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MEET THE DESIGNER VIKA TONUPlease introduce yourself and your...

September 12 2017


Please introduce yourself and your brand!

My name is Victoria Tonu, I am a 29 years old artist based in Bucharest, Romania, and for the last four years I have been creating pieces for my jewelry brand Vika Tonu Design.

I have graduated from an Interdisciplinary Art and Design Course at Huddersfield University in the UK, and then continued my studies in resistant materials at Alchimia Contemporary Jewelry School in Firenze, Italy.


Jewelry for me represents the most suggestive and personal form of expression, and it appeared in my life as the answer to my struggle as a growing artist: how is my work going to have any direct impact on other people?

Even though I did not enjoy creating jewelry at the beginning, my persuasion led me to the understanding of the process and this offered me a totally different perspective. My early education also had its influence upon this journey, as I was schooled in an alternative, spiritual and free way. Awareness towards nature, the four elements, the planets, and of course towards our inner cosmos has been an accent since I was a child, all this in a very creative and artistic environment. So by the time I really had to take a decision about my path, I realized I could associate the jewelry making to the myth of the alchemical dream which is also a metaphor to the personal evolution - transforming something rough and shapeless into something beautiful and precious, all through hard work and effort.

Basic shapes became associated with signs, elements, symbols, and the pieces started to gain sense if you really wanted to look for it. To sum it up, Vika Tonu Design jewelry pieces are all hand made, and imbued with personal energy, meaning and Soul. I hope that people can feel and understand the difference between a mass product jewelry and one created with a different, more compelling purpose, a jewelry to be worn for a much longer time.


What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

I do not enjoy the pressure of creating a collection at a certain time. As an artist I go through phases of inspiration and introspection, and this is why sometimes it takes more time until I feel I could start a new series. The thing I consider the most important in creating a jewelry is its message, this is why I don’t perceive it as a decorative adornment, but as a translation of my own reflections. Most of my pieces have suggestive titles and their purpose is to help the wearer identify with the message. In this manner, there is a different kind of relationship which is born between the person and the object – it becomes a symbolic reminder, a totem.

What or who inspires you the most?

I have various sources of inspiration, depending on my evolution, I guess. I started with the exploration of the Greek alphabet and culture, alchemy, and then astrology. The more complex pieces were mostly my thoughts and states – simplified and objectified. At the present moment I am interested in psychology, and in this vast area so many things await to be discovered, explored and transformed into art.

What has been the best compliment someone has given your work?

I was told by quite a lot of people that they do not take off their rings from their fingers because they feel as if there is something very important missing. Some said that they consider that my jewelry is bringing them luck.

At the end, the best compliment is that people recommend me to others, and still want to wear what I create. I have been doing quite a lot of wedding bands besides my designs – all unique and customized according to the couple’s story and energy. The fact that my rings will become part of a family, history and heritage is extremely flattering.

How you would describe your affinity and your interaction with the materials you use in your collection?

I feel very comfortable working with silver and this is my favorite material so far. The funny thing is that while I was studying I was literally scared of it – it was pretentious compared to other metals like copper or brass, and also more expensive. Each mistake (and there were plenty) had it’s cost. After years, and hundreds of pieces, I feel like I am finally in a stable and unconditional relationship with this material.

Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the year ahead?

I do have some new collaborations coming up, and hopefully a more complex personal project. But other than that my wish for the year ahead is to travel as much as I can with my work, and raise awareness about it in more cool places like Studio 183.



Website: under construction –

MEET THE DESIGNER MELLOW JEWELLERYMelita Rus, tell us a bit about...

September 02 2017


Melita Rus, tell us a bit about yourself and the development of your jewellery brand MELLOW.

I am the designer of MELLOW by Melita Rus. It is a contemporary jewelry brand, which is eclectic, unique and unexpected. All the pieces are made by using construction and household materials, like screws, bolts, cables and other elements I find in a household shop mixed with Swarovski crystals, Baltic Amber, mineral stones or silver pieces. I like using clashing materials in one piece, like melted plastic and Baltic Amber stones, it gives a nice mix of edgy and classy, and that is what makes my jewelry so eclectic and alternative. Every single piece is unique and handmade in my studio in Vilnius, Lithuania.


These jewellery pieces opposite to hardware tools can be associated with a daring lifestyle and impeccable style. Mellow jewellery is made for the ones who embrace every second of their exciting lives ‘here and now’, the ones who value uniqueness, not the number of carats and hallmark. Not everything that is worth having has a hallmark, and not everything that is eye-catching has carats. These statement jewellery is made from cables, construction glue, silicone and screws, which are accentuated by carbines and cable tightening details. We believe that unusual details can become a tool to create beauty and style and that jewelry could be more just a thing. So every piece is one of a kind or limited edition. Every Mellow piece has it’s own life code.


What about your inspiration?

It is funny, but for me the best place for inspiration is a car service, so it’s always good news for me when I have to take my car there. Also, buildings under construction and construction material shops. I can be inspired by a car engine, a vacuum cleaner or a broken washing machine. I even found myself inspired when I touch different surfaces e.g. various packages of food. I always was a little bit strange. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep because the inspiration just popped up in my head.

What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?

The values and the message I want to spread to the world through my pieces are the most important for designing a collection. Every collection reflects the strength I gain through the years.


You work with construction and household materials and mix them with precious stones. Tell us a bit more about the idea behind it!

The message behind it is that the boundaries of the world have vanished, we visit each other’s countries and exchange cultures because we love to give and to get. We do not divide ourselves into any separate groups because it suddenly makes no sense anymore. We do not judge the beauty and the value by the number of the carats or the hallmark but by what it stands for.


What are the references were you working with for your new collection?

Colors, shapes and silhouettes of pieces.

What exciting plans do you have for the year ahead?

I am working on the new collection, that will be very different to the previous collection and can’t wait to show it to the world.


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