The creative mind of jewellery designer Heaven Tanudiredja must be a fascinating place to inhabit. With visions of “beautiful robots”, combined with rare stones and shapes and configurations that seem to have grown organically of their own accord, the resulting pieces are breathtaking and as beautiful as a dream.
Not surprisingly, the young designer’s passage to success was swift. After receiving a Dries Van Noten Award whilst studying at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, he went on to set up his first jewellery line after working for Van Noten in 2007.
His latest project is working with JOYCE on an exclusive online collection based upon his signature style. The designer describes his inspiration for the collection. “What I have in mind is an explosion of colour – something very rich, and very bold. I instantly thought of dragons because of my Chinese heritage on my father’s side and the fact that this year is the Chinese Year of the Dragon.”
But it’s the designer’s unpretentious, childlike approach which really makes him endearing. “I watched the children’s film ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ which I thought was really cute,” he chuckles. “I loved the colours, but I was worried when I presented the idea to JOYCE they would think I was stupid or crazy! But thankfully they liked it.”
“I like having no limitations, and being allowed to create any shape or texture that I wanted. When you do something that’s handmade you have to be happy, otherwise the people wearing it aren’t going to be happy.”
Each piece for the JOYCE collection is unique and took between 24 and 36 hours to make, for the most part by hand. “I would say 90 per cent is made by hand. We use a laser to cut materials, but sometimes I feel it’s too strict. Those little mistakes that arise from making something by hand are where the beauty lies.”
But for Tanudiredja, it’s not just about creating jewellery that’s artistic – it also has to be wearable. “The jewellery and the woman are like a pair – you wear it to make you complete, not to cover up. Jewellery has to make the face glow in a certain way, which is why it’s so important to get the colour right.”