5 questions answered by Sofie De Bakker & Zeno Vaes

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What brought you to art? How did you come to jewelry design ?

Zeno: I studied applied art in high school but there is not much to talk about that. It was just school. Only after an internship at Peter Vermandere it all changed. There I’ve learned to put ideas to reality, to get out of my comfort zone. I stayed in touch and learned more about jewellery and gemstones. Later i made up my mind and choose for a study as a jewellery designer. That first day I’ve met Sofie,…. love at first sight.

Sofie: You could peek into the jewellery studio like it was a big fish-tank. The windows were near a hallway and the playground of the school. At that time I studied graphic design but it was not my cup of tea. I often glanced through those windows and I liked the idea of creating jewellery so I applied for a new start as a jewellery designer.

Together: After two years we both quit the study and had a break then we moved to Hasselt were we both finished our Master degree in jewellery design.


How does your creation process looks like, as a couple and individual?

We both share an interest in the environment where we live, animals live, where we travel,…we collect items, forms and then compose, create, combine and experiment with materials, reshape with different techniques and then translate it into jewellery. Composition is very important in our jewellery design process Sofie’s designs are more refined, her jewellery is very detailed, almost graphical. Zeno’s work is undisguised and narrative.

Eventually, we can write and talk a lot about the design process but we like to give a quote of the master chef Massimo Bottura ,,If you have a relationship then you speak the same language , if you speak the same language you can share a dialogue . We share the language of creativity« .

What are the pros and cons in working as a couple?

Pro: There is continuously feedback, on the condition that we have a critical view to each others idea’s and work.

For us there is only one contra and this is the fine line between work and our private life.


Which other artists /designer should one know?

We don’t have any idols because we find it narrow minded. There are a 2 designers that we like to mention because they changed our view on jewellery and life in a sort of way. Saura Ceccarini † : a very close friend and colleague ‘a true parnter in crime’.

Karl Fritsch: the beauty of imperfection in his work is inspiring.


What are your plans for the future?

Make more jewellery  🙂