The jewelry made by Helmi is the perfect expression of her way to be: playful, ironic, pleasing, tactile, but also thoughtful and capable of instilling a great harmony and peace.
An innate confidence with the materials and a personal preparation in discovering make her the perfect experimenter. The case appears to be involved in the creative process, but her intuition guides the creation almost unconsciously and unknowingly.
She creates collections from time to time different and unique, exploring, with the purest eye, most diverse roads and curiosities related to the transformation of materials. But she always acts with very clear objectives regarding the outcome and the areas to be studied.
Especially in her last collection, shown in Sieraad, she refers, and sometimes uses too, to the childhood symbolism and toys esthetic; also touch and play are part of the overall experience of her pieces.
Helmi’s research stands without specific categorizations (especially those belonging to the jewelry field), no-gender and naïve, stimulates the senses for a return to the calm of when we were child and innocent, pure.
We asked her some questions, to understand something more!
A/: How did you end up making art and jewelry?
HL: My mother is an interior designer and my father was a leather-worker. So I have the privilege to come from an artistic family. Because of their professions I spent a lot of time on their workshops and it let me grew roots into making and creativity.
I think that unconsciously I´ve always known that art is the path I´ll choose and after I realized that it would be stupid to become a ballerina with zero skills, I started to focus on visual arts.
I started my journey with paintings and then I moved to tattoos. Tattooing led me to body decoration and into jewelry.
A/: Where the name ‘strange but jewelry’ comes from?
HL: Strange but jewelry is more of an answer for a common question from people whom are more familiar with traditional jewelry. I´ve noticed that it breaks the ice and leads the conversation towards art with smile. And strange beauty is what it boils down to.
A/: The meaning of your work is based on the feelings that can be generated by touching your pieces. How do you conduct research and experimentation (technical and esthetic) on material in relation to sensations?
HL: I am a very instinctual maker. I do what I feel is right. Even though I love drawing I don´t sketch in the beginning. Basically I storage and collect everything that speaks to eye and fingers (and is small enough to smuggle pass my husband). Then I organize a humongous mess by playing with the findings. Unfortunately the mess plays a part in the making, because it allows unlikely matches to lie close to each other, to be explored. After the finding part I clear up the mess and take only the chosen particles on the table and start to focus on technical solutions. At this part I usually sketch and then move on to making.
A/: How do you introduce irony and play in your pieces?
HL: I pay attention to my surrounding world especially with things and happenings that triggers childlike joy. I make notes based on my observations of everyday life. Some notes are louder and won’t leave me alone before I focus on them. Some ideas are left in the closet and usually better ones materialize. Humor plays a role in my making and I´m drawn to components and solutions that have a joke in them and are very playful.
A/: What’s your main source of inspiration?
HL: Oh, this one is hard. It might be something as naive as happiness, because my creation process often starts after I get thrilled or moved by something.
A/: Food and feminine shapes are always returning in your pieces, is there a reason for that?
HL: I do quite long hours at my workshop so in the end of the day I might be hungry enough to get thrilled by the food inspirations? Just kidding.
In fruitfully yours I was thinking of womanhood and it appears in the collection quite strongly. But otherwise I use different mixtures of masculine and feminine and try avoiding categorizing. For me the wearer makes the piece appear either feminine or masculine.