Design Creative Of The Week: Julie Usel [Ceramics/Jewelry/Glass]

Design Creative Of The Week: Julie Usel [Ceramics/Jewelry/Glass]

The hottest new talent of the week brought to you by PSFK x Arts Thread. This week, a young jewelry design who uses unexpected materials to maker her pieces.

Dory Carr-Harris, PSFK
  • 13 january 2013

Anxiety & Creation, Julie Usel

PSFK’s Creative of the Week, chosen from the ARTS THREAD online portfolios, is Julie Usel. A recent MA graduate from the Goldsmithing Silversmithing Metalwork and Jewellery MA program at Royal College of Art, London, Julie experiments with a range of unexpected materials.

Why we like Julie’s work:  Julie’s bold use of everyday materials leads us to question the meaning of jewelry and shows how we can derive pleasure from design made from the humblest of materials.

Traces of Lace, Julie Usel

Traces of Lace, Julie Usel

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and inspirations

My inspiration comes from experimenting with different materials, figuring how to manipulate them and transform them. I am also very interested by the role anxiety plays within the creative process and I try to express those feelings through different media (jewellery, object, drawing, video). I completed my BA (Hons) at the University of Art and Design, Geneva. After graduation I launched a collection of laser-cut stainless steel rings called “Trace of Lace” thanks to a prize from the Wilsdorf Foundation (Rolex). In 2008 I won a Swiss Federal Design grant which gave me the opportunity to come to London for a 6 month artist residency.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and inspirations

Potato Rings, Julie Usel

Potato Rings, Julie Usel

Talk us through the pieces on your ARTS THREAD portfolio

“Potato Rings” is a series of 100 carved, dried and dyed potato rings. I came across the potato as a material when I was experimenting with fruits and vegetables because I was fascinated by the textual properties they display when they dry. “Cling Film” is a collection of jewellery made with pearls built up by layers and layers of cling film. Here again I was looking for white materials which could imitate pearls.

“Generic Pearls” is my interpretation of the traditional pearl necklace, experimenting with various materials and techniques. “Trace of Lace” is a series of laser-cut, stainless steel and diamond unisex rings. They explore the contrasting properties and associations between metal and lace. “Anxiety and Creation” is an investigation through objects, jewellery, drawings and other media on the role anxiety plays within the creative process. It examines how anxiety can be a positive force and a trigger to creation for the artist.

Generic Pearls, Julie Usel

Generic Pearls, Julie Usel

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a few different ideas that I left aside through the years. I am investigating water-jet cut on metal to revisit some thoughts I had when I was working on the “Trace of Lace” rings. At the same time, I am also experimenting with printing on silk to create fabric jewelry.

How can people get in contact with you? What work are you looking for?

You can contact me through my website or my Facebook page: Julie Usel – contemporary jewelry. I am open to any proposition of commissions, opportunities, exhibitions, placement or collaborations.

Julie Usel


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