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Journal - Interviews

Introducing Julia Ioannides

Julia Ioannides - IntroductionJulia Ioannides is our first new artist to join the e.g.etal ranks in 2024, with a collection of glowing ethereal pieces featuring a spectacular array of sapphires, diamonds and zircon.

Her collection takes inspiration from her Greek and Italian heritage, which is a constant source of exploration, often diving into the history and symbolism of these ancient cultures.

We sat down with Julia ahead of her launch to discuss her practice, and find out more about her extraordinary jewellery practice:

How would you describe your aesthetic?

I would describe my aesthetic as bold and elegant with a focus on comfort and texture. Part of my making process and the concept behind my work is leaving an aspect of the making process visible on the final piece. This might mean leaving the texture created by my hammer on the surface of a piece; resisting the urge to emery it off to a smooth finish. Another example is allowing the natural oxidisation that develops on the surface of heated steel to be the feature of the jewel instead of removing it. These decisions lead to an appreciation of the natural occurrences that reveal themselves during the gold smithing process.

What made you want to become a jewellery artist?

I’ve always had an interest in personal style and markers of identity. I am curious about the story behind a person’s jewellery; the keepsakes and trinkets in their homes. These small treasures can hold special memories and unexpected emotions. I have childhood memories of my Mum and my Aunties and the jewellery they would wear – so I think I have always had a fascination with jewellery.

What led you to this point in your career?

In my early twenties, I studied fashion and textile design in Perth and Melbourne and while I enjoyed many aspects of my studies, building a career in this field never felt quite right for me. The scope of fashion is so huge that I felt unsure of where to begin building a business.

Towards the end of my fashion studies, I experienced two significant losses in my life. As a result of these losses, my life had changed so significantly that I felt I couldn’t return to fashion. A few months later, during a conversation with a friend (Hi Chris!) I decided that it was a good idea to take up a course in silversmithing. After completion, I began a short course in jewellery making at Melbourne Polytechnic. I enjoyed it so much that I undertook the Advanced Diploma in Jewellery and Object Design.

I absolutely loved the scale change from fashion to jewellery (everything gets smaller – materials, tools, machinery) as well as the ability to reuse all of your metal scraps so the wastage is far less in comparison to the fashion industry. I responded well to the scope of experimentation and how different working with metals felt compared to fabric. My mind just understood it.

What influences you and inspires you?

I revisit many things to inspire me. Jean Luc Goddard films – the dialogue, the poetry within the cinematography and use of colour and location.
Xavier Corberó, a Catalan artist and sculptor who worked in metal, marble and basalt stone.
The music of Leonard Cohen – his music is poetry – it can take you to a different world.
A few other influences/inspirations of mine are Ancient Greek architecture, desert flowers, women, the ocean, light and shadow, ancient Roman glassware.

How do you approach making new work?

Experimentation is a big part of how I approach making new work. I like to spend time with materials and explore different techniques of working with metal to develop new designs. At times I can have an idea in mind before I begin making but I try not to put too many expectations in place as I prefer allowing experimentation to guide me. Part of the enjoyment of creating jewellery is to stop and observe throughout the making process. This is where I may notice a texture or a shape that I want to highlight or build on.

What are your favourite materials to work with and why?

I really enjoy working with 18ct gold. It is a beautiful and luscious metal. I also enjoy working with steel. A lot of people may question the preciousness of steel but it really is a beautiful metal. The colour is amazing, it is so strong and like all metals, it has a dialogue when you are working with it. It can also take so much heat so you can really push it. Also, diamonds. I just love them!

 

Julia’s collection will be launching in our gallery and online on Thursday 21st of March, 2024.

Steel Bangles by Julia Ioannides
Two Sun Path Bangles by Julia Ioannides, photographed by Skye Sobejko