Sometimes in life, if you are lucky, you meet people who inspire you and that was the case when I sat down and had a chat on a lovely summer’s day with Mikala Djorup, the Danish Creative Director of Mikala Djorup Jewellery at her store at the OXO Tower Wharf in Southbank, London about her pieces created with love, hard work and a sense of dedication to her craft. An independent and creative spirit with celebrity friends, she counts actress Sidse Babett Knudsen who plays THE Prime Minister in hit political drama series Borgen as her best friend, she always knew that she wanted to call her own shots and work on her own terms.
Images provided by Mikala Djorup
Interview by Zinny Ogundoyin
How did you start designing jewellery?
Well, I started an apprenticeship in 1989 in my hometown, Copenhagan and you don’t design as such but you kind of do as you are told but being an apprentice, you do your own little ideas and designs. I did that for 4 years, 8 hours a day. After 4 years of my apprenticeship, I took my jewellery exams and became a jeweller.
What is your design process, do you let the stone decide your designs?
Not always, I don’t think the stone should always decide everything. Some stones, yes, they need to be the main character in a ring for example but sometimes when there is no stone then it becomes a case of what shape, what form, what expression do you want. It’s a hard question to answer really.
What inspires your jewellery aesthetic or design?
We all see so many things everyday so it is difficult to say ‘this is what inspires me’ so you might see a painting, architecture and then two years later that idea bubbles up and becomes something so it’s really hard to say ‘that comes from there’ because I don’t think our brains work like that. But you have to really be aware so that you are not just doing a piece that you have seen somewhere. My designs are logical to me, I couldn’t make them any other way.
You create bespoke pieces as well, do you feel that this restricts your creativity in any way?
Yes and no, sometimes it makes you do something that you maybe didn’t think about and you might discover a new way or a new path like that and sometimes the person knows exactly what they want and you do exactly what they want as you are working together. But my style is so distinct that people who ask for bespoke pieces like something about my style in the first place.
For more information on Mikala and other Rising/Risen Gems follow @zinnysbox on Instagram