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Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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ARTĚL Meet the Designer Series: Nastassia Aleinikava

Published on January 08th, 2015 in Interviews

  • Nastassia Aleinikava (photo courtesy of www.designvid.cz)

  • Earrings VERMEER (photo courtesy of www.nastassiaaleinikava.com)

  • Ring LURE *010G (photo courtesy of www.nastassiaaleinikava.com)

  • Ring LURE *005G (photo courtesy of www.nastassiaaleinikava.com)

  • Earrings LURE *005G (photo courtesy of www.nastassiaaleinikava.com)

  • Ring LURE, *009 (photo courtesy of www.nastassiaaleinikava.com)

  • Ring Brass 001

  • Ring Brass 004

  • Ring Brass 003

  • Ring Brass 002

  • Nastassia Aleinikava visiting ARTĚL

 

For our January Meet the Designer Series I had the pleasure of chatting with designer Nastassia Aleinikava. Originally from Belarus but at home in Prague for a decade, Nastassia fashions brooches, rings, earrings and necklaces from a variety of materials; each like a tiny sculpture. I was very excited to learn more about Nastassia’s work and background.
 

 

KF: You mainly make jewelry, but also other objects. How do you describe yourself as a designer? How do you describe your work?

NA: I prefer to make jewelry; it is my field. It fits me more than other forms of design. As my final project at UMPRUM (The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design) I chose the topic EYEWEAR because I felt it as a part of jewelry. By now I prefer classical techniques but I am not afraid to change something. I do my best with the best intention. I hope the results speak for me.

 

 

KF: You are from Belarus. How did you come to Prague, how long have you been here and why have you chosen to live here?

NA: After secondary school in Minsk I had been searching for a place to study. I tried the Academy in Saint Petersburg, but I didn't pass and understood that this city is not for me. And the Czech Republic had the same rules for foreigners as it does for Czech citizen, so I could study here for free; I just needed to learn Czech. I fell in love with Prague from my first day until now. I am in Prague since 2005. My study in UMPRUM in the K.O.V studio under Eva Eisler took 6 years and I say I grew up here in Prague. I have roots in Belarus, but my home is here.

 

 

 

L-R: Ring LURE *010G, Ring LURE *005G, Earrings LURE *005G and Ring LURE, *009 (photos courtesy of www.nastassiaaleinikava.com)

 

 

 

KF: You work in a variety materials: what is your favorite and why?

NA: Currently, I like wood, ivory and horn a lot. And I work with silver all the time and pearls are also common in my pieces. So I usually chose the common materials for jewelry.

 

 

KF: Some of your pieces (for example Baroque or Set of Table Top Tools) have, let’s say, some stronger messages behind them. How is this important to you work? What is your process? Does it start with an idea, the shape, the material…?

NA: Without a main idea it is difficult to build a collection. But sometimes I just have a piece of material in my hand and the shape appears without any idea before.

 

 

KF: What inspires your work?

NA: The source of inspiration I can find everywhere. My leisure activity is mostly traveling and simply reading. I adore flying because during the time in the airport you can read. Normally there is no time for that but in the airport you suddenly have a lot of time. Also, talking with people, meeting friends ... visiting farmers market and just everyday life. There is nothing that doesn’t influence me.

 

 

KF: Of all your pieces so far, what is your personal favorite and why?

NA: For this question it is not easy to find an answer. I say, there are no favorites at all. Each piece or collection has it own world and relationship with me.

 

 

   

L-R: Ring Brass 001, Ring Brass 004, Ring Brass 003, Ring Brass 002 

 

 

KF: What are you working on now?

NA: I am finishing my e-shop and preparing some new pieces. Also I continue to work on eyewear and searching for technology. I would like to make some new brooches for my collection Dedicated to Blossfeldt. I carry it in my head now.

 

 

KF: Who are some of your favorite Czech designers?

NA: Ladislav Sutnar is a great person for me. I love his toys and porcelain, also his paintings of Venus. My friends are great young designer too. Maria Makeeva, Daria Makeeva, Eliška Kuchtová, Marie Petráková, Monika Krobová, Sofie Samaeva ... are doing such nice things. Last Designblok [Prague’s annual design week] I enjoyed a lot the new collection from Janja Prokic! The new collection from my professor from UMPRUM Eva Eisler for Designblok was so simple and beautiful! I always find the work of Dechberouci interesting, Zorya is the headliners of Czech jewelry... I am happy to be surrounded by all these talented people.

 

 

KF: What do you do outside of your design work?

NA: As I said before, traveling is my most frequent leisure activity. After being in the next new place I feel a mental growth. But also I like to cook. I relax when I cook. I like when friends come over to eat and we spend an evening just talking. So simple, but it is the best relaxation.

 

 

Nastassia’s jewelry can be found in our three ARTĚL retail shops in the heart of downtown Prague.

 

 

 

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