Based in Melbourne, Aimee Sutanto is captivated by the process of constructing and manipulating metal, and then using it to enhance the natural aesthetic appeal of gemstones. It’s for this reason that she is such a highly regarded goldsmith.
Launching her own line, Aimee Sutanto Jewellery, has given her the freedom to express herself and fulfil her lifelong ambition. We chat with Aimee about why honesty the key focus of her brand, having her customers’ happiness as her key priority and why she is loving every second of her journey as a jeweller.
Why did you start your own jewellery line?
“Before I started my jewellery line, the one thing I knew for sure is that it had to reflect my thoughts more than simply starting a commercial business. With that concept alone, I knew that the only way to do it is by starting it by myself, using my own name as the brand. Transparent and clear.”
What are your core brand values?
“I believe honesty is the most important value, both in interpersonal relationships and business. It is not just about upholding your reputation, but more importantly your ethic as a person. We are all in this business to make money, but jewellery holds a sentimental and personal notion, and that should be the focus of it. We are in the business to make people happy. Having that as the main priority, when making my pieces my focus is their comfort and durability, which to me, is the most important aspect of jewellery as they are worn on the body.”
"We are all in this business to make money, but jewellery holds a sentimental and personal notion, and that should be the focus of it. We are in the business to make people happy."
When did you first fall in love with jewellery?
“Just like any little child, I was drawn to precious trinkets. They were beautiful little things that we weren’t meant to touch. Somewhere in my early teens I started looking at them differently, more curious as to how they came to be in that form. Then I read about how diamond just resembles a lump of glass in its raw state, and how all precious metal came out in lumps of ore. It fascinated me that these things become the precious things that I adore! That’s when I knew jewellery was what I want to do with my life.”
How has your childhood influenced you as a designer?
“I grew up in Indonesia and I’ve always been very close to my mother. She is an antique connoisseur and played a big role in my love for decorative art. She used to have this collection of antique pieces that she'd sort or clean and I would just sit next to her and watch. I even started Kindergarten late as I just wanted to stay at home with my mother forever! I still remember the feeling of curiosity and wonder and every day at the bench this feeling comes back to me every time a solder flows, a metal curve or when a surface polished to mirror-like quality.”
"All my pieces are made by my hands at my workbench in my studio in Melbourne. I spend most of my days at my bench working straight on metal."
Where do you do your best work?
“I work best alone, in a space where I am either very familiar (i.e my living room or studio), or a place that is alien to me (i.e when travelling to a new country). I find both environments make me very self-aware that I could delve inward and think more systematically. All my pieces are made by my hands at my workbench in my studio in Melbourne. I spend most of my days at my bench working straight on metal. My inspiration comes from the metalwork process itself, it is an extensive process of observation and analysis. Some days it just clicks and voila a new concept is in conception. This is why I see myself more as a jeweller than a designer; the metalsmithing aspect is the most important aspect.”
How do you source your materials?
“I source my metals and gemstones locally. For diamonds, I prefer to work with Australian diamonds unless requested otherwise. For precious gems, lately I have been specialising more in beautiful blue-green Australian sapphire that I source locally.”
How do you want someone to feel when wearing your designs?
“Comfortable and happy. If it’s an everyday piece of jewellery, I would love it if the wearer isn’t overly conscious about wearing it. To me a good piece of jewellery should be a good fit and a good weight, comfortable and non-restricting.”
What has been the highest point of your career so far?
“Every time I make a customer happy is a new high point. One of the best moments is when I hear how comfortable my pieces are and how much they enjoy wearing it.”
What drives you to create jewellery?
“You’re always your own biggest critic, and the further you go the more pressure there is to keep on creating and developing your concept. It’s a never-ending journey and an exciting one! You never know what lies ahead so you just keep on going to see what’s around the corner and always, ALWAYS, enjoy the journey as you go.”
Aimee Sutanto Jewellery is available to shop on Jewelstreet here.