Translating feelings and emotions to tangible objects is no easy task, even more so if you want those who observe such objects to perceive these feelings. Often, these emotions of the soul, become generated in the material world and end up reaching users as is without distortion. This is the message that the Australian designer, artist and jeweller Anna Varendorff wants to convey in her work, an artisanal activity that finds in each project a new language beyond words.
Anna, whose training in Applied Arts at Monash University revealed different ways of exploring her versatility, explores both the world of jewellery and that of sculpture with the same intensity, two fields that have a close relationship beyond their formats. Her larger pieces, such as metallic compositions for flower arrangements and brass installations, contain the same sure minimalism that dominates her jewellery design.
“My creative aesthetic stays close to minimalism, but a minimalism that is part of a larger whole. I create jewellery because I like ornamentation, but I see these pieces as one element of a broader aesthetic to form part of a much wider style. They’re also simple and graphic because, in the case of jewellery, they can be used by all kinds of people. I am also very attracted by the appearance of objects and the nature of surfaces, such as the patina that used objects acquire over time, as happens in the case of jewellery.”
That is why Anna chooses not to restrict herself to a single discipline. She is just as excited to work as an artist as a designer, especially because she deals with the design problems that may arise in the same way. She does not have a set working method for each discipline. “I’m trained to work with many different materials, and my skills allow me to attempt all kinds of disciplines.
“I’m trained to work with many different materials, and my skills allow me to attempt all kinds of disciplines”
I can apply all my knowledge to each particular case. I’ve reached a point where I’ve managed to achieve a certain personal vocabulary which is then inserted into each of my pieces.” Similarly, the creator wastes no time in looking for a specific inspiration for each design. She opts to cover lakes or empty spaces.
“My work is essentially inclusive and my language is very clear. There are no ulterior motives. My pieces are what they are, nothing more. It is the same with the materials I work with. Probably each of them works better than others depending on the project, but when I first begin I don’t set out to restrict myself or cut myself off from any of them. That’s the good thing about my training, that I’m open to all kinds of new projects”.
“This means that correctly recognising and supporting the authorship of a design allows the group of creators to find new projects and to emphasize the value of design”
A fierce defender of craftsmanship and artisanal work, Anna Varendorff believes that the objective of any creator must be to solve the problems they encounter during the process of creation, rather than creating them. She says that, in this way, you get the benefit of the community. “This also has a lot to do with conscientious work and the designer’s own ingenuity. This means that correctly recognising and supporting the authorship of a design allows the group of creators to find new projects and to emphasize the value of design. I think it benefits everyone.”
Secure in what she does, the Australian creative is fully confident in her methodology and knowledge. “I mainly work with silver, gold and bronze in my jewellery production, and in bronze and brass in sculpture, where shadows, light and sound also have their place. But I’ve borrowed many methods from jewellery-making to makes larger works or sculptures. Manual training, such as welding and sanding, essential when it comes to the details of small rings, bracelets or necklaces, are very important in both cases.”
What’s next? “I’m making objects that are slightly larger than before, but always keeping user interaction at the foreground”.
This article is also available in Español