This week, we had a chat with Irena about her handmade jewellery label “I Feel Filigree”. Fine, delicate and elegant, Irena’s jewellery is stealing hearts here at in.cube8r already, read on to get to know her and see some of her beautiful work in more detail.
Can you tell us a little about what you create?
I use fine silver to create fine silver jewellery using traditional filigree methods. The filigree technique is like an embroidery: fine, delicate and every piece is handmade, so unique. It demands a lot of patience and dedication!
The preparation of the wire takes a lot of time… a piece of jewellery could vary from few hours to few days, it depends of the complexity of the model. I start with the process of making the wire from a piece of silver until it becomes thin like a hair. To do that, I use different tools and machines such as draw plate, type of die consisting of a hardened steel plate with one or more holes through which wire is drawn to make it thinner. Then I twist different forms. The essential tools for a filigranist are pliers, tweezers, wire cutters, torch…
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I’ve been crafty all my life. During my teenage years, I was drawing, oil painting (I was involved in a few group exhibitions in a gallery in Skopje), glass painting and decorating pieces of stones. I studied French language and literature and became Lecturer of contemporary French at the Faculty of Philology in Skopje, Macedonia. I enjoyed working with students for 25 years. The last 10 years I was running over 20 theater workshops in French and created 8 theater plays from contemporary francophone authors with my troupe called Les Artcooliques. I also organized 4 international student theater festivals. My passion of the French language and culture was reflected through my career as translator: I translated over 15 books of francophone authors in Macedonian, my native language.
Four years ago I had the opportunity to meet Elena Popovska, a very talented jeweller and filigree master from Skopje. She teached me the filigree technique of making jewellery and ever since it has became my passion!
What inspires you?
I gain inspiration and potential creation in everything around me: the city, nature, birds, flowers, insects, clouds, sea, emotions, every single object might be an inspiration for a new design.
What is one thing you would like to be better at doing?
I would like to learn how to take better photographies of my jewellery.
What else do you do for fun?
I love learning foreign languages. I already speak French, Italian, Serbian, Bulgarian… I love Art in general: painting, music, theater, dance… My favorite books are The Little Prince from A.Saint-Exupery and The Flowers of Coran from my favorite author Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. The movie I’ve seen more than 20 times is Once upon a time in America…I adore it! My zodiac sign is Capricorn which means that I don’t give up easily, I am commited to my family, my friends and my dreams. I love learning new things. And I’d like to make Melbournians love the silver filigree jewellery!
What drew you to in.cube8r?
I chose in.cube8r to show my work because I’d like to meet interesting people and artists as well as to be able to teach Melbournites about the filigree technique which is rare and precious.
Do you currently sell anywhere else?
The first real presentation of my jewellery work is since I moved in Australia 6 months ago has been through markets in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne where I live. It helps me to understand how this business works in Australia and what I need to do to get it running better. Doing markets also helps me to understand the mentality and the preferences of the customers in the australian society.