2nd Place - Enamel
Sinork Agdere’s breathtakingly beautiful and delicate "The Dragonfly" pendant/brooch is truly a remarkable piece of jewelry that captures the essence of the dragonfly and its symbolism. His enameling is amazing, as well as his metalsmithing skills. This is the whole artistic package! As he states, “…my themes are historically rich, yet distinctively modern in style.” You can tell just by looking at the piece that he is passionate about his art. His story, insights and designs are a gift to us all.
About the winning piece:
What materials did you use in the winning piece?
18K yellow gold, 1.85ct diamonds, 1.24ct ruby, enamels
What processes did you use?
Plique-à-jour enameling technique
What was the inspiration for the piece?
Dragonflies are often used as inspiration due to their mystical, delicate and colorful nature. From the colors to the actual creature itself, different cultures all over the world gave different symbols and representations to the dragonfly. The dragonfly is generally associated with the symbolic meaning of transformation, adaptability, joy, lightness, authenticity and connection. This piece was inspired by the beauty and representations of the dragonfly.
How long did it take to make?
What did you learn from the piece?
Once again, I learned that when I work with enamel, I am reminded that life is colorful and joyful.
Do you think this piece will influence your work going forward?
Every piece I create is a part of my soul and every single piece influences my work.
What do you like most about the piece?
I like the plique-à-jour enameling on this piece the most. The art of jewelry enameling is where my passion lies. It is the intensity, the variety, the energy of each color and how it complements each design that is so fascinating to me.
About the Artist:
Where do you live?
I live in Los Angeles, California.
Where did you receive your training?
When I was 14 years old, I became an apprentice to a renowned artisan and goldsmith in a small workshop in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. That’s where my journey started.
When did you discover you loved making jewelry?
As an apprentice I sat next to my mentor day in and day out, watching him work for nearly six months before I had my first chance to touch a piece of precious metal and start working on it myself. At that moment, I knew this was it ... my curiosity had just turned into passion!
How long have you been making jewelry?
Do any of your other passions influence your work?
My love for history.
What other types of work have you done in your life?
This is it, the one and only!
When are you most creative?
I am in my creative mood when I am happy. And I am happy when I am in my creative mood.
What is your company’s name?
What do you sell? What services do you offer?
My current collection, custom designs, also when/if I have time, I support other designers with their enameling needs.
What is your artist statement/design philosophy?
I create artistically inclined fine jewelry designed for connoisseurs of fine art and high fashion.
How do you get the word out about your work?
Trade shows such as the COUTURE Show, trunk shows, and publications.
Describe your current jewelry collections.
Luxurious, timeless and unique. A striking aesthetic, which holds a unique vision in the marketplace. My collections are sculpturally bold, yet impossibly delicate; bright enamels captivating, yet subtle; themes historically rich, yet distinctively modern in style.
Do you have a staff?
My daughter Lena joined the business in 2015. We are dedicated to running the business together; while I lead the design and manufacturing, Lena directs our marketing and customer relations. We are a fantastic father-daughter duo.
What is your favorite material to work with?
I love working with gold and enamel.
What is your differentiator from other designers?
What differentiates my work from other designers is that I focus on unique and one-of-a-kind pieces, especially inspired by Old World designs.
What do you love about making jewelry?
The creative process is what I love and of course the “making.”
Describe the first piece of jewelry you made? When was it?
I made my first piece of jewelry at the age of 15. It was a marquise-shaped silver ring, with gemstones and enameling. I made it for my mother for Mother’s Day. My mother ended up wearing it for years and gifted it to my wife when we got married.
What is the one thing you most love about your studio?
Working on my jeweler’s bench with the beautiful downtown LA view.
What one word of advice would you give beginning designers?
Stay patient and trust your journey.
What work inspires you?
I would have to say jewelry history and design periods. I draw much inspiration from thousands of years of history from Anatolian civilizations, a rich cultural heritage spanning the ancient empires such as Egypt, Rome, and Byzantium, and from the more recent European design periods of Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
What jeweler would you most like to have dinner with or visit their studio?
If it was possible to time travel, I would have loved to visit the studio of Rene Lalique.
About the Saul Bell Design Award:
What did you feel when you found out you were a winner?
Joyful, grateful, and honored.
What made you decide to enter the competition?
To share my vision and passion with the world.
What other design awards have you won?
- AGTA Spectrum Awards, 2016
- Oprah Magazine Design Challenge, 2017
Interview by Marlene Richey