Alexandra Ungurelu is a very talented Romanian jewelry designer.
We met almost 5 years ago at a short styling course and that is where I learnt she was designing jewelry. I started following her work online and fell in love with it. Her brand is called Expression Contemporary Jewelry and its goal “is to create jewelry that will inspire and fulfill dreams and needs”.
Now we’ve decided that it’s time for you too get to know her and her creations and fall in love with them (if you didn’t yet). Here it goes:
- Tell our readers a bit about yourself.
I am a jewelry designer, I started my journey as a jewelry maker about 5 years ago. I studied drawing and painting as a child. Always being attracted to shapes and colors, all my hobbies were somehow connected to creating something out of nothing, I found great satisfaction in the creative process but most of all in manually putting things together. My college experience was dictated by another fascination about the interworking of human relationships and communication. Graduating from the Public Relations and Communication College at SNSPA in Bucharest, I started to search for a way to mix my love of creation and my newfound knowledge. After a few years working at a business communication company, while developing my passion for creating jewelry, I chose to fully dedicate myself to this passion.
- How did you first get interested in making jewelry?
I think there was always a fascination with adornment which was emphasized at the moment I got my hands on a box full of beads, this happened when I was little and slowly and surely evolved.
So it was really an amalgam of drawing, painting, introduction to the creative process, attraction to accessories and reading beading and jewelry books that got me to a point where I needed to know even more. Once it became clear to me that jewelry design was what I wanted and truly needed to do, I followed several jewelry courses, from then on everything came into place.
I do think I was and still am lucky to have had the chance to follow my dreams.
- If not jewelry, what else?
I often ask myself this question and I guess it would either be in the fashion industry or related to my other passion, cooking, specifically baking. Clearly it would be something creative, something that would challenge me every day and through which I would be able to express myself.
- What is your favorite piece you’ve designed so far and why?
It’s hard to say, I think, when creating jewelry, you give a bit of yourself to every piece, no matter how small. If I were to put everything side by side I guess I would most appreciate the pieces with which I tested and pushed myself to design and build. I do know that there is one piece in particular that I will never sell and that is one of the first rings I made, it was something that I did not think I could put together, but that was just the beginning.
It is important, as a designer, to know as much as possible, with every minute that passes our space changes, people around us change and adapt, what you like, what they like, wear, need, read and buy.
- What inspires you?
Most times it has to do with my immediate environment and then everything I have seen over the years, everything I hear and touch is an influence. I try to retain as much detail as possible and with time this comes a lot easier, I am amazed sometimes by the littlest things that others ignore. It is important, as a designer, to know as much as possible, with every minute that passes our space changes, people around us change and adapt, what you like, what they like, wear, need, read and buy. This all comes together, it is the concept behind every piece and collection created.
- What kind of customer do you design for?
I create more for women than men, but I love doing both projects in equal measure. When I design jewelry for women I have a tendency to go minimal. Geometry is also of great importance to me and I always try to add a fine touch of elegance to my pieces. I want my jewelry to be wearable, feminine and with a bit of an edge, something you would want to wear all the time, with which to fall in love.
The pieces that I have created for men, so far, have a roughness to them, I try to add a tactile feature. Seeing how most men wear few pieces of jewelry, I typically blend my approach to jewelry with something they love, a passion, an object they are dependent of, creating an extension of themselves.
- Favorite book, movie and song you would recommend to our readers?
One book that has stayed with me is Yakuza Moon by Shoko Tendo, I was always fascinated by Japanese culture, traditions and this book was quite surprising. It reveals a world that is far from mine and so I got to travel.
Right now, as a movie, “The Secret life of Walter Mitty”, I have watched it several times, I guess I resonate with some parts of the character and it always pumps me up, gets me motivated.
My favorite song, for the time being, is “Called out in the dark” by Snow Patrol.
- Do you have your favorite jewelry designer, a person or a brand you look up to?
I really like the work of Melanie Georgacopoulos, she has a very interesting approach to pearls and metal. There are a lot of other jewelry designers out there that I admire for their work, ethic and view of the world. My favorite changes from time to time, depending on the state I’m in.
- What do you like to do to relax?
I do a lot of research, I love to watch fashion shows, and I browse through a series of photography, design, life style and cooking websites. I find baking to be quite comforting, it’s the thing I do when I need to relax and get something sweet in my system, plus I love cakes and pies and everything in between. Sometimes I like to observe certain objects or plants that surround me and photograph them, till I manage to capture the one detail that inspires me.
- What’s your motto in life?
Always do your best. I think it a lot lately and it helps me get focused. I also think that one should try observing and discovering as much as possible, everything that we come into contact with has some kind of impact on us.
- If you could have any person, dead or alive, wear some of your pieces, who would you choose and why?
Sophia Loren. Since I was little I adored her, there is something about her, she transmits this energy that is intoxicating, and I find her to be a powerful woman.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
Creating jewelry of course, I don’t see myself stopping, probably owning my own boutique, traveling and taking my love for jewelry as far as I can.