Interview with an Icelandic Jewellery Designer - Arum

by adrien • 08 Nov 2017

Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a Goldsmith and a jewelry designer. I studied in Denmark and opened my own Brand aurum by Guðbjörg in Reykjavík 1999.

I love spending time in nature and I like to travel around Iceland during the summertime with my family, husband, 3 daughters and our 2 dogs. We spent time in our summerhouse we go fishing and in the fall we pick blueberries and help our friends to round up the sheep from the mountains.
The winter time is busy with traveling and exhibitions around the world with aurum by Guðbjörg jewelry.

What motivates you?
I love what I do and Icelandic nature gives me endless inspiring ideas to work with. I regularly spend quality time out in nature by myself to reload. With all the space we have in Iceland and few inhabitants you will always find a calm space. To be passionate about the job is important, it gives you drive and energy.

When did your passion for jewelry begin?
I went to high school on Bainbridge Island in the US when I was 18. I stayed for a year and took all the art classes available to me – I didn't have them at home in Ísafjördur. I took a course in jewelry, too, and fell for it. When I returned home, I started to look for a practical place.

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Silver has amazing possibilities, so it is definitely silver but I also like to work with natural materials and experiment with them in my design.

How important is color in the design process?
It is important, I work mostly with silver, oxidized silver and gold plated silver in my jewelry design. The surface of the material is very important for me and I put a lot of work in to get the right surface and finish to my jewelry designs.

What makes the "Asterias" by Aurum collection distinct?
Asterias combines elegant and sophisticated forms with interesting texture and gems, telling the story of the ocean and the gentle waves breaking on a forgotten dark beach in the West Fjords. Asterias is very different from my previous work and I enjoyed exploring the different ways I could tell the Asterias story.

How has the purpose of the jewelry changed today?
Nowadays people are more daring when it comes to jewelry and more often the pieces are bought as an accessory for a particular outfit or as a treat. Before, jewelry was often passed down for generations as often those pieces were perhaps even the only piece of jewelry that person had. I pride myself on being able to design and make good quality jewelry that is also affordable.

Who is a typical Aurum customer, and why do they choose your brand?
I'd say the typical Aurum customer is one that wants something unique matching their personality. Everything has a story and it is all about how you tell that story. Being inspired very much by the Icelandic nature, all my designs are very personal. I take great care of every detail because I want to convey a feeling or an atmosphere. I follow my own path in jewelry making, I spend a lot of time working with concepts and ideas and allowing myself that time is important to be able to bring a fully formed collection to the market. I think people really connect to the stories as it gives an insight into the collections.

What does excellent customer service mean to you?
For Aurum it means respecting the customer and providing good quality jewelry and excellent aftercare. Our staff is highly trained and can assist our clients in any events if they are in need of advice or the jewelry needs adjusting to their needs or wants. It is always important to us that the customer is satisfied and we will always go the extra mile to achieve that.

How has the digital age impacted the creative but also the selling process?
I have adopted specific work processes through the years that suit me well. I find the new possibilities that technology brings to be exciting, so maybe in the future, I will be using it more in my creative process. It is very important for our selling process and we want to be up to date there.

What is the most challenging part in regards to the jewelry market today?
The world has become much smaller than when I first started out, today we are more connected and the competition is worldwide rather than with your local jewelry maker. It is a challenge to enter the international markets but we put our energy and focus into the UK and with a good sense of balance for risk-taking and carefully considered moves, we have grown year on year and see the brand going from strength to strength.




view adrien's profile



22 11 2017


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