Deep Purpose an independent American jewellery business gives a second life to found materials by transforming them into unique jewellery pieces. An evolved passion project from designer Dorothee, join us as she tells us more about some of her core brand values, and some of her favourite bespoke commission work she has done. 

Values are really important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?

My core values, and those of my brand Deep Purpose, are always evolving. At the foundation, it comes down to Integrity, Respect, and Passion, followed by the ever-important Form and Function, and finally GRATITUDE. This goes for how I conduct myself, but also how I value what projects I work on and with whom I collaborate. Is the product made well? Is this a respectful way of honouring the organic piece? Is the passion for art appreciated?

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

Nature and nurture. From the natural world and its fascinating cycles: beauty in life and in death. Channelling the artifice of the strong women and artists that I grew up around. I draw inspiration from the joy of creating and the bliss of marrying the right piece to the right client.

How do you ensure your designs are ethical and sustainable?

I am proud of how sustainable and ethical my company is. Most of the copper is stripped from reclaimed wires and pipes. The leaves and insects have all naturally passed and yet become something beautiful again. I work with suppliers that guarantee they do not use child labour and have their own strong ethics that they stand behind, whenever possible. Upcycling and recycling metals, crystals, and organic pieces which I grow in my garden, and have collected over the years.

How are your products made?

First, I strip and clean reclaimed copper wires and pieces for use. The copper electroformed pieces are organic or crystal items that have to be sealed and then painted in graphite paint to enable conductivity. The piece then goes into acid with the reclaimed, cleaned copper, and is electrified causing the particles to adhere to the piece.

This is a simplified explanation. This takes hours and hours of forming and checking. There is so much I love about copper from its health benefits to its malleability, but my favourite is its excitability to change colour, texture and form. It is so versatile, and patinas can be seen from deep reds through to bright greens. Once the item is formed to satisfaction, it gets polished and sealed or lacquered for its final evolution.

 

Tell us about some of your most inspiring clients, or bespoke commissions.

Last year, Daniel Rene, one of the hosts for the HBOs series A Tiny Audience, wore my custom-made copper dragonfly on treble clef necklace and a single copper dragonfly earring on the Season 3 series. The shoutout on Instagram was my first real celebrity acknowledgement.

On another note, I had a client that requested a pixie jar, filled with his passed lover's ashes, mixed with crystals. I see them occasionally and they wear this memento mori with such care and love. I love clients that relate to the creations and make them their own.

How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?

I want you to feel complete. Aligned. Empowered. Nourished. Validated.

Do you work with any charities?

In the past, I have worked with animal and conservation charities and donated my time to the local LQBTQ+ community by coordinating the Pride on the Block in West Palm Beach Florida, benefitting TranspireHelp.org.

What music do you play in the studio whilst you’re working?

Nina Simone to Nine Inch Nails. On a rainy morning, I might listen to some classical Bach, Handel, or Mozart. On any afternoon I may flood my studio with bluesy BB King, Nina Simone, or Ma Rainey. Metal, rock, and industrial keep me going otherwise.

 

Who is your favourite artist?

I flourish in antipodes, so I can't name just one. I have a deep love for the surrealists Dali and Magritte. Egon Schiele and Odd Nerdrum have always fascinated me with their raw sensuality. Peter Beard and David Lachapelle are my most adored photographers and mixed media artists. If it makes you FEEL something, I consider it valuable.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

In German, my mother always would say "keep your chin up, even if your neck is dirty". For me this advice was always key: there is no shame, only perseverance and courage. You may have a terrible go of something but you can move past it by holding your head high and moving forward. Best advice ever.

If you could travel to one place in the world right now, where would it be and why?

Home. I grew up in a small village named Groß Felda in Germany and absolutely miss the air, the sounds, the water, and the woods. I would go home into the woods and be engulfed by nature... I will be back in November 2022!

What are your go-to style tips?

DO YOU. There are no rules. Gender is imagined, style is your self-expression, fashion is an illusion and therefore my tip is always: JUST DO YOU, and you cannot fail.

Are there any other designers whose work you particularly admire?

German Kabirski is an incredible jewellery designer. His "little freaks" are my favourite to collect. Alexander McQueen was a huge design influence when growing up.

What music inspires you to create new designs?

I listen to a lot of music - anything that wakes up my soul emotionally. From classical music to heavy metal and industrial.

How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?

Our 3 rescued Rottweilers ensure I get up and stretch and play. They give me the perfect daily balance paired with time spent with my partner: pillow forts and living room picnics, working around the house and taking long nature hikes.

What drew you to JewelStreet?

After the initial recruiter reached out to me, I started researching JewelStreet. I loved that it is a UK-based company whose core values were sustainability and promoting and uplifting small businesses with an emphasis on handmade bespoke items. This integrity, respect, and passion align nicely with my brand and I look forward to years of success and evolution on the platform.

If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?

The Amazonian Copper Encased Scorpions are LIFE! I am obsessed with each one, but the Carnelian Scorpion has me. I will be adding these to the JewelStreet catalogue soon.

What is your favourite quote?

“If we listened to our intellect we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go in business because we'd be cynical. . . Well, that's nonsense. You're going to miss life. You've got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.” - Ray Bradbury.

Which 3 books would you love to have on a desert island?

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés;
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury;
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond.

Thank you for talking with us Dorothee!

Discover more unique jewellery pieces at Deep Purpose on JewelStreet.