I had the pleasure of making a small interview with one of the most talented craftsmen that I know. Katrine Kristensen is not only a very talented goldsmith. She is also extremly kind and humble when it comes to her work. Faithful readers of the blog have seen my growing collection of her simple yet beautiful jewelry and her new collection 'Sun' looks very promising.
S: What is your background to become a goldsmith?
K: I never planed to become a goldsmith. While I was busy doing other things about 13 ago, I attented a small jewellery course in London, since I did my apprenticeship in DK and after that one thing took the other.
S: What do you think it takes to be a good craftsman?
K: Patience. To master any craft you need to be willing to do the same thing over and over again even when it seems meaningless.
S: How do you work from an idea to the finished product?
K: It is an ongoing process that I have build over the years. I have many unfinished ideas lying around that I graduately finish. I could also start out with an idea for a shape, make a rough test piece, then make it again and again ajusting until it has the exact proportions that feel right. It is a small angle or micro meter that makes the difference. Something also sometimes occurs when working with the material itself.
S: How is it being both a craftsman and a business woman in your own company?
K: Crafting and creating the jewellery is definitely where my passion is, the buisness part somehow doesn’t interest me as much and therefore end up taking a lot of time. Never the less, it is a good way for me connect with reality.
S: Danish jewelry is having a big moment now, why do you think that is?
K: Danish jewellery has a reputation and history of good quality. We have kept a strong emphasis on a traditional craftsman apprenticeship, which has preserved the traditional skills of goldsmithing and well made jewellery. Maybe this new wave of jewellery brands are benefiting from our solid history. Having a successful jewellery brand can be a very good buisness with high margins in this day and age where it is easy and cheep to manufacture abroad. I think many people are drawn to this idea.
S: A lot of new jewelry designers are popping up right now, what does it take to stay original in your business?
K: Keep on developing, never stand still, to challenge my self and trust my intuition. Also I will always retain my integrity as a craftsman and designer by making pieces to the best quality possible and have faith in my own personal style. To ensure the best quality and as a homage to my roots as a jeweler, I have chosen to manufacture all my jewellery in Denmark. Most is made in my studio on Gl. Kongevej and some are outsourced within the country.
S: Your design is always simple, but elegant, is it important to you to create something that is both beautiful and practical in a way?
K: My jewellery is sometimes described as being significant but also discreet at the same time. It is important for me to create jewellery that doesn’t make to much noise but at the same time isn’t boring. Maybe you don’t notice it at first but then you look twice and get a nice surprise. My pieces can be worn but also makes sense as small objects them selfs.
S: Do you sometime dream of a regular desk job?
K:A desk job no, another job yes!.
S: What do you like most about your job?
K: I like the combination of being technical and creative at the same time. Making bespoke pieces is also fun. I like the process of creating a unique piece of jewellery for someone’s special occasion.
(the interview is made in collaboration with Ford and their campaign on new entrepreneurs and craftsmen)