Just last year, siblings Mark Jewsbury and Anna Jewsbury founded contemporary jewellery brand COMPLETEDWORKS. They see jewellery design as an art form, fusing together creative concepts and ideas that produce stunningly simplistic pieces that give us a fresh take on fine jewellery. Twin caught up with the two of them to talk inspirations, signature collections and carving out a path.
As a brother and sister duo, who does what respectively when it comes to COMPLETEDWORKS as a brand?
Anna: As we’re still in the early stages of the brand, we still have very overlapping and interchangeable roles and we often find ourselves working on the same thing, but bringing our own perspective to it.
Anna, your degree is in Mathematics & Philosophy. What do you feel that brings to the table? And Mark, what did you do before starting COMPLETEDWORKS?
A: I think everything depends on the approach you take. I’ve found that the common thread between mathematics, philosophy and fine jewellery, is that there is a way to approach each of these disciplines where the first test of quality is beauty. Of course, when you make the piece nothing stays so theoretical.
Mark: I studied History so I wasn’t doing anything directly relevant to jewellery either. But I think this has forced us to be more observant in our approach. I think you can learn a lot by just looking around at how people in different disciplines operate, you don’t necessarily need a lot of access to them to observe them and see how they work and get a sense of how they would react in certain situations.
What made you decide to start a jewellery brand together?
M: I don’t think we ever really set out to work with jewellery. I think what happened was that we had an interest in exploring ideas and a curiosity with history and stories, and we kept developing these themes and we found we wanted to find a way to represent them. The jewellery came about as a result of our looking for a process that would allow us to balance these interests visually and in clear compositions.
A: In setting up the brand we were very much influenced by the old idea of an artistic or literary movement. We wanted to set up a business that emulated that continuity, a group of people who retain their individuality but at the same time are able to relate to one another.
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
A: The idea inspires us first and at the moment that has come from literature or history, then we look for the aesthetic or the way to connect the idea visually and the inspiration for that comes from everywhere. In the case of the Pillar collection a trip Mark took to Lebanon was one of our references.
Pillar is your signature collection. What do you think this says about you as a contemporary jewellery brand?
M: We want to share the ideas that lead to the creation of the collections and in doing so create a shared interest with the people who engage with the brand. We talk a lot about putting ideas into our work, but at the same time we don’t want those ideas to engulf the person wearing the pieces. It is good to maintain a certain lightness in the jewellery. You have to get all the other things right first: it has to fit perfectly and be striking and have a certain uniqueness, then you can layer an idea into a piece or connect it with a certain way of thinking.
A: Yeah, we think it is important to craft the jewellery so that it can integrate with the real world, not the other way round. We’re not trying to force art or anything else into jewellery, but say that our pieces can still function as pieces of jewellery and as products and be enjoyed as such, while at the same time having an element of critical thinking to them. This is why at the moment distortion is very important to us. We find distortions are a very simple and minimal way of inviting the wearer to mentally enter the work in a way that doesn’t become overbearing or arrogant.
You are stocked at SHOWstudio and have your own e-store. Where would you like to see your designs in the future?
A: We’d love to see our pieces in places that build around an aesthetic with original values.
Having launched just last year, what does 2014 hold for COMPLETEDWORKS?
A: We feel that we should earn our place in the jewellery world, so we’re simply going to be concentrating on building a body of work and from this point we hope to carve our own path.