VOLT CAFÉ Born in Poland, brought up in Austria. What attracted you to London?
TOMASZ DONOCIK Central Saint Martin’s attracted me to London. I wanted to study at a good art college.
VC Have you lived anywhere else?
TD No, I haven’t lived anywhere else – yet!
VC Do you feel that you use your Polish/Austrian background as a source of inspiration in your work?
TD Yes I do draw inspiration from Poland and Austria. Both are old, very historical countries awash with opulence and pedigree. Poland is somewhat rough and Austria more polished. Great contrasts. Both very regal, grand and evoke mystery.
VC Have you always worked as a jewelry designer? Would you ever consider a different vocation?
TD I came to London to study art. Jewelry seemed a good medium to combine the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional. It also crosses into fashion. If not working as a jewelry designer then menswear fashion designer.
VC Your inspiration (the Chesterfield, horse hair) seem very quintessentially English, how did that come about? And what is currently rocking your world?
TD Being influenced by architecture and furniture, and loving leather, Chesterfield furniture seemed like a great form to get inspired from. The Russian Aristocrat collection that the horsehair pendant is part of, was inspired by Mikhail Lermontov’s ‘A Hero of Our Time’ and specifically the Byronic hero and character in the novel, Pechorin. I felt he represented a timeless, masculine ideal. The collection aimed to design his imagined wardrobe.
I want my jewelry to appeal to men who – like Pechorin – want to remain on some level, unknown and unknowable. It is a tribute to his persona and everything he represents and would have been an essential part of his wardrobe. He is a mysterious and enchanting yet aloof character, mesmerizing those who he meets and he is the ideal ambassador for this range.
What rocks my boat: rough versus polished, decay versus growth, the gloomy streets of 19th Century London, Sweeney Todd’s style, dandyism…
VC Traditionally, jewelry is seen as a female adornment. Which makes it all the more exciting to see your designs for men. What prompted you to design jewelry for men? And would you ever consider doing a line specifically for women?
TD I wanted men to be able to wear what I do. I don’t think there is enough good stuff for men. And yes. I am designing my first women’s collection.
VC Who would be your dream client?
TD Johnny Depp or Rosario Dawson
TD My ideal collaboration would be with Rick Owens.
VC Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
TD Happy and with a successful jewelry house!
TagsInterview, Men's Jewellery, RCA, Tomasz Donicik,