Behind the Scenes at Croatian Jeweller Ivan Midzic
What is your name?
Ivan Midzic. Ivan is a common name in Croatia, but surname Midzic is not so common. Several men through generations in my family, including me, had a nickname created from that surname. So I modificated it a bit to create a brand name for my jewelry. That is also appropriate, because I actualy learned the skills of working with metal from my nearest ancestors.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Osijek, a town in the east of Croatia. Then it was a town of 120 000 inhabitants, but since the war in Croatia, it has beacome smaller. It is a town by the river Drava surrounded with Slavonian plains. But in the artistic sense, I grew up in Zagreb where I studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts.
What do you love about jewellery?
I've never thought about whether I love jewelry, I love shaping and making it. From designing my jewelry I developed my artistic expression, which then got transfered from jewelry to drawings and sculptures. Those two aspects of my work, jewelry and fine arts, I consider equally valuable as an artistic procedure. What separates my jewelry form sculpture, and what I highly respect is its' democratic nature. I like to say my jewelry is democratic, available to everbody, it reaches people easier and faster than sculpture.
When did you discover your love for jewellery?
I started designing and making jewelry to earn some money right after I finished my studies. At that point I was already into conceptual art with a couple of solo exhibitions behind me and several group shows. Jewely was supposed to be just a source of income, but eventually it pushed down my conceptual art and completely took over my creativity. It helped me realize I was a true visual artist, that I liked lines and shapes.
How did you become a jewellery designer?
As I said, I had to earn a living, and jewelry seemed to be a good start. My friends had a selling spot which made distribution easier in the beginning. Back then I didn't have big ambitions regarding the jewely, neither imagined how successful it would become, both financially and artisticly.
Describe your style, what is most characteristic about your Ivan Midzic's jewellery design?
My jewelry is kind of rough. I leave the traces of tools, imperfections in form, my jewelry is sometimes even heavy. I use construction materials, as the steel wire, copper wire for electric instalations, aluminum wire for welding, metal sheets. I developed my own techniques of metal processing, very simple, without soldering, welding or anything similar, just with bending and straining the form. In terms of form, I also developed my own style, I don't follow trends, and with years I gained audience that recognizes my work as such.
Which music genre describes your jewellery best?
One of my fashion shows was accompanied with the "Flower Duet" by Léo Delibes from his opera "Lakme". People commented that it suited the show. So maybe that's the answer. I grew up listening to punk, but now I listen to classic music, I like jazz. Maybe a juncture of all of them, because my work is rough and gentle at the same time.
If you could choose one song that describes best Ivan Midzic's jewellery, which one would you choose?
I don't know. Maybe the "Flower Duet".
What is your favourite item of your jewellery line?
What I work on at this moment is usually also my favourite. Every new piece is exciting, and every new bracelet I put on my hand first, even though I never wear jewelry.
What kind of exciting things are coming up for your jewellery line? New lines planned?
I don't think like a designer, I don't create lines, and I don't make collections for the season. Sometimes during work I get an idea for something new, and sometimes I provoke creativity and rationaly and intentionaly sit down in order to create something new. Most of the time naturally one design leads to another, without a plan, just with an inner urge to create and shape.
... IN THE DESIGN STUDIO
Describe a typical day in your studio?
I work at home surrounded by my family. So I make arrangements with my wife about daily activities with the kids and household matters. Not every day is the same. It is hard to expect completing all the plans I make. My days are intertwined with work and family obligations.
How do you make your jewellery?
I take the pliers, shears for cutting metal, I sit and work. I twist, cut and bend.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I model and it leads to shaping the other, inspiration is in my head and in the working space.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST..
Ring, Earrings, Necklace, Bracelet, or Bangle?
The bracelet is usualy the base for all other forms of jewelry. In most cases I derive from a bracelet its' matching versions of rings, earring and necklaces.
Mountains or beach holiday?
Mountains, woods, meadows. I am "continental", but I enjoy walking by the seaside, mostly in winter.
What's your favourite city?
In Paris I felt very good, like beeing in the right place. In New York I felt something similar, but not that much.
Do you have a favourite jewel that comes with you on all your travels?
No, I don't wear jewelry. For me jewelry is not just a piece of fashion accessory. For me a piece of jewelry is the same as sculpture. It can be a statement.
To read more about Ivan and his beautiful art jewellery and sculputures, head over to his website at Ivan Midzic.
This inspirational interview is part of our Behind the Scenes series. To participate, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.