What Initially drew you to jewellery design?
Jewellery has always held a special place in my heart. I’m a hugely sentimental person and I have so many memories of admiring my mum putting on jewellery when I was a little girl or knowing she would be coming into a room because her bangles would clink together announcing her entrance. She’d tell me stories about necklaces and earrings that were passed down, so I’ve always felt jewellery can be imbued with memories and meaning.
You have spoken in the past of the influence art and artists have over your practice. Who or what is currently inspiring your design process?
Generally, I’m always inspired by a combination of art and nature, with sculptors like Arp, Blunk, or Asawa always popping back into my mind. I recently spent some time in Italy and became so obsessed with the details within Italian architecture - the shape of mouldings or a sculptural door handle. There was so much beautiful ironwork; elaborate curves and intertwining shapes. I basically was so slow moving anywhere because there was no shortage of inspiring shapes. Even balcony parapets would have elaborate stone murals or unique detailing; it felt like no opportunity was missed to make an object of utility interesting.
Jewellery is such an innately personal form of aesthetic expression. Is there a particular piece you have designed that holds great emotional resonance for you?
I think the Aphrodite Earrings definitely hold a lot of emotional resonance for me. They were designed at a pretty big turning point in my life creatively, where I was rethinking the process of design and who I was designing for. I think it really summarises what By Nye is about, in that it’s a piece I designed 5+ years ago and it’s still probably the most worn pair in my collection and a shape I'm constantly coming back to. It holds contrast within its form, being bold, but with an organic, handmade softness in its curves.
When it comes to selecting jewellery - for yourself or a loved one - what should we keep in mind?
When you’re selecting jewellery for someone else, I think if you're focused on the person you’re gifting to you can’t go wrong. It’s important to be thinking about whether the person likes gold or silver or if their style is bold or more subtle. Understanding whether the piece would be for everyday or special occasions is always a helpful thing to think about and will dictate the kind of piece you would choose. Personally, I love when customers share an image of the person they are gifting to and it’s possible to get a sense of what shapes may suit them and what their style is like.
When I’m choosing jewellery for myself I’m always thinking about contrast. If I’m wearing something pretty simple I pair it with bold earrings or a dramatic necklace. If my hair is really big or wild I’ll wear more subtle or cleaner shapes. I love to experiment with my jewellery and get so much joy from just putting on a pair of earrings because most of the time I don't wear any jewellery whilst I’m working.
Who do you design for - is there a By Nye muse or person you have in mind whilst creating?
I mostly design for myself. I start from a place of creating a shape or object that would be meaningful to me because ultimately I want the piece to be something that I come back to over time. Designing jewellery to me isn’t about capturing a single moment, it’s about developing an idea and creating something lasting. Did I mention I was sentimental?