I love when a designer has all the skills to break the rules, Elena Ruebel obviously knows her craft, well studied in design and trained in a variety of mediums. The form and concepts behind her jewellery showcase this knowledge with a subtle edge of the unusual. Read my interview with here…
Where are you from?
I am German but grew up in the South of France, not far from Avignon. I left when I was 19 to study Design in England (first in Brighton then in Birmingham) and stayed there for 6 years altogether. In between there were some short stops in Germany (Hamburg), Canada (Ottawa) and Namibia. I moved to Berlin 2 and a half years ago.
What are you doing?
I enjoy working on quite different jewellery projects, on small series. Some are quite traditional in the sense that I work precious materials using my gold smithing skills, while others are more experimental in materials and techniques. I have been working with porcelain for a while. I like the way the material stays unpredictable even within set parameters. Formally my work is quite reduced. I like bold clear shapes, combined with small irregularities.
How do you support yourself?
I work as a goldsmith part-time as a way to support myself. Although wages are not high, I find it a good way to keep learning skills that I can benefit from for my own practice.
Where can we find you?
What is Berlin’s appeal?
I came to Germany because it is still one of the best countries for traditional goldsmithing skills, which I wanted to train in after finishing my design studies. I didn’t really know Berlin before moving here, but found the place suits me quite well. There’s a good balance between activity and quietness. I grew up in the countryside and really enjoy a quick escape to the lakes on weekends. On the other hand, there’s loads to see and do culturally.
Do you think it’s easier to support yourself as a designer here?
There’s probably pros and cons in every place. I am just setting up my practice here for the first time, so it’s hard to say as I have nothing to compare the situation to. Still, a decisive advantage of Berlin over the UK for example, is the much lower cost of living.
Berlin, poor? sexy?
I don’t really think about Berlin in these terms, but I guess that besides being very exciting, it is also bankrupt…
Barns, maps, swimming, wide open space, crafty things like knitting and sewing, Schmuckfrage on Brunnenstraße, Berlin.
BVG, prepackaged fruit and veg, ads on the radio, bureaucracy, moths.
Interview: Millicent Nobis
Millicent Nobis is a graduate fashion designer from Sydney, Australia, who now lives in Berlin running her own jewellery label Mies Nobis. You can follow her explorations of the Berlin fashion and art scene on her blog Mies in Berlin. For iHeartBerlin.de Milli has interviewed 6 accessory designers from all over the world about their life in Berlin.