Inna Ida Nechyporenko's individually forged rings demonstrate her keen and empathetic understanding of wearers' characters and movements. Her rings' raw, personal, beauty suits Berlin's gritty but welcoming sensibility. The forms she creates are sculptural and sensitive – more works of wearable art than accessories. Some of her rings expand their organic forms over multiple fingers while others have formidable but contained shapes reminiscent of Richard Serra's sculptures. Her line of hand-crafted sculptural silver rings, with energetic gemstones, reflects her close ties with Berlin's artists and intellectuals. Nechyporenko, who was born in Ukraine, is best known in Berlin as an admired editorial model and member of Berlin's creative community. She established http://innan-jewellery.com in 2013. Since developing her aesthetic as a designer, Nechyporenko has earned a devoted following.
Here, she shares her inspiration and story with me, a true enthusiast, and with you.
Ana Finel Honigman: You told me that you didn't usually wear much jewelry before making your own. Tell me about your emotional and physical relationship with the rings you now wear.
Inna Ida Nechyporenko: That’s true. I was never one of those kids who loved digging into mom’s jewellery box and trying things on. I started wearing rings when started making them. Every new piece I produce gets some kind of a “Test drive” from me meaning I wear it for a while myself to get a feeling of it. Usually I change some small details based on my experience with it and only then proceed to working on the next one. I’d say, my designs are a part of my own universe, first of all I have to find them complete and be comfortable wearing, only then I can pass those creations to the others.
AFH: What was the first piece of jewelry you owned and what did it mean to you?
INN: I think the very first jewellery piece I owned was a pendant my mom bought for me in Vatican – golden guardian angel. Considering the fact it’s still back in Kiev, it didn’t mean much I guess. There was also a bijoux set I wore for my high school graduation party that I’ve never seen afterwards. All the pieces in general I did wear at school and university back in Ukraine were mostly made by my designer friends, I didn’t have a jewellery designer friend unfortunately or fortunately. When was a teenager, I used to make an accent with complicated clothes, layering etc so there was no space for jewellery left. Later I started wearing simpler clothes and felt accessories were really needed to underline my look.
AFH: What inspires your rings' forms?
INN: It can be really anything I see or feel around me: a sensation of something, nature shape, architecture, stars. The Nebula Collection for example was inspired by the skies I saw at night at different parts of the world. The most intense star patterns appeared in Tulum and Tuscany, I was totally fascinated by them and started using fine silver granules to create the stardust touch on my jewellery. The graphic pieces I’ve made earlier were inspired by the diversity of architectural lines of various Cathedrals all around Europe. It may sound weird, but I enjoyed sketching inside of Italian Cathedrals, because of the amazing silence and the scent. Some of the rings and a hand cuff piece were a variation of a Cathedral ceiling lines, the one where I happened to sketch them.
AFH: Do you see anything specially Ukrainian about your style? Or does Berlin influence the look and feel of your work?
INN: I can’t see anything typically Ukrainian except for me in my works to be honest. Last weekend I spent in Lviv – a city in Western Ukraine, where one can find a lot of traditional crafts and in general Ukrainian traditional things. I started learning goldsmithing there actually. Last sunday I went to the Museum of Ethnography and Crafts there and had a walk around thinking about your question. I came to the conclusion that stay in Scandinavia and then moving to Berlin influenced my designs in a way more than my origin. Ukrainian traditional jewellery is massive necklaces, lots of red corals and big head pieces. I haven’t been doing anything like that. On the other hand, as an easterm European I like bling as well, you know, that’ws why use black diamonds and garnets and other cut gemstones for my jewellery.
AFH: Why do you work with silver? What are your associations with that metal?
INN: Even though I produce orders in gold as well, white metals in general attract me more. It’s not only silver am in love with, but also white gold, palladium, platinum. I prefer using fine gold more as an accent. My association with white metals is something subtle, honest, clean. With the process of oxidizing silver I also have a chance to add a bit of destruction. I always found perfection boring that’s why my production process doesn’t stop when I reach the typical final stage. When the object is ready, looks clean and polished, I always “destroy” it until find the result strange enough to like it. Well, silver was also the first metal I started working with, maybe it wouldn’t be fair to cheat on that.
AFH: Has modeling influenced the style and appearance of your jewelry? What are you learning from your modeling experiences?
INN: Modeling influenced my life in general a lot. I learned a lot behind the scenes of the fashion business, working at the fashion weeks and watching designers create and prepare collections. I saw step-by-step journey of a product from being thought of to being sold and popular. All that energy and knowledge gathered from traveling and meeting talented people started one day reflecting into my own art. I can’t tell that modeling influenced the style or appearance of my works in any way though, but it certainly did give me possibilities to do what I do today.