Construction, Architecture, and Movement - aka Jewellery
How did you get into jewelry design?
I was always attracted by construction and handwork like house repairs or small construction projects, but in school, I never thought I'd be doing jewelry, so I started with interior design courses, then switched to fashion design and after not liking any of it too much, turned in to jewelry design and metal-smithing without having any passion for jewels in particular. I studied at the Vilnius Academy of Arts and found myself in a field that I really enjoyed- designing and constructing at the same time - making small sculptural design objects, that could be worn as jewelry.
As a jewellery designer, what are your major influences?
My major influences I think come from my surrounding. I live in Brooklyn NY and I'm constantly surrounded by construction, architecture, and movement, I try to catch bits of it and make it work in my designs. Also, I do come from Lithuania, that has been influenced by Nordic design and that's where you can see minimal details having maximum functionality - that is the essence of my work.
For you, what is the purpose of jewelry?
For me it is an accent, that can say so much with so little. It should meet aesthetics, quality, and functionality, so It has to be chosen carefully. If it is a right fit it should stay with the wearer's body for at least a lifetime. I personally wear really little jewelry, mostly when I test my work for all those cafeterias mentioned before, and only if it works, only then I offer it to my customers. It has to be well made and designed. there are way too many things in the world that no one needs, so as with fashion, the same with jewelry - it has to serve for a long period of time.
What is your design philosophy?
‘aka jewellery’ is a studio and brand based on two concepts: - structure (the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex) and functionality (the quality of being suited to serve a purpose well) which combine to create minimal aesthetic forms. Essential to aka jewelry is the idea of harmony with the human body: the jewelry must not disturb the line of the body, instead of working with the human form to enhance and extend its aesthetic lines.
The most minimal details have a maximum function. The result is an immaculate, non-iterative design that functions as an object when not worn, like a small architectural sculpture.
Each aka design is crafted by hand in a studio in Brooklyn, NY, not from a mold or mass produced, ensuring not only a sustainable business model, but also quality pieces made for years of wear.
Tell us about your Orbit collection
ORBIT consists of pieces each unique in nature. Every piece has a pattern of special engraving made by hand, so no other (even in the same pair of earrings) is the same. This collection started with simple rotary movement and now growing into different designs with engraving technique and circle shape as a center of it all.
Do you have any particular favorites from this collection?
The double earrings that back part work as a closure. I love having a surprise element in design and construction.
What are you currently working on?
I'm working on new designs and perfecting them. Particularly on the AERIE crown extension into a fine jewelry fold collection-ready to wear.
Also, my current work focus is preparation for the upcoming Milan fashion week in September, at which I will be participating in WHITE Milan show.
What can we expect from Aka Jewellery over the next few years?
At this moment most pieces that you can get "aka jewellery" work are online. The plan for next thew years is to be in more physical shops and galleries where "aka jewellery" pieces can be touched and seen by customers in person. In my opinion, It is very important for customers to find that connection with jewelry and bond. I also plan to expand the workshop and get more talented and skilled professionals to join the "aka jewellery" team.