Dead Nature…Alive is the dream of Adriana Guelfi Herrera… the artist that loved Nature as from a child: jacaranda flowers lying fallen on a carpet of grass, evening sunsets and twilights in the countryside, shooting stars and sea-foam… all a never ending source of fascination.
This collection is an ecosystem composed of small collections inspired by Nature. Some of them are born from dead elements of Nature; others vibrate with the life colours of incredible flowers. In this cycle in which life dies… only to be reborn and live again… we can appreciate the magic and wonder of creation.
The pieces that compose the collection were hand- forged by the artist in her atelier, a sunny and luminous space surrounded by trees. Here she enjoys creating Nature’s Jewels. Each one contains a small part of her, they are born of her essence…of her love for detail… and they will become part of the essence of each person that chooses them.
We reached the artist behind the brand, and here´s what she has to say about it.
Tell us about yourself… How is the brand Adriana Guelfi Herrera born?
My brand was born out of the need to express myself as an artist. Throughout my life I have always been in contact with the Arts, I have experimented in various disciplines, mingled one with the other, studied Graphic Design, Packaging Design, Corporate I.D. on the formal side, and taken innumerable courses from sewing to painting. I cannot even remember how I started attending my master jeweler’s atelier in Uruguay. What I do remember was the joy I felt out of creating a jewel from pure hard metal. When I mastered the technique and the need arose to channel my creativity and forge a collection with my own designs, I started travelling to Argentina to attend María Medici’s Jewelry Design Course. From there on, everything followed its own path, the turning point begun when I learned how to bring Nature into my creations: that was when Adriana Guelfi Herrera, Jeweller by Nature, was born.
What’s the philosophy of the brand?
The brand’s philosophy is to create awareness of Nature and love for the unique. The pieces are mostly one of a kind pieces that are hand-forged by the artist.
Who is the woman that feels identified with the brand Adriana Guelfi Herrera?
The whole concept is the other way round: it is for women to feel identified with our brand, to find in our pieces of jewelry their own essence, to discover their love for Nature and the feeling that jewels can enhance in their spirit and bring them back to earth.
When designing a collection, could you tell us what’s your process?
Designing a collection is a very long process, the key to it – at least in my case – is the moment when you land the concept and feels: this is it! Once you have found the path you will trod, the rest is mostly downhill and enjoying the magic behind creating: fixing my mood-board, drawing, piling material and ideas on top of my working desk, making models in cardboard, playdough, wax and mostly ENJOYING the outcomes and the fact that I love what I do.
Which ones are your favourite materials and why?
I do not have a favourite material, I work with metals, leather, stones, textiles, cotton cords… Each collection has a predominant material and mostly when using metals, I find silver and bronze the most noble ones. Most of my pieces have a matte finish because I do not seem to get along with extra brilliance! Polishing is a way of evening out, and I tend to be rebellious and have the metal show its core and its scores. I haven’t yet brought gold as a metal into my collections, but I will as soon as I can. Gold has the unique quality of being a metal but transmitting softness and warmth.
What lies behind this collection is the cycle of life, the fluidity of the dead that is reborn into the alive and the living that dies to nourish. One cannot live independently of the other, their existence is antagonistic;
What’s behind the collection Dead Nature…Alive?
What lies behind this collection is the cycle of life, the fluidity of the dead that is reborn into the alive and the living that dies to nourish. One cannot live independently of the other, their existence is antagonistic; finding the tension that underlies this process is what makes us discover the fluidity of Nature.
We know you’ve already presented a collection in Argentina and you came back to Uruguay, your country origin, to present it here also, how was the process of it and how did it reverberated in Uruguay?
My first collection was very different from the one I recently created. It was a collective show with a general title, which resulted being the worst I could ever imagine: URBAN. I was not happy in the least, found it really challenging, but the moment I grasped the concept I wanted to transmit, everything started flowing and I was extremely content with the outcome: Nature invading and inhabiting these urban settings, overgrowing these metallic cities and bringing LIFE into them.
So when the time came to launch my brand in my beloved country, the process was easy and enjoyable from day one: I was going to rebel against the urban and have Nature explode in my collection! Not only the jewels but the packaging, the social media campaigns, the setup of the exhibition, everything is an ode to Nature. And that is what makes it unique: my jewels are an artistic expression of Nature, and not the classical commercial pieces that are found in my country.
During the exhibition, everybody was awed, they couldn’t believe that a jewel could represent Nature at it’s best. They adored the experience of watching a “dead” vs an “alive” display and discovering that Adriana Guelfi Herrera proudly represents the country’s best attribute: its Nature.
Tell us a story behind a piece.
Maybe the story behind my FLOWER jewels is the most compelling one, because they were born from a mexican legend, Xtabay. It narrates the deaths of Xtabay, the prostitute, whose tomb gave birth to the most beautiful and humble flower, with an exquisite perfume that besot the wayfarers; and Utz Colel, the pious but cold hearted lady who turned into the flower of a bristly cactus, full of thorns and casting an awfully unpleasant smell.
These FLOWER pieces are full of life, they were born from drawings of flowers that I transformed into wiry silver and bronze flowers, and later I sowed to colourful collages of textiles that gave them the background they needed to flourish and besot.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans today are quite simple: to keep doing this which I love and fulfills me. My utmost wish is to sell my jewels in a little Parisian gallery and to design capsule collections for bigger brands. I love new challenges, and having the opportunity to create a collection for a worldwide brand that wants to bring Nature back into its roots would be very gratifying.
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