We meet symbols in our daily lives and in our dreams. Symbols don't posses a merely aesthetic and informative function, but can also influence a person through its invisible side. They touch us profoundly in our essence and use their invisible power to guide and heal us. Each individual perceives symbols differently – that's why they influence everybody in a different way. The important thing is to always accept them as positive messages and not get frightened. For instance, I can perceive a screw as a small mandala, i.e. a circle with a cross or an “x” within it. To me, the circle represents birth, infinity; all other shapes stem from the circle. The cross can represent the four main points of the compass, which intersect in the centre and use their immaterial strength to keep us balanced and to appease us. The “x” can represent a kiss, a symbolic message at the end of a letter. The heart is more than just a Valentine's day note. The disposition of the designer during the creative process is very important, because for me, designing a piece of jewellery means introducing energy into the product. If we channel energy of inner peace into the product, it will be imbued by it, and that should be the case with any product. Infusing higher values into products represents some kind of sustainable design which benefits generations to come.

Which are your favourite materials to work with?
I am currently fascinated by designing jewellery with silver art clay. This Japanese compound of silver and binder dries like ceramic and turns into 99 percent silver. It's a material that doesn't tolerate haste and carelessness. It demands concentration and peace, as it's very fragile in its raw state. Another thing I incorporate more and more is 3D design, a remnant of my background in industrial design.

What kind of music keeps you company when you're devising new pieces?
When I'm working I particularly like to listen to Native American music – my favourite is Carlos Nakai. Then again, I often don't listen to anything, just the silence and my breath.

Why is it important to wear jewellery – what does a well-chosen necklace, for instance, tell about us?
Most people wear jewellery mostly for aesthetic reasons. But it's also recommended that we wear it for energy support in those areas that we wish to alter or push forward in life. I must emphasize, though, that we need to take the jewellery off every day and purge it, energy-wise; you can, for example, hold it under cold running water for a while. A necklace that we choose speaks of our feelings or wishes. If we are attracted to a yellow pendant, it could mean that we wish to get rid of the fear that fills us; that we yearn for the light and the sun that will chase away dark thoughts.

Which is your favourite piece of everyday jewellery?
My favourite is a pair of screw stud earrings – and the colour changes according to my mood that day. The earrings have different inserts - different screw heads. One has a notch, which represents a minus, the other a cross, which represents a plus. The positive and the negative charge work together to balance the body and mind, just like yin and yang.

Can Sumina jewellery be passed from generation to generation?
Generally speaking, yes – although I believe that everything we inherit should undergo an energetic cleanse, lest we inherit also the negative energy of whoever owned that piece before. It is, however, possible to reuse inherited pieces very beautifully, infusing them with new life and purpose.

What makes your jewellery special, different from more classic pieces?
My jewellery is special because of its many hidden values that don't emerge until later, when you look at it closely or read the story behind a certain piece. It often warms my heart to see people stopping by my stand and only observe, from a distance; then they come nearer and take a closer look at the jewellery. That's when they, rather surprised, compliment the idea of how a trivial product such as a screw can become a beautiful piece of jewellery. They think it's a very clever idea and that's why they buy it or come back later.

What are you proud of?
I'm proud of my own personal development; it owes a lot to my jewellery design, which always keeps pushing me forward. To create means to search for yourself in a piece of material; it means testing your limits, feeling the material and hushing your ego. I found it difficult to make the transition from the industrial designer mould towards unique design and to open a stall. I also found it difficult to expose myself on social media, which is absolutely necessary for promoting products. But everything is possible, if you know your life's goal. If your heart is's in it and you take gradual steps, everything falls into place eventually. Each piece of jewellery is a story for itself; it also means resolving inner conflicts, which, however, are also collective. If you share these stories, you will help others as well, and that is what I'm proud of.


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