He’s a man who creates magnificent jewels out of thin air! Or so it may seem, because his creations, palpable with raw energy, are woven with gold, silver and exotic wood and don’t follow any set rules. He breathes life into the pieces and just like a dove pulled out of a hat, and sets them free to float in the sphere, before they nestle on a fortunate woman’s finger or neck.
Driven to stand apart from the crowd, GERMAN KABIRSKI, a Russian jewellery designer, who has now set up base in Thailand, did not want to be just another ordinary person and neither did he want his jewellery to be run-of-the-mill. The earthy pieces are radically different and just like him, his jewels under the brand name G. Kabirski, are spirited and crave freedom from the traditional notions of jewellery and nature-inspired designs. For instance, he finds a cockroach more fascinating than a butterfly or an ant and intentionally creates difficult pieces to fend off imitations. His quirky lines are sought after and also have a collector’s club dedicated to G. Kabirski jewellery.
Rugged, textured and asymmetrical, Kabirski’s jewellery is inspired by abstract concepts like chaos and complexity. Kabirski himself is a complex man. Despite having won several awards, including first place at the Moscow International Jewellery show in 2000, a technical excellence award at the international Jewellery London 2009, Kabirski shrugs off the accolades.
ALIYA LADHABHOY interviews German Kabirski to demystify the man behind the magic.
How did you begin your career as a jewellery designer?
I didn’t intentionally begin a career as a designer. In 1999, I noticed a deep distaste towards traditional Russian jewellery and created my first collection, if you can call it so. To be honest, it was a challenge to myself more than to other people. My initial jewellery pieces were really crude, but they had something about them that people liked.
Actually, I never dreamt of being a jewellery designer. I was always creative as a child and was a student of art for a while. But there’s no relation between this and being a jewellery designer. It just happened this way.
Do you have any formal training in jewellery designing?
No. Do you think it is necessary? I think formal education very often destroys a person’s creativity. Design is not a military marching where everyone needs to learn how to step in pace.
Your jewellery is very unconventional and has a raw edge to it. Tell us more about it.
Whatever I can say about it wouldn’t be true. When I work, I use my subconscious mind, not logic. My creations do not contain any symbols and that is the reason why people perceive them through their own attributions and associations.