Award-winning designer, Akvile Cenkyte established the 'A Jewel' brand in 2015. Using traditional fine jewellery making techniques, Akvile designs distinctive jewellery inspired by industrialism, city life, urban movements, and music. If you like interesting yet minimal accessories that are made completely by hand, then you will love this collection. We chat with Akvile about her inspiration, how she crafts her pieces and why she would love to travel to Sri Lanka.
How did your brand start?
“A Jewel was established in 2015 while I was studying Jewellery Manufacture and Design at Holts Academy of Jewellery. I wanted to correlate traditional fine jewellery craftsmanship with my own interpretation, to create a new language and to express that language through a piece of jewellery."
What inspires your designs?
“Inspirations and influences come from industrialism, city life, urban movements and music, which corrugates with ideas from individual interpretation of symbols and archetypes.”
How is your jewellery made?
“I love to work with precious metal by soldering, shaping, hammering, filling, finishing and polishing them in my workshop. I combine traditional handmade jewellery making skills with other techniques: engraving, enamelling, cuttlefish casting, wax carving, lost wax casting, stone carving etc. Creative journey begins with the design idea and develops to the final piece.”
How do you ensure your jewellery is ethical and sustainable?
“We support local trade community, recycle all precious metal waste, source materials from trusted suppliers and are registered as a Fairtrade Goldsmith.”
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
“Jeff Mills, Surgeon, Miss Kittin, Chris Liebing, Goldie - oh, I just mentioned some of my favourite DJ's and producer’s names. It makes me really, really happy when any person is wearing my jewellery.”
What’s been your biggest achievement to date?
“My biggest achievement in the jewellery industry is winning the Gold Prize from GIA Applied Jewelry Professional (AJP) at the annual prestigious UK Goldsmith’s Design and Craft Council Competition 2017.”
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, which would it be?
“Rose Gold Electric Flowers Ring, because I like the shape, the look, the colour, it suits my style and I don't want to take it off.”
If you could travel to one place right now, where would it be?
“I would love to go on a gemmology expedition to Sri Lanka - coloured gemstone destination. It would be incredible to visit mines, see gem cutters and buy beautiful gemstones.”
What music do you have playing whilst you’re working?
“Techno or other electronic music out loud!”
How do you ensure you have a good work/life balance?
“To relax and get inspiration for my jewellery I like to go to exhibitions, the theatre, galleries, parties, read books, do yoga.”
What’s your favourite quote?
“He who does not risk, does not drink champagne” - Proverb.
How do you wind down after a long day in the studio?
“Going for a walk after a long day in a workshop always refreshes me.”