16 May 2011

BODYKIT jewelry

Bryn Namavari and Michele Fredericks are the co-founders and designers of BODYKITjewelry.  We were all students together at WashU, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about what they have been working on since graduating.  Their jewelry line is completely unique and definitely worth perusing on their website and etsy shop!

Photo by Gregory Hitchcock Photography

What prompted you to create BODYKITjewelry?
It was a shift in thinking in how we design and imagine our lives to be—many of us (it isn’t particular to architects but as detail and organizationally focused individuals we may more or less naturally tend in this direction) have a tendency to create the story of how we would like our lives to play out—this rarely goes as expected. There was one defining moment that turned out to be a huge brain slapping- “DUH!”- Bryn had been making the jewelry from left over pieces from an exhibition we had been working on together and giving it as gifts to our architecture friends. Over the course of about a year, there were great responses and a lot of inquiries as to where to obtain the jewelry. We’d be on the train or at the grocery store and people would stop us to comment. At some point, we couldn’t argue with the demand—while we both had intentions of designing jewelry, furniture, and even cutlery later on in our careers, the immediate opportunity couldn’t be ignored!  Why wouldn’t we start selling it? Michele was regularly wearing the pieces and since we both have similar design approaches and had done extensive long term work together in the past, it was a natural match.

Photo from BODYKIT jewelry

Who or what inspires your designs?
Our inspirations are quite apparent: machines. Mechanical parts are also very architectural. We treat the parts as found objects and create based on aesthetic continuity- some pieces are based on the sleek forms of the body of a particular automobile, motorcycle or airplane we are working with, others can be purely about balance or imbalance.  Each of the collections has aesthetic continuity- some appear more tribal and abstract, some feminine with lots of draping chains implying trace movements.

Photo by Gregory Hitchcock Photography

What materials do you use for the jewelry?
Our first four collections use silver plate chains and earring hooks along with injection molded polystyrene. Some of the pieces are chromed and others hand painted in silver, gold or magenta.  In the next launch, we will be creating several high-end collections with pieces cast in precious metals.

Photo by Gregory Hitchcock Photography

How does the whole process come together?
We work extremely fluidly together. We do all of our work ‘remotely.’ We both live in different parts of the country at any given time, but you could say we are children of the contemporary age. We do all of our business via text, chat, phone and email. The web is our major marketing medium and we both take a heavy hand in all the graphic material, web design and copy. We sell primarily online and through galleries, or the occasional trunk show or fair.  What is really great about working together is that we can both design pieces for a collection without having had a conversation, but simply based on the materials at hand create a cohesive whole. While each of us has a distinct approach and technique, while we may apply the materials in unique ways, in the end, our visual and spatial senses have a similarity that creates unity in the look of each collection.

Photo by Gregory Hitchcock Photography

What’s next for BODYKITjewelry?
We are in the prototyping phases of our new high-end lines. We are experimenting with different materials and production techniques. It is great fun to utilize all of our architectural skills in producing something on a totally different scale. We are currently working on modeling for the production of some 3-D printed pieces. Look for the launch of the new lines this fall!!!

A big thank you to Bryn and Michele at BODYKITjewelry!

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