He chose to dedicate his life to jewellery the last day of 1977, along with the first snow of the year, and since then he’s designed his pieces as a way to express his fascination with the mystery of life.
Philip Sajet (Amsterdam, 1953) is honest, sure of himself and loves life. His pieces reflect his sharp emotional intelligence and an appreciation for the most unusual and spectacular materials and shapes.
All of his work is amazing but we find his rings, in particular, to be truly surprising. In the world of contemporary jewellery, Philip Sajet is a must-see, a creator of unique jewels that are overflowing with emotions.
Don’t miss this genius in the world of jewellery’s interview with So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins.
SO CATCHY!: Why did you decide to focus your life on jewellery?
PHILIP SAJET: To have the power to create a treasure, to hold in my closed hand that small, heavy and colourful object.
To create that moment of surprise when I open my closed upward turned hand and show it to someone.
SC!: What does jewellery have that other art forms don’t?
PS: If one uses for art the definition: “A purposeless object which serves a necessary aim.” (“The necessity of the unnecessary object.”) Then jewellery is the only art form which needs the body as basis, which is wearable.
The Painting uses the wall, the Sculpture the ground. The Jewel, the body.
SC!: There are many pieces of jewellery, or artistic jewellery, that aren’t ‘wearable’ nor are they intended to be. Some artists, however, consider that jewellery should always be wearable. What’s your opinion?
PS: Yes, I agree of course. Jewellery should have the capacity to be wearable.
Who wants to have music you can’t listen to, or a painting you can’t see?
SC!: You love working with Rusty Iron. Why? Where do you get it? How is the process of working with such a material?
PS: Rust fortunately is readily available. I like the idea of taking a discarded object and call it valuable, in the beginning it was a joke, also because of its colour and it coming from the ground and the association it has with human discards, but strangely enough it becomes precious. One piece of rust can be more beautiful than an other, the material itself, iron, might be hard, but the oxidized surface is fragile, one has to be careful when setting it, one scratch and its shiny metal surface is visible.
Much later I read that rust in the psychology stands for a deteriorating personality, indeed when I started using it I wasn’t in a good state. Now I am and stopped using it, or is it the other way round?
SC!: Another materials you love working with….
PS: Well Gold obviously, its colour, texture, resilience and ease of working can not be surpassed by any other material.
On top of that it is the only material on the planet earth which does not come from here. It was a meteoric rain perhaps coming from the sun itself.
Diamonds because of its rainbow association and Red because of its blood association. Actually its all about life, here also the rust fits in because of its opposition to life.
SC!: Your work is very diverse, I mean, different styles… How would you define it?
PS: There was a time when I thought, or is it I was taught?, that work had to be consistent, in one style.
One day I realized that working was about having fun, and doing what oneself wants to do, for no other reason than for doing it. So it could happen that I enjoyed to make a bumblebee or a fly as true to life as possible, and a geometric jewel at the same time. or to work very fine and careful, and then the very same day rough and crude… later I saw I could combine in one piece these styles.
“Pierced”, Niello on silver, gold
SC!: What are you designing now?
PS: I usually make rings were the stone form rests on the shank, I am now making a ring were the stone form goes through the shank,
The point rests on the finger and the shank is larger than the finger.
SC!: The piece you are most proud of…
PS: I would say the Amber bullet. Why? It’s the most simple of my pieces with the most contradictions.
SC!: What do you want to tell people with your work?
PS: To like oneself, to believe in the power and importance of prose.
The Tongue by Philip Sajet / Einstein photo courtesy of Arthur Sasse/AFP-Getty Images
SC!: Let’s talk about one piece in particular, one that you really like, can you tell us what you were thinking while you were making it?
PS: Well there are many pieces, but the first one which now comes to mind is the Tongue, I always liked that picture of Einstein sticking out his tongue.
It’s such a harmless and innocent sign of defiance. I enjoyed making that into a Jewel.
SC!: How would you define yourself?
PS: I am curious, I really want to know what this mystery of life is, I know by making jewellery I won’t get the answer, but the least I can do is give expression to my wonderment.
SC!: What kind of people wear your pieces.
PS: Funny, bright, profound, usually very entertaining company.
SC!: Choose a person you would love to wear any of your pieces…
PS: There is only one person who really and immediately comes to mind: Uma Thurman.
SC!: Things you do, read, see… that help you to design.
PS: Now at this moment Moby Dick, Melville isn’t ashamed to be overly emotional and it doesn’t bother him to create a reality based on fantasy.
He creates a monumental literary symphonic work. I admire his audacity and see him as the example of the saying: “You are as strong as you dare to be.”
SC!: Your favourite magazine about design, art, fashion….
PS: I find that Current Obsession is making striking publications in the beautiful old tradition of the art books of the 50’s (“Noize”, “Verve”, “Derriere le Miroir” and in Holland in the 30’s “Wendingen”.)
SC!: A piece of jewellery you cannot stop wearing.
PS: I don’t wear jewellery, except for a little time my own last piece. Having said this I must say I have a ring from Karl Fritsch which is very nice to wear.
SC!: Where can we buy your pieces?
SC!: Are there any other jewellery designers or artists that you like?
PS: So many, Lets just stay with living artists.
Jeff Koons, his Art is Everything and perfect, Francesco Pavan, Giampaolo Babetto, Otto Künzli, Gerd Rothmann, Karl Fritsch, Sigurd Bronger, Lucy Sarneel, Daniel Kruger, Beate Klockmann, Vera Siemund.
And a brand, Van Cleef and Arpels, they must have a great team of designers.
SC!: If you could be whoever, you would be…
PS: Absolutely no doubt at all. Me wants to be myself.
SC!: A tip for life…
PS: Whatever you do, go with your gut feeling.
All other photos courtesy of Philip Sajet
Translation and Layout by Michael Padilla