Brazilian designer to watch on inspiration and escaping to the jungle.
Fernando Jorge made his mark on to the UK jewellery scene last year, appearing a fresh fine jewellery design talent ready to win the hearts of retailers and jewellery lovers alike. His combination of unusual inspiration and exciting execution has made him a name to watch, winning him a NexGem accolade in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012, in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and IJL.
Professional Jeweller: Tell us about the past 12 months – what have been your highlights of the year, personal and professional?
Fernando Jorge: I would say my past year was highlighted by exhibiting at the Rock Vault [during London Fashion Week], great press coverage for my work, landing exciting new stockists, moving into a new studio. Every step has been important.
PJ: Have you hit any challenges along the way? You’ve launched a jewellery brand during tough times.
FJ: Everything about starting up a business is challenging. I always have that in mind, keep the focus on my work and overlook the challenges as much as I can.
PJ: Your jewellery is very unusual – the designs are organic, sensual and use stones in creative ways. Where do you find your inspiration?
FJ: I am always observing and open to intuition, then I sketch a lot and experiment with materials. That’s when the most inspiring ideas come along.
PJ: How did you find your way into jewellery?
FJ: My first job opportunity towards the end of my design studies was as a jewellery designer for a large manufacturer in São Paulo. From the very beginning it just felt right and I continued. It was an incidental passion.
PJ: So are you hooked on jewels now?
FJ: I love what I do and I can hardly see myself doing anything else. I’m fully committed now.
PJ: As you mentioned, you have been part of both Rock Vault initiatives at LFW. How were these two design exhibitions for you, and what effect did it have on your business?
FJ: It was a great experience and it meant a lot to be among the other selected designers. I’ve had really good response from press and buyers.
PJ: How do you manage a work-life balance, and what’s your ideal way to get away from it all?
FJ: I relax spending time with my friends and being in the nature. I escape to the beach or to the jungle whenever I’m in Brazil.