i first heard about jewelry designer eric saeter when i spotted one of his rings on another fp girl and i instantly fell in love. now that we’re carrying a couple of his pieces i asked eric some questions about his work and inspiration. what did i learn? that in addition to making rad jewelry- he’s also just a really cool, nice guy.
how long have you been designing jewelry?
i began designing jewelry A/W 08/09. it was something i had always dreamt of doing; one of those ideas that kicks around until the day you say to yourself “so when is better than now?” and you do it. turns out the process is a natural extension of my love and work in the fields of fashion and art.
how did you begin designing jewelry?
frustrated by a lack of decent and/or imaginative men’s rings at the time — that is, rings over size 11 — i decided to do it right and do it myself. it was very inspiring to watch my work travel around the world to be worn by such different people in such wildly different contexts from my own. it was almost like vicarious experience. now i’m addicted!
can you briefly explain the casting process/how you make your pieces?
the process begins with an intuition for translating ideas to wearable shapes. i find that direct approach (grab a knife, start hackin!) facilitates better final product — where sketching and planning can hinder my creativity. i “invest” my model in a high-temperature plaster and heat it to temps into the thousands to burn out a cavity that is eventually replaced by silver or gold. i use both vacuum casting and centrifugal casting which suck or throw metal into the cavity, respectively. it takes a good day (or longer) to complete all of the steps of the casting process, and each step demands a precision i never had anticipated.
where do you draw inspiration for your work?
surrealism in cinema, in art, in literature. high fashion, penrose and aperiodic tiling, arabesques, rainforests, science, rococo. i come up with some designs as a symbol to supplant the lack of a place or feeling too distant or too difficult to immediately experience; a deep cave, a dream, the rainforest, historical events, a ritual. i want to extend people into these places with symbols that attach them to imagined spaces.
who are your heroes?
jean-luc godard, yves st laurent, vladamir nobokov, karl lagerfeld, gabriel garcia marquez, abdul mati klarwein, augustin lesage. there’s a revolving cast.
if you weren’t a designer, what would you do?
i would probably be painting and drawing more, as well as scavenging creative people to conceive fashion editorials with (for a long time i was photographing models). i would probably also still be modeling to fund my creative projects.
what are your favorite hobbies?
i like making things with my hands, drawing, finding fresh art and media. i love communicating with imaginative people, the further from reality the better. traveling is such a liberating activity that i wish i could say i did enough of. maybe i will try harder this year to do that. after all i never feel more at home than when i am a long way from familiar paths.
if you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want with you?
one: a ring by yours truly — you never know when an un-contacted tribe could appear and eat you. leading researchers in this field suggest that my jewelry effortlessly implies one may be of heavenly origin. two: an awesome hand-crank wheatgrass machine. three: a seed bank. is that cheating? from there i could grow stuff to look at, grow stuff to chomp, and grow building materials also! bamboo viaduct! hello!?!?
the above images are from eric’s blog and tumblr, where he posts lots of really great inspirational stuff along with images of his work. and check out his mountain gold necklace and pyramids ring on our website!