We are super excited to introduce you to one of our favorite jewelry designers, Neža Žehelj. You all know how much we love minimalist jewelry, and when we stumbled across Neza’s Instagram feed, our first thought was – wow! It has the coolest minimalistic vibe that is so unique and chic. It’s kind of jewelry that you’ll want to wear all the time, and literally goes with everything. We talk with Ljubljana based designer about her design process, inspirations, life and more.
TIA TEILLI: When did you find your passion for designing jewelry?
As a young girl when I had affection for jewelry during my play. Professionally 2010 during my apprenticeship at the goldsmith workshop, where my passion was particularly expressed.
TIA TEILLI: Can you tell us more about your process? What goes into making a piece from scratch?
It all starts in my head, then I usually put it on the paper. If it’s something more complex, I make a paper model just to imagine how it would function in 3D. The technical part is as well important as the esthetics one. If it works on both parts, then I start to make it from the metal.
Sometimes I completely skip sketching and planning, and make some pieces straight from my head. It usually happens when I know all the technical facts and workflow in my head before it comes out as a piece of jewelry.
TIA TEILLI: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Nature is always full of surprises and inspiration in sense of shape and color. I definitely take some elements from it, but also from everyday city life. On the street, I observe the street style of people walking by. Architecture, streets, graffiti, hip-hop culture or random stuff, such as abandoned houses and decaying walls, are also inspiring to me.
I absorb these things on a daily basis. Sometimes I just feel kind of ecstatic in big cities. As much as I love it, I can also get overloaded easily.
The other part of my research is more rational and demanding. I pick historical art books, go to museums, or observe antique jewellery at friend’s place. That stirs my imagination too.
TIA TEILLI: Favorite piece you ever made?
My favorite piece of jewellery at the moment is a «hidden treasure» ring. It’s a box ring, that you can open and hide your little treasure in it..
TIA TEILLI: Your secret talent?
TIA TEILLI: Favorite TV show?
Honestly, I do not have any cause I don’t own a TV. But as a big fan of music, I used to watch Carpool Karaoke and it made me laugh so much.
TIA TEILLI: Right now, you are obsessed with?
Material: Vintage goldplated handwatch from my partners granny
Abstract: A COLORS music show for new upcoming artists on You Tube. It’s has so many good music I just can’t stop listening to it. It’s my soul music. 🙂
TIA TEILLI: What are your plans for the future? Any new collections?
Yes, I am dealing with a new collection, and making prototypes for few jewellery pieces I am making for a Slovenian institutional client. Plans are also to travel a bit soon, International collaborations, developing and researching.
Thank you Neža for this great interview!
You can also check out Neza Zehelj Instagram page.
photography: Katja Goljat