Meet the Designer: Laura Visentin
1. Describe your brand in one sentence.
Before a brand there is a style, there is a way of life and an idea of contemporary woman.
2. What inspires your designs?
A sense of elegance and lightness are maybe my starting point. I try to create a piece by starting from row and recovery materials, from mechanical components like steel springs. The material is often the inspiration.
Applying a process to a design and seeing what grows is very exciting for me.
3. What type of woman is a Laura Visentin customer?
Because my personal style vacillates between mimimalism and bohemian I always look at finding an equilibrium. Born and raised in North East of Italy in a small but wonderful town full of history and great artisan skills I am used to finding beauty and function in each situation. The women who buy my pieces are going to wear every single day a jewel that it is going to be a representation of a contemporary style and a way of life - both relaxed and sophisticated.
They want to feel it reveals something about their taste and themselves rather than following the crowd, a label or a trend, and they usually are pretty sure of what they like.
4. How long have you been designing and what inspired you to get started?
Being a daughter of an artist (sculptor Gianni Visentin, 1938-2010) I grew up surrounded by clay, paints, colours, precious stones, silver - and encouragement. I ran my dad's artistic activity from 1990-2000 - participating in several jewellery exhibitions around the world. He created precious sculptures in different materials like silver, gold, oxides, which he presented with success to fairs in those years.
My personal attitude to jewellery design started when he died. It felt like a transfer of power. Every day I feel this deep encouragement and his protection.
A decisive role was played by my encounter with my husband Fabio and the spring industry. I am fascinated by the endless opportunities metal offers to be turned into jewellery, in the sense of a beautiful object that is a part of everyday life, shifting and adapting to blend with and represent the character of the wearer. In my creations, the “spring” element takes on an essential aspect, sometimes capable of awakening an emotion, of revealing the geography of a soul.
5. What was the first ever item of jewellery you designed – and do you still have it?
My first jewellery item was a brooch “Sirah”I create in 2014 for Jewels in Ferment, a contemporary jewels Exhibition in Torre Fornello Vineyard, Italian vine district ."Syrah" was a brooch made with recovered springs, various material, assembled freely with soft swirls and loops. The halfmoon shape is reminiscent of a moon phase. The use of the spring element, which ended its function in the engineering industry has been transferred to form a decorative and charming dimension and distinguishes my research. It fascinates me to be able to create pieces made of materials designed for other purposes that instead find themselves with a decorative, imaginative and unusual soul.
The tourmalines and garnets added in small drops of colour chromatically enrich the piece and recall, by association, a delicate dew, almost an emotional memory of little drops of wine. The brooch named "Syrah" is a tribute to a particular grape, which gives a ruby red color to the wine with intense violet hues and an intense aroma. I still have it.
6. What kind of designers did you intern with, and why did you choose them?
I am deeply influenced by Denmark designers' philosophy. Denmark has a long history of quality design, mainly focused on functionalism and simplicity. Combining different industrial technologies, Danish designers have managed to radically change public perception of design from something seen as reserved only for artists and professionals to something enhancing everyday life. With my pieces I try to create jewellery that combines function, simplicity and beauty.
7. Describe your design process.
My design style is minimal, clean and elegant. Minimalistic in details; geometric forms; contrasting elements, like mechanical element, bronze and silver; sometimes asymmetry because I love something a little unexpected.
8. Who inspires you, both from jewellery and other spheres?
I had the opportunity to see the craftsmanship and work of so many various and talented designers during my courses in Alchimia School in Florence. Then, I live in a region of Italy with a strong tradition of Fair Vicenza Oro and contemporary jewellery designers, like Scuola Padovana.
But, one on everybody, the designer Carla Riccoboni who inspired me and definitely influenced my work.
9. What has been the best part of your jewellery journey so far?
The best part of my jewellery journey is the ability to create pieces that make you feel good and beautiful when you put it on. But there is also a message of empowerment, something so personal to express yourself.
10. Your dream collaboration?
My dream collaboration is with Giorgio Armani for his sense of elegance, signature style of relaxed yet luxurious ready-to-wear.
11. Any advice for someone just getting started in jewellery design?
Refine your technique, differentiate yourself but, most of all, love what you do! Tenacity wins. These are messages also for my sons.