I met Audrey in Barcelona and I’ve been suddenly impressed by her solid and organic research.
This is only the beginning of her journey in the jewelry field as gallery manager, but she has already a strong vision about her goals and selection.
Here she revealed a little bit more about her work:
A/: When and how your passion for jewelry was born?
AI: It's my journey that has gradually guided me toward this choice.
For me It’s not an end in itself, it's the beginning in my active life. The longevity of this step will also depend of my other dreams that I would like to realize.
From my youngest age, the creation was already an important boost in my life. Mainly coming by the classic and contemporary dance but also by a series of creative workshops. Enamel courses and internships have been my first approaches in the world of jewelry.
Since I was 23 years old, during my studies in Industrial Design at ENSAV La Cambre in Brussels, I have followed an evening course about ‘the lost wax technique’.
After my studies and having travelled 8 months, I came back specially to enroll at Jeanne Toussaint Institute - Arts et Métiers in Jewelry (Brussels).
A/: Why did you decide to establish a gallery and how your perspective about jewelry research changed?
AI: At first, I would never have called my project ‘gallery’, a word that sounds elitist: I prefer to talk about a ‘concept store’ or a ‘space’. However, the majority of people talk instinctively of gallery...
Coming back from my trip, the difficulties to find a job in my field (Interior Architecture and Industrial Design), my wish to undertake and a meeting with a cooperative of activity were the triggers to develop a project: the idea was born!
In Brussels, not a lot of places as mine exist and, no one in my district.
I wanted to propose original, surprising and rare pieces by offering a visibility to the Belgian and foreign creators, both established and young. Creators exhibit in my space with great enthusiasm and I'm very glad that they trust me: this exchange creates very rich human relationships.
What is important to me, it's for the jewelry to be considered like a micro sculpture, works of art, that you can wear and/or expose and not as a fancy object. Finally, my choice tries to propose an accessible price too.
A/: Which difficulties did you encountered?
AI: Since I take care of all aspects of this business (research of creators, communication, scenography, website, administration...) and being also creator, it's sometimes complicated to constantly changing roles.
The thing that I would really need is a very effective communication, to present my project in Brussels. Few magazines were interested but, unfortunately, it seems that we need contacts, professional relationships to benefit of a real and constant interest. It's often the same creator and/or project that is being published while others (creators or project) deserve also to be put under the spotlight. It’s pity.
A/: Did your taste change over the years?
AI: I don't really think that my taste, my affinity changes. But sometimes I can be surprised by my own choices. I exhibit really different universes and I think that this is the richness of the space: a thread that binds them and gives a certain form of unity.
It's a challenge for 20 or 30 creators to cohabit in 12 square meters without giving a disorder feeling!
One thing has evolved: I'm really starting to be interested in stones. Until now, I avoided them because I associated them to the traditional jewelry, and to some form of snobbery.
I created a pair of earrings with very small stones and with my collection 'Schieve' (Skew) I want to break the codes with the ‘classic fake’.
A/: Any programs for the next coming year?
AI: The next period of the exhibition begins on March 7th and it's about purity, sobriety, and minimalism... (Here the complete call: http://www.ickxjewelry.com/call).
It's still possible to send the candidacy until January 25th (ickxjewelry@gmail) but the candidacy is welcome all the year for the future exhibitions.
I also would like to propose more creators of objects. Since September, I have been exposing few ceramists too. The public appreciated so much; I would like to develop this path too.
A/: What is fascinating the most, in your opinion, in the jewelry practice of making and wearing?
AI:I like the idea to wear a little work of art, realized by a creator who tells a story or takes a sentimental value by the time or the person who offers it to you.
For me, it's not the material that gives the preciosity of the jewelry but the context around the piece. There is a lot of opportunities and reasons to offer yourself a jewelry. I have a lot of examples of very nice situations: a young woman who came recently twice to see a piece, when she finally purchased it, she told me: ‘It's a little bit expensive for me but I just sign my first CD so I can offer myself something to mark the occasion’.
I'm lucky to be on the both sides: the side of the creation but also the one of the sales.
I already did few wedding rings: talking with customers about their wishes, in order to realize a piece that they (usually) wear the rest of their lives and to see their happiness for the outcomes, It’s really pleasant.