Is our pleasure to present a new column called DESIGN by DESIGNERS. In order to give a new approach to interviews, we invite designers to make themselves an interview. Our first honor guest is the brand ANDRESGALLARDO founded by Andres Gallardo and Marina Casal. They define then work as a new, creative approach to fashion jewelry. Brokenporcelain is the concept behind ANDRESGALLARDO collections: Inspired by elements of flora and fauna, combines metal, leather and crystal fragments with porcelain figures that have been reworked and set into whimsical, nature-based jewelry pieces.
Andres Gallardo and Marina Casal have no formal jewelry training. Their personal world of wild animals and out-of-context materials take shape intuitively, handcrafting every piece thru improvisation and meticulousness. Currently ANDRESGALLARDO pieces are developed in small-run productions, and unique pieces series, handcrafted in Madrid thru an artisanal process based on high quality standards.Stylist, press and online media have supported the brand since the beginning. ANDRESGALLARDO pieces have received coverage in magazines such as Vogue, L’Officiel, El País, El Mundo, Vanidad, Glamour, A Shaded View on Fashion by Diane Pernet… recently appearing at SMODA cover, in which Lana del Rey wears Blue Eagle necklace of the Unique Pieces collection.
1. What was the most difficult thing in your work during these two years of your career and what did you like most?
We landed suddenly in the world of porcelain and of jewelry without having experience, this made us run into big challenges in the creation process but also made us working out of the standards following our intuition. To create a very experimental high quality product without counting on technical experience was the most difficult thing and still is! What we like most is working beside craftsmen and learning day-to-day from them. They set us limits we cannot cross and we sometimes challenge them to cross those limits, we love this exchange creation – learning process – experimentation.
2. Do you live off your brand?
When we lanced our brand each one of us made an investment that was enough to cover half a year approximately without having to work in other things, it was a risk, even more in that moment, but the result of that first economic effort was very worth it considering that currently we are living off this project and moreover other people like contributors and craftsmen get their part!
3. Who are your main co-workers?
Rocío Marte currently is in charge of most of the pieces assembling, he has a lot of experience in jewelry, he even improved pieces which we didn’t have full control of. Txema helps us with the communication and with the big job of attending and working with the media. Raúl Córdoba turns all our ideas into wonderful photos. Sergio Moral thanks to whom we have an incredible home page!
The craftsmen with whom we work the porcelain, in Madrid the studio TANATA formed by Ana and Natalia, with them we took our first steps in the world of porcelain and it was perfect because they were very venturous. And the craftsmen in Portugal, in Barcelos, thanks to whom our productions have ceased to be limited editions so that we can investigate and study more in depth handicrafts techniques.
4. Is porcelain something new for you or is it a material which you already had worked with?
To use porcelain as a material for our creations is something totally new. It has always been a material we liked but more in an aesthetic and decorative way, everything that’s made of porcelain or of pottery attracts us more than if it was of another material. We appreciate a lot its handcrafting nature and that nevertheless it doesn’t stop being a contemporary product. We’ve always been fans of the legendary Spanish and Portuguese ceramic houses.
5. How has the learning process been?
At the beginning everything was totally intuitive, we didn’t start creating from zero but we worked on existent pieces, transforming and turning them into jewelry. But suddenly we realized that if we wanted to live off that we needed to enter the world of porcelain, to have more possibilities and to be able to duplicate our pieces, they couldn’t remain bare unique items. So we looked for help among people who best know the technique, the craftsmen, we turned into apprentices and little by little we get to know the technique and the processes. It’s exciting to inherit this knowledge!
6. Why are your jewels locally manufactured?
It wasn’t a very considered decision, at the beginning it was a necessity, we urgently needed to learn and we needed to do it near, the nearest as possible in order to be able to involve ourselves to the maximum in the production process of the objects. For that, knowing full well about the great porcelain tradition that there is in Portugal, we went there and asking we found the craftsman we worked with hand-to-hand. The same thing in Spain, we set down in Manises, an area with a lot of ceramicists tradition and asking door to door we found workshops with enthusiasm for working and doing new things. Now it’s a pride for us to think that we are contributing in our small way in the recovery of these local industries that are in the doldrums but that provide a unique richness.
7. Do you think there is a future in the combination design – traditional Spanish industry?
A lot of new brands, above all accessory brands, are opting for traditional Spanish industries, many of whom are on the edge of disappearance because there have been many years in which it seemed to be much more interesting to be a waiter than to be an apprentice… we think that now people support again the „made in“, it just lacks of institutions that support it and support the recovery of this richness.
8. What is a quality product for you?
In terms of design, something that lasts in time. But there are other aspects that turn a product into a quality product, for example transparency and honesty in production or manufacture.
9. What does „unique“ mean for you?
It can mean rare, something you haven’t seen before, something extraordinary or infrequent of its kind.
10. What’s your favorite tale?
Alice in Wonderland
11. Did it inspire you in any of your collections?
Our new collection Through the Looking-Glass is influenced by Lewis Carroll’s imagery.
12. Which is your favorite character in the tale?
The white rabbit!
Translation by Sara Cavallari