Accessory Atelier nurtures young talents
By Tang Hsiang-yi, Supplement Writer
December 30, 2011, 12:55 pm TWN
At Accessory Atelier, accesses to information about jewelry trends and new material applications are provided to designers and manufacturers. They can also use the computerized 3D wax-carving machine to make samples. These resources have helped accessory designers to develop diversity products in low volumes.
Metalwork and jewelry designer Chiang Tzu-tsuan (江姿璇) is one of the five desigers in the Atelier's mentorship program. She first recognized her heart's desire for the profession during a DIY session she gave to her students as an art teacher.
"I was teaching them how to make small decorations by folding aluminum wires. That moment inspired me to enter the field," said Chiang, one of the five accessory designers joining the yearlong program at Accessory Atelier.
Once her heart set out in the direction, Chiang grabbed any chances she got to learn the basics about metalwork. She became part of the Grass Hill Jewelry (草山金工), where she gives classes while helping out the business. In late 2010 she joined the audition for the TTF program and was selected from more than 30 candidates.
"I learned how to make design sketches with 3D computer programs at the Accessory Atelier, where equipments such as the wax engraving machine are provided. Here I have more access to resources I didn't have," she explained. The wax engraver is connected to a computer program which delivers the command to create a wax model of the jewelry.
Chiang's brand name "I & I" simply means "me and myself," which in her words illustrates the feeling she gets when she sees a work right down in her alley.
"When I see something I like or something fits my taste, it feels like I have encountered myself," she explained.
During the yearlong program, designers are required to create 20 pieces of work, which presented a challenge to Chiang.
"Bringing out creations within a limited time is something new to me, as well as the commercialization process, and that's exactly what I am improving myself at the atelier," she said.
TTF has taken the designers to join the annual Hong Kong Jewelry Fair and plan to join another one also in Hong Kong in early December. In addition, designers are also introduced to jewelry makers who are looking for new talents through the program. Fenice Design Co. (水鳳凰設計有限公司) is one example. In fact, it is one of the companies TTF worked with since the beginning of the program.
Fenice Design started out in 2008 as a jewelry exporter, who took parts in the TTF program because Ho Wen-jean (何文靜), co-founder of the company, sees developing new talent in this field as a must.
"I understand that there's certain distance between designers and the market, and I hope the designers learn more about how to enter the commercial side of the field through this program," said Ho.
Oriental style jewelry has been the main line of products at Fenice Design, but Ho is looking forward to trying something new, which centers on Taiwan design.
The Accessory Atelier brings aesthetic and technical expertise to the design process, further streamlining the process and optimizing the cost. With its help, accessory designers can realize their visions on the world stage.■