Studio Visit — Natalia Peri
This week we gladly left the city behind us to visit friend, jeweller and mother of five, Natalia Peri, at her home studio in Welcome Bay. With the lush native bush and sound of birdsong ever present, we learnt about her process, the importance of removing ourselves (even temporarily) from the cluttered world of social media and the joys of being self taught.
What research / practices / study lead you to making jewellery?
I’m always looking for something that I can't explain, but I know it when I find it. Wether its a muse or a new jewellery technique or tool.... they all synchronise into a moment of knowing instinctively. That's what I love about being self-taught, there is an underlining rebellion or opportunity to discover something new or rediscover something nostalgic with no rules or pre determined outcome.
Can you tell us what you were influenced by/dreaming about with your new collection?
For this collection the pieces were designed with a base range in mind or a foundation of classic silver pieces that still tie into some of my earlier work. The Gonzalo Signet Ring was inspired by Sculptor Gonzalo Fonseca who is a very intriguing Artist known for his megalithic and unexpected stonework.
We love how hands-on you are with all steps of your process. This brings about a beautiful idea of chance, offering with it an almost bespoke, one-off formula with each piece. Is this something you like to play on, or do you enjoy the challenge of refining and perfecting?
I think it's both? it can be a challenge getting things to the right amount of spontaneous organic texture. I make everything to order myself so there is definitely a bespoke element to my jewellery by nature. Like most pieces my rings are individually hand carved to size so it's not a reproduction in a commercial sense but an object created that is very much from my hands. I will often leave in smooth melt marks or tool marks on the inside of rings simply in protest of perfectness or an industry standard of "your inside bands must be like everybody else's inside bands" lol. To be completely honest I cringe at perfect, precise jewellery it's just not something I would wear myself.
We admire the fact that you recently took a month away from work to have some space and to tend to your home and garden. What sort of reflections and ideas did you have over this time? Anything that surprised you? Anything you've bought into your new routine?
Taking time off from Jewellery and social media halfway through this year was really wonderful and very much needed. I had forgotten how to switch off my mind and how to be present. So I just decided to give myself a good time away from my business and get back in the garden and get back to basics. During my time off I taught myself how to make a sourdough starter and bake sourdough bread, something I kept putting off or never finding time to do. I now stay off social media as much as possible and will often delete the app off my phone on weekends, a great tip I took from Holly Houston.
How do you and your family like to enjoy your local surroundings/offerings?
Living in the Bay Of Plenty there is always something to do. We live in rural Welcome Bay and have the beach or native forest all within a 15min drive. We often take our kids to a local park right next to the Welcome Bay estuary and at low tide we walk around to a private beach at the bottom of Rangnui Hill that is covered in native bush where you can hear beautiful native birds like Tui and Kereru.
What are some of your personal projects for the summer?
Being outdoors as much as I can to make the most of the Summer months and just spending quality time with my children and loved ones, hopefully making fresh salads straight from my new garden.
What was the last thing you encountered that really moved you or made you think deeper?
I found this Quote on JANE Magazine @jane.bythegreyattic via instagram that I feel is so relevant for now. "I regretted the overdose of information carried by social media, destroying the "thrill of the wait" and cancelling every effect of surprise, which was so fundamental for me." Martin Margiela on the saturation of social media.
Shop all Natalia Peri, here.