Editorial

Tsai An Ho Art Jewelry: Timeless Titanium

Jewelry Designer, Tsai An Ho, uniquely celebrates art in design, using titanium as his primary medium, alongside 18K gold. Intrigued by the extraordinary, Tsai An Ho has developed an aesthetic that beautifully pushes the boundaries of florals in nature.

How did you develop a fascination for jewelry? Have you always been drawn to design?

Jewellery is more like a form of expression of art, which is why the brand is positioned as art jewellery. In my opinion, all types of designs are for the purpose of problem solving. Jewellery is an ancient industry, and it is always accompanied by the development of human civilisation. The uniqueness of the jewellery industry determines the limitations of development. I always pay attention to how to open the door of contemporary jewellery design, to create more eye-catching artworks in my jewellery design collections.

You are a master of titanium art jewelry, merging the material with beautiful gemstones. What has drawn you towards using titanium in your pieces?

I also used traditional materials to make jewellery when I was younger, such as gold and silver. However, as my studio is established, I realised that traditional jewellery cannot gravitate towards the young generation of customers. I found that young customers seem to be more passionate about jewellery materials, such as titanium. With extended research and study, I was deeply attracted to the amazingly designed titanium jewellery in the 80s. As a Chinese jewellery designer, I started thinking about how to use titanium to create jewellery works, with artistic expression embodying charming oriental beauty.

When did you decide to start your own business, and how did you go about first creating it? Did you have an industry mentor when you first started out?

My teacher is my neighbor. He is a traditional goldsmith’s teacher who has been engaged in traditional jewellery industry for nearly forty years. I started to make jewellery from the traditional pathway that through basic technology. Before using titanium, I practiced jewellery design and making with my teacher for ten years. During this period, I mastered the techniques of titanium applying traditional metals. I was able to independently complete a piece of high-end custom jewellery, and then I set up my own studio.

Tell us about the first piece of jewelry you created.
My first titanium jewellery work reflects some of the great uncertainties in my early use of titanium. For example, I still use 18K gold in my works. Titanium is more of an ornament instead of the core in my work, embellishment. However, if you can see the titanium works in recent years, you will find that I am pursuing an extreme use of titanium, the display of all-titanium jewellery.

Throughout your jewelry you use flowers for inspiration. What draws you to floral motifs? Do you have a favorite flower to manifest into a jewel?
All natural plants are my research of inspiration, and there are no specific flowers as my main inspiration. I don’t want my design to “copy” the shape in nature. If you have seen my titanium jewellery-flower series, you can find that there is actually no kind of reality flower from nature. The application of titanium makes my design full of colors with colors from the magical world, just like the planet Pandora in Avatar, which does not really exist in the human world, but it makes people feel incredibly fancy.

In oriental aesthetics, flowers are a classic and eternal theme in jewellery design. Traditional jewellery design can no longer satisfy customers’ aesthetic progress. Evolution the appearance of titanium promotes the manifestation of jewellery design.

How do you feel about trends in jewelry? Do you follow them when you create designs, or just follow your gut instinct?
I am a relatively traditional person, and I am very insensitive to the development of fashion trends. With the ever-changing fashion aesthetics, the tastes of the younger generation of consumers are more complex and diverse. So I don’t design jewellery just to be able to chase fashion trends. However, I designed a series of jewellery for young consumers with lower retail prices, ranging from US$400 to US$1200, to meet the diversity of the commercial market requirements.

How would you describe your customers? Why do they love accessorizing with your pieces?
80% of my customers are people who have bought traditional jewellery with me. They have great recognition and trust in my design and craftsmanship. At the same time, they are also very curious about emerging jewelry materials. Receptivity, they are sticking to my brand. Of course, through years of promotion of titanium jewellery, I also have a fresh customer base. Of course, they knew me first through the titanium products I have launched.

I don’t think anyone rejects the use of titanium as accessories, but why so far, are buyers of titanium jewellery still very limited? The reason is that when titanium jewellery needs to achieve ultimate craftsmanship, it must utilize fully handmade technology, which increases the value of titanium jewellery.

How do you differentiate yourself from other art jewelers? How has social media played a role in your business?
Every designer has his own form of expression, and I will not deliberately erase the universal characteristics of a designer, nor will I deliberately portray the characteristics of myself. After practicing in the commercial jewellery market for many years, I have gained very valuable experience, and follow certain developmental rules to arrange the evolution of my works in an orderly manner. If you can see the works that I have seen auctioned by Sotheby’s, you’ll see an obvious contrast with the works currently being made. What the market needs is always what the public needs, and art jewellery is not a necessity for the general public, because not everyone can afford its price.

I haven’t run social media specifically. In the context of this era of online media, social media has made many things faster. But for me, slowing down to make the ultimate art jewellery is more important.

What is a long-term goal for your company? What is the next thing you want to see your business doing?
As a niche art jewellery design studio, I hope that the company can launch more outstanding titanium art jewellery in the next five years. Unlike the managers of many brands, I don’t want the company’s popularity to be gained through marketing. I hope that people who like my brand will read about my titanium jewellery designs, and then pay attention to me.

To further explore Tsai An Ho’s artistic expression in jewelry, visit http://tsaianho.cc, follow his IG @tsaianho, or visit his store in Taipei City 110, Taiwan. To contact the designer directly, email apin.shop@msa.hinet.net or call at +886 2 27569108.

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