Presenting The Sustainable Collection By Norwegian Jewelry Designer Annie Berner
Norwegian sustainable editor and blogger Anja Stang interviewed Annie Berner on sustainability and her new jewelry collection. Scroll through to read the full interview.
I love your artistic and personal pieces of jewellery, Annie, but let’s go back to where it all began. Why jewellery?
Well, I have always enjoyed collecting beautiful things. I used to have a drawer in my bedroom where I put all my ”treasures” – nice hair bands, seashells, erasers and jewellery. And I started to adorn my treasures with pearls and make pieces of jewellery for my stuffed animals and myself. Probably like most girls my age, I just never stopped.
I can definitely picture it! How did you proceed from there?
I decided quite early that this was what I would be doing. It was clear to me that I did not want to become a traditional goldsmith, as material exploration and experimental production was more my interest. The result became a combination. I started out at SOFI (School of Fashion Industry) to get an insight and better understanding of fashion and the different aspects of it. After this I did my foundation year in Arts and Design to explore different materials, production methods and art history, and from there went on to a BA in Fashion Jewellery at London College of Fashion. While doing my BA I worked as a studio assistant, and got to be on the inside of a small brand on the rise. It was wonderful and very inspiring, though of course not glamorous at all – which I liked.
How did you end up starting your own brand?
Pursuing this dream is a slightly scary path without any guarantees, but no one has ever got to where they are in this business without going all in. So, after some time working as a designer for another brand I decided to do my own thing.
How was it received?
It has been a good first year. I’ve met and gotten the chance to work with so many talented people. The response has been beyond expectations and seeing someone, besides my stuffed animals, wearing something I’ve made is the craziest feeling.
What is the main concept behind your brand?
I want to create jewellery that represents craftsmanship and quality. Ideally, there should be a balance between something the wearer can use for a long time, while still reflecting the zeitgeist. My hope is that different pieces of jewellery from the same collection can appeal to women in different age groups and with varying personal styles, who all share the joy of dressing up.
Please take me through the process from idea to product!
It always starts with a strong need to create and a certain feeling I want to capture. I draw lots of different items and start putting shapes together until I am content. Then I build these shapes in CAD and 3D print them in plastic. From these masters the mould is made and from there the casting process can happen before the renovation begins. CAD is a great tool; I rarely need to print a design twice.
What are your views on sustainability and how do they influence your work?
It is important to respect and take care of nature’s resources. This way of thinking mainly influences the production side of a collection. The prototypes are 3D printed and a mould is created from that master shape. This mould can be reused thousands of times, so this is an effective way of minimizing material use in the development stage. Silver is a precious metal that can be used again and again. All excess material, from the dust from the renovation process to leftovers from the casting are recycled and used again for new casts.
What inspires you?
For me, my work often reflects a certain nostalgia. A place or a mood I want to revisit, though still being present, if that makes sense. It is hard to put my finger on it, but it can be a shape – often from under water, where I love to be, a material or a colour that I want to combine to obtain this certain mood. I try to create this calm, cozy universe with a pinch of glamour.
Can you reveal some of your future plans and dreams?
I plan to continue to showcase collections – mainly jewellery, but it is fun to play around with other types of objects to enforce the concept, like the porcelain pieces from LUNCH. I hope to become a part of the international market to a greater extent and expand my company enough to have a small team, a showroom and hopefully my own workshop some day!
Portrait: Shot by Ronya Penzo