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In her latest project, designer Kasia Zareba has combined the beauty of nature with her love of jewellery to create a delicate, wearable piece. 

By Cassandra Pizzey / 10-01-2014

“A wishbone is a beautiful, Y-shaped bone with a curious story. It is a forked bone found in birds and dinosaurs. Previously used to predict the weather nowadays it can grant wishes.”

Born in Poland and moved to the Netherlands to study at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Kasia Zareba is a  multi-disciplinary designer focussing on installation, design and art. Her latest project named Wishbone combines the fleetingness of nature with the beauty of silversmithing. asked the designer about the project.

About Wishbone, how did you come up with the idea to use animal remains?

“While working on my graduation project I spent a few days with a taxidermist where I learnt to mount found or road kill animals. While doing that I learnt about the anatomy of animals and found they had beautiful bones in rare shades and colours. I wanted to expose this beauty but taxidermy is difficult to learn and often the result don’t reflect the beauty of life. Instead of using the bones themselves, I decided to use different materials to emphasise the fascination I have with them.”

What is it about the natural world that fascinates you?

“Our relationship with nature has many aspects. Biological life inspires artists and designers by its sheer diversity and refinement. Meanwhile nature is also full of violence, death and decay. What fascinates me about nature is its ingenious solutions and mechanics which people try to mimic. I find inspiration in patterns and the roughness of the natural world.”

Choosing the wishbone as her example, Zareba cast the object in silver creating a piece of jewellery that balances between the symbolic, tribal and classical elegance. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with silversmithing?

“The texture of metals can be handled in various different ways. Objects can be just taken out of the mould and untreated, showing all the little mistakes for instance. The bubbles and scratches left on the metal gives it a handmade look which, combined with the polished elements can offer surprising and beautiful effects. The first objects I made were bronze masks. I intended to polish them but changed my mind after casting when I noticed the unique look full of imperfections.”

What is it about these materials that you love?

The proporties of different materials have the ability to bring a certain mood abd influence the perception of an object. Clever designs use materials to support the concept. By combining and treating them in a smart way, designers can achieve subtle, surprising and sometimes innovative effects.”

Besides your jewellery, you also work in other fields of design, could you tell us about them?

“I use different media to tell a story and often I use my designs as props. For example, in a video I made for my graduation called Living Jewellery, the pieces of jewellery come alive and create a world of their own.”

Can you tell us what other projects you have lined up?

“Coming year I want to focus more on jewellery and product design. I am busy with a startup company in Poland named Kraftla so I’m hoping for interesting projects. I also just moved to another work space so I’m busy sorting out a comfortable working environment.”

You are originally from Poland, could you tell us how your stay in Eindhoven has influenced you as a designer?

“I come from a big city so it was a huge chance to move. Eindhoven’s industrial yet energetic vibe has so many possibilities for designers to develop, both in terms of facilities and people who seem more open to experimentation and are willing to help out with your crazy ideas.”

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