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The Shape of Words: A Jeweller's Superpower

Lydia Niziblian is a contemporary jeweller who has a unique sensory relationship with the world which informs her love of texture and contrast and she can choose to use it to create extraordinary jewellery design concepts. I was so intrigued by her recent digital Jewellery Exhibition “The Shape of Words” and what I consider to be her creative super power, that I asked her to tell us more about herself via an interview.



Q: What inspired you to become a Jeweller, how did your creative Journey start?


I discovered jewellery making almost by accident because I was working in London in television production, and wanted to study something arts-related at evening class. The only course I could get to regularly was a City in Guilds in 3D design specialising in silver jewellery. I loved it, but after the first term, a job move across the other side of the City put an end to my studies and I didn’t take it up again for another few years.


In my mid 30’s I was back living in my home-town of Cardiff, and I had been a stay at home mum for 4 years. I wanted to get back into making something so I found out about some cheap local artist studios, and rented myself the smallest space there. I had the bare minimum of tools still from the course I’d taken, but it was enough to get me completely hooked!


Q: What do you like best about what you do?


My favourite thing about jewellery making is the versatility, both in terms of materials and subject matter. It’s such a broad area to work in that it’s impossible to ever find yourself bored. It’s often an incredibly therapeutic process too.


“ The concept of mindfulness is talked about frequently, and the importance of ‘being in the moment’. For me, nothing fits the bill more than creating something. When I’m working on a piece, it has my whole focus. “



Q: Are there any proud moments or interesting collaborations you would like to share?


The Shape of Words Project has been my proudest moment to date. I’ve always been uncomfortable promoting myself. For a number of reasons I have the dreaded ‘imposter syndrome’. I’d love to approach more galleries and show more, but typically “The Fear” gets the better of me. So in doing the Shape of Words is project and actually calling attention to something I have made has been a bit terrifying. I would never have completed the application if left to myself, but Arts Council Wales gave me fantastic support during the process.

I think that because I was exploring how being autistic influences my work, had a big influence in getting me out of my comfort zone, and sharing what I had made. I would love to do more work with and around creativity in the neurodiverse community in the future.


Q: What influences or inspires your designs these days?


Inspiration for work comes largely from my sensory responses to materials; the physical properties of them, particularly textures and contrasts. From a young age I have loved museums and been fascinated by ancient cultures. I always loved the idea of finding treasure and my first ambition was to be an archaeologist. The way jewellery wears and ages really interests me; and how the same piece would vary over time depending on who wore it, and how. You’ll find a lot of my work has patinas and textures that make it look aged, and that will continue to develop over time.



Faint Brooch by Lydia Niziblian

Q: What defines you as a Jeweller?


I’m trying to be more flexible in terms of materials and ideas these days, I think this is because I know I find comfort in rigidity and routine, so I do need to remind myself it’s ok to go outside these sometimes and if I don’t get the result I want then I try something else. I’ve recently started wax carving too, it is incredibly frustrating, but there’s also something lovely about the process. It’s strange to make something by the process of removal, rather than addition, but I’m enjoying it. I’m also testing out a new super-sustainable material, which could well become a staple of my designs, it’s too early to say yet but I think the material has tremendous potential in craft terms.

I’m generally pretty old fashioned in my working methods; I find an enormous amount of comfort in the process of creating something with my hands from metal sheet and wire. That’s always been the point for me.


I’m currently looking at a couple of ideas for collections, both involving my love of the old and pre-loved! One looking at personal possessions and one at local places I love in a very specific, focused way. I promised myself if this Jewellery journey ever stopped being fun, I’d do something else, but there are still so many things I want to make and explore I don’t think there’s any danger of that happening any time soon.


Q: Any final thoughts?


Anyone interested can find out more about my digital Exhibition The Shape of Words here:

https://www.niziblian.com/


About the Author

Our thanks to contemporary Jeweller Lydia Niziblian for sharing her story with us. You can find out more about Lydia here;

- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lydianiziblian/


- All Jewellery images credit: Aga Hosking Branding


Blog introduction written by Dawn Meaden-Johnson, Director and Founder of the Bespoke Jewellery Training Co


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