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Volund. New chic of timeless jewelry classics

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The commitment to the best traditions of the past, the Scandinavian legends, the stories of the Scythians, the applying of precious stones and metals, innovative technologies, add here a team of professionals, and of course, most importantly, the creative mind, ideas and tastes that will set the brand corporate identity – that is, perhaps, the ideal formula for success of the Canadian jewelry brand Volund. In general, the establishment of the company in the segment of luxury from the ground up in an age of high technology, serious and even bold step. But as time has shown that even the most sophisticated, hard-headed or indifferent contemporaries can’t to pass by the classical aesthetics of jewelry.

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photo: courtesy of Volund Jewelry

Nick Koss, founder and  the creative director of the brand has agreed to answer a few questions.

Nick, you are a talented designer and a successful businessman in the field of art and luxury. And the most interesting thing is that you did it all from scratch. How did it all begin? What was the starting point of your career?

Art education was a continuous process throughout my life. I knew of my great grandfather, who achieved fame in Russia as a master jeweller to the Imperial Russian Court. From my parents, I learned that members of my family in each generation attained mastery in various creative fields. Art was in my blood, and my parents kept up the tradition by taking my sister and me to every important museum in Europe, to develop our sense of beauty.

My early education in Europe comprised of two parallel streams: regular school and art academy. It is in the latter that I began to develop my talents by studying woodcarving and sculpting. By the time I reached my teens, our family had moved to Canada, and I applied myself to basic metalsmithing and engraving. In university days, I studied wax carving as a creative outlet and counterbalance to my Bachelors of Science degree. Several years later, I apprenticed under a goldsmith, learning the fundamentals of that art. In a similar fashion, I learned to enamel from a Baltic master, and modern design techniques from a German instructor. By the time I was finishing my Master’s degree in Business, I was offering my services to established jewellery firms in the city.

Eventually, I left my career in finance and technology sector to pursue the dream that has been building under the surface throughout my life. Even though Volund was formed somewhat recently, its roots began at a much earlier stage, perhaps predating myself by 100 years.

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photo: courtesy of Volund Jewelry

 What does the name of your brand Volund mean?

Everything we do at Volund has many layers and meanings. The name is no different. It is a reference to a mythical goldsmith from Norse mythology, likely based on a real person whose exact details are lost to time and turned into legend. The name is a nod to my Northern ancestry (part Swedish and part Finnish), to my great grandfather – of whom I know little except for his remarkable achievements in the art of jewellery, and to the idea of legends inspiring actions in today’s world. There are further layers and meanings left to discover for those who take the time to explore each jewellery creation.

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photo: courtesy of Volund Jewelry

Your art is first and foremost a wearable object.  Do you imagine a person for whom you create your pieces? Is this a real person or someone abstract? Perhaps you imagine an unknown beauty or a nobleman wearing it?

Yes, a person requires certain inner qualities to own and appreciate a Volund creation. These are emotional and mental characteristics, such as a refined sense of beauty and a knowledge of art history. It is not for everyone – it is only for a select few. And we like it that way. Patrons of Volund are a very impressive group, and we are proud to create pieces for these extraordinary people.

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photo: courtesy of Volund Jewelry

Each one of your creations has its origin in a fairy tale or an ancient legend.  Is your vision of the characters or a rethinking of preserved stories?

The essence of the story remains unchanged. After all, it is something special that made that tale immortal, retold countless time throughout centuries. Our task here at Volund is to imbue our creations with the spirit of the story so that it can continue to exist and influence people both now and in the future. We are creating more than beautiful objects – we are passing down the wisdom of our ancestors in symbolic forms.

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photo: courtesy of Volund Jewelry

In our century of high technology where every process – even one that involves the creation of unique works – is digital, is there a place for sketches of jewellery created by hand on paper? Is it just unique art? Is there any actual necessity for an expression of ideas in this fashion? Does it help the technical task of production?

Yes, there is a place for this art. Not only because it is a very human way of presenting ideas – sketches veil through abstraction as much as they show and charm us with their imperfections. But also because by their very nature, drawn or painted visualisations take a lot of time and skill. And luxury demands patience and takes its time, in contrast to technology, which encourages instant gratification.

Technology is by no means a negative thing, and it would be foolish not to utilise it to further our work. It simply needs to be used judiciously so that the artist is its master and not the other way around.

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photo: courtesy of Volund Jewelry

 

Creation of jewellery is a very complex process, which often involves works of several highly skilled professionals. Moreover, it requires a mutual understanding and efficient cooperation to facilitate the exchange the ideas. How did you create your team?

Time, trial, and patience. Some people are happy with regular, predictable work. Others thrive on the unusual and demanding. It is with the latter that we find a common language. I recall many instances of people simply not wanting to take on our projects because of difficulty or lack of previous experience. Perhaps this is why some members of our team are spread around the world: they are the masters of their craft and through the wonders of our modern interconnected world we are able to work with them despite geographic divides.

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photo: courtesy of Volund Jewelry

Your collection is very picturesque. Gold gems with vibrant colours create a festive, positive composition. The impression of splendour comes from these items. Do you pick out special stones and metal like an artist picks paints and pigments, or like emotions and words for every story embedded in your jewellery piece? Do you have favourite gems, metal, or a combination?

Gems, metals, and enamels are our pigments. I do not recall a time where we set out to just create a diamond piece or design something around a particular gemstone. Ideas and inspirations come from somewhere else – the legends and stories mentioned earlier – and we find the suitable elements to fit that, rather than the other way around.

However, it does not mean that any material is suitable. One of the guiding principles of Volund is to create beautiful items that will last for centuries. This restriction limits our choice of building blocks or forces us to employ novel ways of encompassing them so that they may endure for a long time. For example, a ruby will look the same 500 years from now, but a piece of wood or bone will likely need to be enclosed in a crystal to maintain its appearance.

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photo: courtesy of Volund Jewelry

You have created a bright, beautiful brand and are now successfully developing it. You continue the art of your ancestors. Could you give advice to people who would like to do the same, but are afraid to follow own dreams?

As an old saying goes: “Gods said to men: take what you will, and pay the price.” If you want to achieve something and are willing to work for it harder than anything else in your life, you will succeed. The story of Volund is one of directed and focused will, overcoming of a thousand setbacks, and a slow unfolding of its vision.

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photos: courtesy of Volund Jewelry

Thank you, Nick, I would like to wish you great inspiration and success. I believe that your descendants will be proud of your creativity. Your activity will inspire them as well as you, when you have found your passion  and the deal of your life in the artistic legacy of your ancestors.

more information: www.volund.ca

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