How The Story Began
I once knew a woman who travelled through different places, realities and worlds - exotic, alien, strangely familiar but also previously unseen and dreamy.
Her jewellery box could easily be one of the most wonderful you have ever seen, full of jewellery she brought back from her travels.
The pieces appear as if they were made by someone who understood how to work with metal and most probably trained as a goldsmith, but hasn’t seen how jewellery is made on Earth.
Her pieces are equally shiny and sparkly as their Earthly counterparts, but they have different personalities. It’s difficult to explain why in words.
Almost all of the jewels are inspired by exotic landscapes, seascapes, and other scapes, alien flowers, shells of water creatures.
There is a pair of earrings, the very first piece of jewellery she collected, that resemble miniature mountains. One of them is a place she already visited, a specific location, she tells me. The other one shows a terrain of an unknown place and that is where she wants to travel next.
It is by constantly looking at the earring, exploring it and turning it in her hand that she learns every little detail of the landscape and its curves. So when the moment comes, she will recognise the mountain instantly. She will know it is the one.
She then proceeds to shows me a ring that is similar to the pair of Mountain earrings.
“It’s a part of a galaxy and a mountain in one - this ring. There is a place, a mountain, you hike to the top and look up and draw all the constellations that you can see.
You connect the stars and what you see is in fact, a topographic map of the very mountain you climbed.
I want to see this place. It is a full circle. The mountain and the sky, the stars, they are one. They each exist in their own respective world - and you are between them. You sit on the edge of the worlds.”
She mentioned something that I couldn’t stop thinking about since. She calls it a moment of similarity.
The mountain and the constellations could be a good example. It is a specific pattern that keeps appearing in different situations across different worlds but is always the same. Once you start noticing it you cannot stop. I think this is where her passion for travelling comes from - searching for these moments and feeling the eternity when she finds them. And her jewels? They are the proof that it all happened.
NEBO FLOWER ring
Savoir - Faire
The savoir-faire, the way something is made, is central to Kay’s creative process. In order to realise her vision of creating a collection of jewellery, that feels like it was made in a different world, it was crucial to consider the visual references as well as delve into the history of jewellery craft and learn about its peculiarities.
The jewellery craft is very region and culture specific because it is often passed down from one generation to another - from a master to an apprentice. The way stones are cut and set, the way enamel is used, a necklace fastens or an earring fits around the ear change as we travel around the world.
Therefore it felt right to establish Kay’s own jewellery vocabulary if she wanted to create jewellery that looked and felt otherworldly. In her first collection - The Venn - she creates sparkling, organic volumes and shapes out of a flat sheet of metal. This technique gives each piece lightness, unparalleled shine and sparkle while being strong and sturdy.
Initially interested in studying Mathematics, Kay found herself pulled into the world of jewellery by a complete chance. She studied in the renowned K.O.V. studio at AAAD in Prague before moving to London for an MA in Jewellery at Central Saint Martins. She graduated and launched her first collection in 2017.
Kay comes from Slovakia, a country in Eastern Europe with almost no jewellery tradition. Instead, it is a country rich in folklore, culture and literature, that is mostly unknown outside its borders. One of the most significant books, a collection of old Slavic folktales, had a profound impact on Kay from a very early age.
The tales are set in vast natural landscapes of Eastern Europe and tell stories of ordinary people encountering magical forces. Most of the seemingly mystical sites (the ice caves or underground lakes) do exist and one often wonders where is the line between reality and magic and how much of the tales could be true.
It was the folktales that sparked Kay’s interest in parallel universes and fictional worlds, and the natural mountainous landscapes of her home country that she finds visually inspiring and often references in her work.
Kay's jewellery collections imbue a feeling of mystery and reality. The pieces belong to a place where the real and the fictional worlds overlap - they are souvenirs, keepsakes brought back from travelling to unknown places.