Vasiliki, the Jewelry Studio Merging Sci-Fi and Historic Mythology
Described as “a crossover between one thing that’s primordial and archaic, and one thing fairly futuristic,” Kiki Karayiannis’s Athens-based jewelry studio creates emotional, “wonky” handmade items
- Who’s it? Vasiliki is the Athens-based jewelry studio of Kiki Karayiannis
- Why do I would like it? Ethereal and emotional handmade designs that attain into different worlds of mythology and science fiction
- The place can I discover it? Vasiliki designs can be found via the studio’s personal web site in addition to LN-CC, SSENSE, Dongliang, Hug, SET&SEKT, Taxidi Tinos and Moda Operandi
Who’s it? Shortly after graduating from Goldsmiths in London with a BA in Superb Artwork and Historical past of Artwork, Kiki Karayiannis relocated to Athens, Greece, the place her mom grew up, for a six-month “change of surroundings”. But, wanting so as to add objective to play, Karayiannis outlined a purpose for her sojourn: to delve into the artwork of jewellery-making by crafting ten pairs of earrings based mostly on avatars drawn from historic mythologies and science-fiction. Now, 4 years on, the designer continues to be in Athens and her easy mission has metamorphosed into Vasiliki, a jewelry studio dropped at life by its more-than-human, regal designs.
Though Karayiannis had no formal training in jewelry design, her background in sculpture and ceramics aided within the growth of her distinctive, visceral visible language which is “a crossover between one thing that’s primordial and archaic, and one thing fairly futuristic.” Then, in Athens, native artisans generously taught her the technicalities of the craft: “I used to be waking up at 5am and occurring the bus with a great deal of outdated Greek males to a correct sort of classical revival jewelry workshop,” she laughs. Such an expertise immersed her within the magic of jewellery-making from begin to end. “I’m going into my caster’s, into a extremely boiling sizzling room, and see them do all the things,” Karayiannis explains. “The casting course of actually mythologises the transformation since you’re altering an object via alchemy.”
The designer’s silvery imaginative and prescient has since expanded past the preliminary ten pairs of earrings to 2 full trans-seasonal collections – however every design stays rooted in its personal otherworldly inspiration. “I like reaching into these fictional narratives, these constructed worlds simply an creativeness away, the place another person defined the world earlier than we had science,” Karayiannis muses. “For instance, the truth that the Aztecs thought that gold was the gods’ excrement. All these cheeky, humorous issues.” In a nod to the alchemy of her apply, she names the designs after “transformational characters who’ve gone via a metamorphosis” – or fungi. “Fungi is usually seen as one thing gross, however they’re these regenerative sorts of beings. So, I like placing a extremely fancy stone in one among them and being like ‘yep, go on the market’.”
Why do I would like it? Together with her cryptic, performative designs, Karayiannis transforms the fantastical and the fey into technically wealthy masterpieces. In a world the place digital applied sciences allow jewelry design to be streamlined with precision and uniformity, her hand-crafted items – that are naturally asymmetrical and superbly “wonky” – are a automobile to an alternate dreamlike world. Their abstractions and imperfections maintain the non secular weight of historic relics or household heirlooms, opening an emotional area the place the wearer’s private story twists into the design’s mythological roots.
Take, for instance, the Home of Asterion, a hoop impressed by a Jorge Luis Borge story of the identical identify. The four-sided obtuse labyrinth motif reads as a classical Grecian frieze, a seemingly endless and repetitive narrative based mostly on Borge’s perception that the maze is “a reference to life, a non secular journey, during which we all the time discover the endpoint,” explains the designer.
By utilizing the traditional technique of Misplaced Wax Carving – the place the items are solid in recycled gold or silver from a hand-carved wax mould – Karayiannis provides a palpable texture to the surfaces of her designs: “The approach lets you imprint your fingerprint into it, or to create droplets, which I see as water-like and fairly an emotional contact.” Every half, right down to the clasps, is handmade both by herself or native artisans.
On the coronary heart of Vasiliki is a deep concern for sustainability and Karayiannis is continually on a Zelda-like mission for fair-trade, ethically mined stones. Working solely with a tight-knit group of suppliers who can hint the supplies again to the very mine they had been sourced from, she admits that “it’s troublesome to search out moral sources, however I really feel higher shopping for one thing that’s lovely however of no harm to the individuals doing it. As I hunt for these stones, I really feel like I’m on an moral mission online game.”
Because the designer permits her core assortment to develop organically, her intimate bespoke jewelry will stay central to her studio. “These days, with the fixed inflow through social media of a number of individuals doing stuff, individuals have lots of anxiousness, of feeling much less particular, much less that they’ve a component on this planet,” she says gently. “So, I sort of like my place the place I’m making it for one particular person, for them. And I, hopefully, could make them really feel a little bit extra particular.”
The place can I discover it? Vasiliki designs can be found via the studio’s personal web site in addition to LN-CC, SSENSE, Dongliang, Hug, SET&SEKT, Taxidi Tinos and Moda Operandi.