Based in Berkshire, Agneta Bugyte runs her own jewellery studio and private workshop. After studying at an art school in Lithuania, Agneta developed her ability to see and feel the materials and subtle textures, and express these through various media. Taking inspiration from nature’s bionic shapes and plant anatomy, Agneta carefully analyses, sketches and transforms organic forms into unique and detailed jewellery collections of earrings, pendants, rings and bracelets.
Like the geometry of every stone, leaf or tree branch, there is no repetition in Agneta's work; each piece is individually handmade, authentic and unique and she is constantly looking for the unexpected in her work. We chat with Agneta about growing up in Lithuania and why she chose jewellery as her art form.
When did you fall in love with jewellery?
“I always knew that I would be an artist, even when I didn't really know what the art was. I grew up thinking that I will be an artist. The hardest thing was to choose a speciality because I was into everything. I loved photography, painting, interior design, but to only choose one wasn’t enough, until I found out that jewellery is an art. I fell in love with it straight away. Since then the decision was made - I wanted to be a jewellery designer because it gave me everything I was looking for.”
How did your brand begin?
“I wanted to offer unique and authentic jewellery that opens a door into another world, full of poetry, silence and sounds from nature. I wanted to create jewellery that would become a story, with nostalgic notes of an untouched world connecting the soul of the materials with the soul of the wearer.”
How has your childhood influenced you as a designer?
“I grew up in the very small and beautiful country of Lithuania, full of lakes and forests. I was always into the small details a lot more than the overall bigger picture, which I think is why I fell in love with jewellery, because it requires special attention to detail. I don’t remember much from my childhood, but I do remember these small details meant a lot to me. Nature was a big part of my life; I remember collecting small things which caught my eye so my room was a small forest full of stones, rocks, stumps and dried plants.”
"I grew up thinking that I will be an artist. The hardest thing was to choose a speciality because I was into everything."
How did you get into the jewellery industry?
“My skills in jewellery design come from my studies at the National Arts Academy in Lithuania where I received a professional degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing in 2012. Following my dream and passion, I developed my own brand, style and working techniques.”
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
“It’s so hard to say in a few words what inspires me as it comes from everywhere; from nature which surrounds me to the people who inspire me or even from the tool I am working with or silence or classical music. Humanity, motion, emotion and nature all inspire me with their wild beauty and raw grace. Landscapes of deep silences, rough textures, fragmented hoarse and soft sounds, are the backdrop to my thinking.”
"In this busy, noisy world, this is what you need to calm you and bring you back to your core."
How do you want someone to feel when they wear your designs?
“Passionate, romantic and original. She’s a confident woman whose natural grace is enhanced by jewellery that resonates with her own unique style. In this busy, noisy world, this is what you need to calm you and bring you back to your core.”
What has been the high point of your career so far?
“I think the highest point of my career is when somebody says to me that they want something that is made by me, made with my hands and give me all the designing freedom. Then I know that people trust me, know what they want and believe in me.”
What are your core brand values?
“Comfortability, naturality, quality, originality authenticity and uniqueness.”
How is your jewellery made?
“Finishing on an oxidised surface makes my work unique. I create a glossy, shiny or smoky finish that produces pleasing contrasts. My work is detailed - I like the microscopic view rather than the panoramic. I use yellow gold, sterling silver, rare, natural precious and semi-precious stones. I never use laboratory-grown stones, preferring to seek out natural stones that convey meaning. And every single one is different; no two are alike.”
If you weren’t designing jewellery, what would you be doing?
“If I wasn’t a jewellery artist I would be very lost in this world. I always knew I would be an artist even when I was little and didn't really know what art was, and then I found that perfect fit - jewellery as an art form.”
Are there any other designers whose work your particularly admire?
“There are so many incredibly talented artists with exceptional styles but just to name a few - I love Todd Reed’s work and Pat Flynn bracelets. I live in a small beautiful village so don't get a chance to wear jewellery often enough to have my wish list.”
What music is playing in your studio?
“If there’s music playing in my studio, it must be classical, but most of the time I enjoy silence, listening to birds singing, or listening to the rain. All the natural sounds are so relaxing.”
How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?
“I don't have the balance between work and life at all! I love designing and making jewellery and am always thinking of new designs. Jewellery is the first thing I think of in the morning and the last one before sleep. I even dream of new pieces in a night.”
Agneta Bugyte's collection is available to buy on JewelStreet here.