When she left school, Swedish jewellery designer and goldsmith Krista Kretzschmar ditched her homeland and jetted to Florence to study Italian. Once there, she ended up applying to Le Arti Orafe, one of Europe’s leading jewellery design schools.
Needless to say, she got in, and five years later she graduated a certified goldsmith. Today the Swede works out of her studio on Brahegatan 21 in Stockholm, a space she shares with the popular interior store Dusty Deco, who recently settled in at the Östermalm address. Kretzschmar’s jewellery designs range from the playful and cute to statement pieces inspired by flora and fauna. The latter is something she has become especially popular for: people seek her out to get the likeness of their dog, cat or even horse eternalised on a ring or bracelet.
The symbolism and emotional significance of jewellery is an integral part of Kretzschmar’s latest concept, Youternity. It’s not just about using jewellery to show affection for a beloved pet or partner, but love for yourself. Youternity is a delicate earring that gets permanently welded shut on your ear, symbolising eternal love.
First of all, where do you find inspiration for your jewellery designs?
I still get very inspired by Italian culture, fashion, design, food and music. Japanese aesthetics are also a big influence. The very traditional Wabi Sabi philosophy (founded on accepting imperfection), as well as the more playful and naïve Kawaii culture (think Hello Kitty and cute little animals). In general, I like to draw inspiration from organic living things, elements from plant life and the animal kingdom. As a designer I’m drawn towards an imperfect look, and love to make jewellery that shows traits of being handcrafted and that develops its look with time.
Your studio shares a space with the interior concept store Dusty Deco, how’s that dynamic?
It’s an amazingly creative environment. I’m surrounded by friends, wonderful art and interior design. For me as a designer it’s an incredibly stimulating place to work and it is so much fun to get to be a part of Dusty Deco.
Tell us a bit about your new jewellery concept Youternity.
Fundamentally it’s an eternal declaration of self-love. The idea is that you buy the jewellery for yourself, but obviously you could also give or receive it as a gift. It all started with me playing with the idea of creating something you would wear for the rest of your life, kind of like a tattoo. At the same time, I had just started experimenting with a welding tool that, like a tip of a needle, applies heat to a very small surface area. One thing led to another and eventually it all came together. I launched the heart shaped earring at the start of 2017 and am working on more styles that will launch soon.
How does applying a Youternity earring work?
If you already have a pierced ear you can get in touch and get an appointment with me in my studio the same week. If it’s a new piercing however you need to let it heal first to minimise the risk of infection. Then I’ll use the precision tool to weld together the ends of the earring. You might feel a bit of a prickling sensation from the heat, but that’s part of the process and it’s way less painful than the pain of getting a tattoo…
Words Beatrice Trodden