Photo: Courtesy of Dorona Zierler
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I have been making art since I could hold a crayon and scribble on the walls. The name RoniOriginals actually comes from a childhood nickname and the response I often got when giving a handmade gift. My formal training is in fine arts with a specialization in printmaking. I grew up as the daughter of an orthodox Rabbi, so my Jewish background has had a strong influence on my life and fine art work. I have always been drawn to the process, ritual, and creation of multiples. As I found myself interacting with and belonging to different communities, the complexities of identity, belonging, and transformation have become recurring themes in my work and process, especially as I’ve moved towards a fascination with wearable artwork. This is obviously not as evident within my resin jewelry, but the aspect of transformation and growth can definitely still be found even within the small pieces.
What inspired you to become a jewellery designer?
I started off making rather large printmaking and interactive installation pieces, which is difficult to maintain while also working full time as a teacher, and now as the mother to two children. I had been searching for a long time for a way to bring wearable artworks to market that fit within my aesthetic and passion while remaining small enough in scale that I can make and fit in my busy life and apartment. I’ve always enjoyed making jewelry, but my voyage into resin was a happy accident, inspired by a walk with my children in which we found 50+ cicadas and wanted to find a way to preserve them.
When you start to design a new collection, what is the process like? Where do you take your inspiration? How do you keep up with the current trends?
The process always begins with going to nature for inspiration, and the seasons definitely have an influence. I take lots of walks with my family and we collect natural materials together that we dry out in the dehydrator. From there it is a lot of experimentation and trial and error. I can’t say I consciously research jewelry trends, although it is sometimes surprising to see how certain items seem to tap into the zeitgeist nonetheless.
What do you enjoy the most about the design process?
There is a lot of joy and playfulness in the process. From exploring in nature to the experimentation with the materials themselves. It can be frustrating but also very liberating as a perfectionist to give in to the process and relinquish control to an extent. I will say that the most fun part is often the unmolding the next morning. You don’t know what the piece will fully look like until it is unmolded, so it is a bit like waking up to a gift waiting to be unwrapped.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Well resin is a new favorite and I have learned a lot about it in a short amount of time. Most of the objects I cast are collected directly from nature and I enjoy reducing environmental impact in this way and by using recycled materials when possible. In my printmaking I love working with fabrics to create layers, transparency, and wearable pieces, as well as fine Japanese paper which can feel quite luxurious.
I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for the cicadas. For every person who tells me they are creepy is another who loves them. I just think they are gorgeous creatures. I also love working with the seed pods which feel so magical.
What are your wishes for the future?
My next goals are to continue to expand the collections and to begin to adapt some of my printmaking designs to scarves and other wearable pieces. I would also love to try my hand at carving my own resin molds. My ultimate wish is to continue to do what I love and grow it to an extent that I can support my family this way.
Where can we find your designs?
Follow Roni Originals Studio on Facebook, Instagram, or twitter for more photos, updates, and insights into my work process. You can also contact me directly at [email protected] for more information, to request an in person viewing (for Toronto residents only). I also accept commissions if you have a specific idea in mind that you would like help to realize.
Photos: Courtesy of Dorona Zierler