Architecture and jewellery had never before had much in common until both disciplines underwent a dramatic formal change in recent years, incorporating new materials and improving their methods of construction. Constructive proportions, clean lines and designs of serial complexity managed, after these changes, to offer new forms and more original perspectives. Evgeniia Balashova knows about this first-hand, because both forms of construction interest her in equal measure as a creative. In fact, the architecture was to become the focus of her work after her studies in drawing and composition, until a family trip to Rio de Janeiro helped her discover and get in touch with jewellery design.
“My brand specialises in 3D printed pieces of jewellery and precious metals inspired by the repetition of geometric shapes”.
Now, a few years and several training courses later (including the Glasgow School of Art, from where she graduated in 2016), Evgeniia has excelled in the world of jewellery with ideas and proposals that mix traditional manufacturing and modern technology, such as 3D printing, a field in which she herself was surprised at the results. “My brand specialises in 3D printed pieces of jewellery and precious metals inspired by the repetition of geometric shapes, and the distortion of grids and screens. The work represents two opposing positions – the perfection of geometry and the flow of the organic”.
After several years focused on the creation of a project such as this, based on two such important aspects as the material and shape of her pieces, Eva discovered that she could create unique designs. This was due, above all, to the qualities of strength and lightness that her work with nylon offered. “A lot of people are completely unaware of the work behind each piece – that’s why I love to go to fairs and exhibitions and sell my work face-to-face. That way, I can personally explain the benefits of these designs and the creation process involved in creating each one of them.”
The same emotion that Evgeniia feels whenever she has one of her creations in her hands. She feels a real kind of vertigo when she can physically touch a design of hers, after it having been a digital image on her computer. “It’s very gratifying, after spending so much time in front of the computer and creating models in software, to make them tangible in 3D. Especially because it involves a lot of work and each of the elements must follow certain specifications and concrete measurements. It’s thrilling to see how the final design fits what you had in mind”.
“I love to go to fairs and exhibitions and sell my work face-to-face. That way, I can personally explain the creation process involved in creating each one of them.”
It is perhaps in this field where the special characteristics of the materials Eva uses in her work, especially in the case of nylon, have the greatest impact. Her research into the behaviour and the possibilities of this material take up most of her time. “My work is always about the limits of things, and continuously exploring the possibilities of 3D printed nylon. I do a lot of research into the thickness and the properties it offers before arriving at a final design. I think this new use or application in a field such as contemporary jewellery can give a different outlet than normal to this material. Until recently it hasn’t really been used as the essential base for many projects.”
“I started with a range of pastel colours, and now I’m incorporating blues and burgundies into some pieces which work very well”.
It is precisely the characteristics of strength and lightness that the designer wants to highlight in a material such as nylon. Especially because it allows her to create forms that would not be possible to make by hand – geometrically perfect, but distorted to achieve unique and special forms. “In terms of colour, I’m also very selective. I started with a range of pastel colours, and now I’m incorporating blues and burgundies into some pieces which work very well”.
And even though, as she says, her work schedule is still a bit chaotic, the designer does not waste a single moment of the day. She always carries small notebooks in her pockets to note down ideas, drawings and design elements which she later transfers to her computer. “Many designs begin as small experiments, especially when a piece is based on tactile or kinetic properties of nylon”.
“Many designs begin as small experiments, especially when a piece is based on tactile properties”.
This creative process has also led her to develop another more sleek and minimalist style of pieces, for daily use, in which the finish is also very important. “The designs are based on a cube shape. The rings in this range are an alternative version of a stone in which a certain tension is created; a small metal cube appears welded between two parts of the ring and appears to be floating in the air”.
And as a novelty, her most recent creation, which has nothing to do with jewellery but retains many of the same characteristics – the lamp .001, a three-dimensional lamp created for the Canadian company Decimal, which specialises in 3D creations. Here, the designer wanted to create a three-dimensional object representing a movement frozen in time.
Photos: Valentina Pimanova/Evgeniia Balashova
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