Design Curator: Sultana Maria Jewelry

Every month I’ve brought different design concepts to the table. This month is a real life example of one design element we’ve already discussed: uniqueness. Sultana Aschim is a local jewelry designer and metal smith whose work embodies a unique design that is quite her own. Sultana uses lots of feathers, which is not a unique concept, but have you ever seen a feather with bullet shells?  Sultana is able to take something that isn’t unique and repackage it into something very unique; giving feather-wearers a new look.

I was able to to interview Sultana before the holiday weekend:

  • How would you describe your jewelry designs?

I would describe my designs as organic and bold. I use natural objects and found pieces in my work.  It is eco-friendly and original. Each piece is handmade by myself with objects I have gathered from my daily travels.

  • What is your inspiration for your designs?

I am inspired by my found objects. I have been collecting small inanimate objects my whole life in glass jars (I have so  many it’s really ridiculous.)  My parents are antique dealers and since I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to incorporate my collection into my work– from  vintage jewelry, small objects, recycled bullet casings, my rock collection, and anything else I’ve picked up that I felt had a unique design to it.

  • Do use any techniques?

I was trained as a Metalsmith/Silversmith in college when I received my BFA in Metals and Jewelry from Arcadia University.  Since then, I’ve developed my charm and chain line for Sultana Maria Jewelry, and I still use some of the techniques that I learned in college (ex: drilling, forming, cleaning up pieces with my dremel, oxidizing metals with patinas, and more).

  • Is there a specific kind of aesthetic you are going for?

Yes. I am not a dainty girly girl at all…. I do love my dresses and tall heels, but I love the grungy vibe (tattoos, abstract designs, city life.)  All the chain I use is oxidized (darkened to give my line a more organic feel.) I’m a rocker girl; I like loud music and I feel that my boho, gypsy rocker soul has adopted my jewelry collection.

  • How do you find inspiration for developing new design ideas?

I get my inspiration from the objects I find.  Right now most of my jewelry is made from rocks, feathers, and recycled bullet shells that I gather at indoor shooting ranges. I’m always wandering antique and flea markets to pick up new pieces to recreate in my work.

  • So far on my monthly posts I’ve talked about 3 different aspects or categories of design: simplicity, timelessness, and uniqueness. What aspect or category of design would you place yourself in?

I would definitely put my jewelry in the category of being unique.  I keep my work trendy and current with the style, but am always doing my own twist on it to keep in different from anything anyone has seen.  I’m definitely not a simple person 🙂

{Elizabeth Wann} Designer & Writer

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One Response to “Design Curator: Sultana Maria Jewelry”

  1. Aschim Featured in Handmade Philly | Arcadia University Bulletin

    […] the complete interview. 2011/07/15 Issue, alumni, Art and Design   « Previous Entries Next Entries […]

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