Katerina Pimenidu

October 11, 2021

Katerina Pimenidu-Pistachios

Katerina Pimenidu is featured in our 2021 Exhibition 'Reinventing the Pearl' 
October 1 2021- January 16 2022

Not your grandma's jewelry, artists take a classic material and turn it contemporary. Perfect for wearing next to the fireplace and adding a sparkle to winter. 


Q: Where did you study Jewelry/Metalsmithing and when?

A: I studied in my home country, Greece. At the Gold-Silversmithing School of Stemnitsa.

Q: What inspires your work?

A: Mostly architecture. Shapes and forms of the Bauhaus and the modern era of art and architecture come naturally to me as my original studies were in School of Architecture.

Q: Do you have a favorite piece you've made?

A: I have several pieces but I am very strongly attached to the commissioned work I make in collaboration with my clients. 

"One-of-a-kind necklaces I created for an exhibition at Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum in Athens and I forgot to mention in the form. It is 925 sterling silver with Cook Island seed pearls."

"18ct gold, commissioned piece. It has a 8,8ct, blue-green tourmaline stone and 0,25ct diamonds. It was designed by me and I had some help from Daniel Moesker for the construction of it."

Q: What made you want to start making jewelry?

A: Actually, attending the jewelry school was more of a "being at the right place the right time" than of a solid decision. It was more of an experiment. But it turned out to be the best "accident" of my life so far.

Q: What is your favorite process? Why that one over others?

A: The whole designing process is what I love the most. The making process is also something I enjoy a lot, but the whole journey of shaping an idea on a paper (and / or into a paper model) before reaching the bench, is what brings butterflies in my stomach! The whole journey of working a design on paper, the back and forth steps, the decisions that have to be made, the disappointments when something doesn't work, the technical problems that may arise and ask for solutions; this whole process is very similar to when designing a building and I guess this specific connection is what speaks to my heart the most.

Q: Who is your favorite artist/who do you wear?

A: Surprisingly enough, I don't really wear any jewelry!

Q: Is there an artist on your personal wishlist that you hope to own one day?

A: Giampaolo Babetto

Q: What is something you would want someone to know about your work that they might not know?

A: That I also work a lot with commissioned pieces. People often come to me with old jewelry they wish to give a new life to, or with lose stones they need a design for, or with requests for unique engagement ring designs. Working one in one with clients, on new, fresh ideas is something I enjoy a lot! I also hold quite some national and international design awards.

Q: When you're not making jewelry, what are you doing?

A: Life as an expat can be quite intimidating and boring at the same time. Besides spending my time with my partner and my 5 year old daughter, I also co-run (together with a friend) an interior architecture business, here in The Netherlands. So, when not doing jewelry, you will find me either in a playground or a project site!

Q: Pearls are a widely recognizable material, what drew you to them specifically? 
A: I started working with pearls and created my first pearl piece, back in 2014. Back then, pearls - and especially not round, tahitian pearls - were neither popular nor were they considered fresh and modern. I guess that perception of pearls made me want to give them a try. It was a personal challenge to re-invent pearl jewelry and create something that I could proudly wear myself.
Q: Can you speak to the generational significance of pearls (either generally or in your work) as they are something we often see passed down as an heirloom
A: Pearls are the oldest known gems that have been worn as jewelry and evidence of this can also be traced back in 8th century B.C.  in the era of Homer and his epic poems Iliad and Odyssey:

Juno; in the Iliad, XIV, 183:

In three bright drops,
Her glittering gems suspended form her ears.

And in the Odyssey, XVIII, 298:

Earrings bright
With triple drops that cast a trembling light.

In ancient Greece - my home country - they believed that pearls are the tears of gods. The greek word for pearls is "μαργαριτάρι (margaritari)" which derives from the ancient word "μαρμαίρω (marmero)" which means "I shine".  Pearl - the Queen of Gems - is the only gem that mother nature provides with all its pure beauty, straight out of the mollusk. Unlike to other gemstones, no treatment, do intervention is needed in order to reveal its beauty. It existed, exists and it will exist even without us. This is exactly the magic and significance I find behind them. They are bigger than us. 
Q: Have you always worked with pearls? If not, what pushed you to incorporate them into your work? 
A: Yes, I have always worked with pearls. I started experimenting with them since I was a student in the Goldsmith School.   
Q: Can you speak to your 'Reinvention' of this classic material? 
A: My initial intention, when starting working with pearls in 2014, was to bring some edginess to a gem that was - till then - related to classic and mature looks. I wanted to shift the attention from the pearl itself to what is happening around it. I was considering the industry approach towards pearl jewelry quite boring and lacking of actual design. Having seen enough matching drop earrings, round pearls hanging from a gold chain and rings that featured the perfect pearl next to some sparkling stones, I felt the need to introduce pearl jewelry pieces that could also speak design. To create jewelry that the design would be just as important as the featured pearl itself and therefore something that could combine the softness, asymmetry and organic nature of the pearl, with the sharp, strict and geometrical shapes of my architectural origin. 

Katerina Pimenidu



Click here to shop her collection

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