Based in Thessaloniki, Greek brand Tezapsidis Jewellery has been creating jewellery since 1928. Current owner and lead designer, Petros Tezapsidis, is a fourth-generation jewellery designer and trained gemologist, who is carrying on his family’s company and traditions. Inspired by his grandfather and his ancestors business, Petros studied Gemology at HRD in Antwerp, specialising in grading diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies.
Petros always wants to learn new techniques and has recently put himself into the world of micro-sculpture in wax. All of his jewellery is handmade, using various techniques like waxwork, casting and 3D printing. From high-end jewellery using top-quality diamonds and 18kt gold, to contemporary jewellery using gems with sterling silver, anything is possible when Petros gets into his studio. Petros Tezapsidis chats to JewelStreet about his inspirational family, his most memorable client and his would-be career in the wine business.
How did your brand begin?
My great-grandfather came to Thessaloniki from Pontus to save his family and worked as a jewellery repair man. That’s where Tezapsidis Jewellery started. I went on to study jewellery design and creation. I studied Gemology at HRD in Antwerp and did some correspondence courses at GIA, so I could carry on my family's legacy.
Is there anyone in particular who has heavily influenced/guided you as a designer?
My father started working at 12. He is good with his hands and has an incredible taste in design. I also witnessed my grandfather transform hard pieces of metal into beautiful works of art when I was a child, and that greatly influenced me and spurred my love of design and creation.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
Mostly my inspiration comes from nature and music.
How is your jewellery made?
In all possible ways. My jewellery is always handmade and I use many techniques like 3D printing, waxwork and casts.
Tell us about some of your most inspiring clients, or bespoke commissions.
One of my most inspiring and memorable clients was an old lady who was blind. She trusted us so much, that she regularly ordered high-end jewellery from us. I finally met her when I delivered her an expensive Emerald pendant personally. She just felt it by putting it on her cheek.
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
I’d love to see Bruce Springsteen and Michelle Obama wearing my jewellery.
What has been the highest and lowest point of your career so far?
In the good times, I loved selling 18kt gold with diamonds. That was usual for me. When that stopped for a while, I tried silver with Zircons.
If you hadn't become a designer, what would you be doing?
I would definitely try the Winery business.
Are there any other designers whose work you particularly admire?
I massively admired the work from Niki Boli, Katerina Loannidis and Sonja Kreiss.
What music do you play in the studio whilst you’re working?
Mostly Jazz, but also Springsteen, Pavlidis and Blues.
What's your favourite quote?
"Talent is a matter of luck. Courage is what counts"
Which 3 current or historic figures would you have over for a dinner party?
Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King.
Which 3 books would you love to have on a desert island?
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Thessaloniki (City of Ghosts) by Mark Mazower and Christine by Stephen King.
Favourite series to binge-watch on Netflix?
I love watching series on Netflix but my three favourite shows would have to be Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.