Creepy yet commercial designs made Momocreatura founder a NexGem.
As we build up to the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and supported by gold partner Ti Sento, we indulge in looking back to the leading lights of the jewellery industry who made it into the Hot 100 2011. Today we are celebrating jewellery designer Momoko Tamura whose popular Momocreatura brand made her a Swarovski NexGem.
Momoko Tamura sits on a park bench in London Fields in East London with an air of innocence about her that is a contrast to the macabre jewellery designs that have made her a stand-out NexGem in this year’s Hot 100.
After completing a masters at Central St Martins in 2009, Momoko set up a workshop near London’s Brick Lane where she began creating her unusual jewellery designs under the name Momocreatura. Her collections have a dark edge with designs including dismembered animals hanging from chains and drop earrings featuring axe charms.
Within months, her jewellery had caught the eye of forward-thinking London retailers Luna & Curious and Beyond the Valley, retailers known for pushing new design talent to the fore. These coups were then followed by the signing of new retailers around the country, and Momoko now has jewellery stockists in Bristol, Brighton and Hastings.
“I have 10 stockists already but want to get further afield this year, the US would be great, France as well, definitely more within Europe,” she says. “When I first started out I wanted to make something different to other jewellery designers. I love what I’m making and I love to see other people wearing my jewellery.”
Her macabre jewellery isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and Momoko has had people tell her so. “Some people just really hate it and tell me I’m cruel but others understand my ideas and it makes them look twice and smile.”
Momoko has attracted a raft of fans with her references to fairytales and post-war Japanese culture. “The most popular design has been the bear in handcuffs necklace,” she explains, “Men love it, women love it. The hole-in-the-heart rabbit pendant is another favourite.”
Looking to the future, Momoko says she will start work on new collections and following her appearance at IJL, she will also exhibit at craft show Origin in October and has plans to open an online shop by the end of the year. Her work will also feature in a book called Shoreditch Unbound that explores the individuals who make East London a niche area for design.
So don’t let that innocent face fool you, because behind that subtle smile is a jewellery designer who knows what she wants and plans to get it.
This interview was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2011. If you or someone you know has had a great business year and are hot enough to be part of the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 then click here for more information about the nomination process.