Simeon Shomov: Storytelling through Jewelry
Jewelry Designer, Simeon Shomov, creates unique, eye-catching pieces that let his inner child shine through. Using sterling silver, he develops intricate handmade scenes as wearable works of art. Here, we interviewed Simeon Shomov so he could share his inspiration, background, and give us a behind the scenes look into his one-of-a-kind creations.
You mention that your designs often tell stories that we know from childhood. How do you manage to fully capture these stories within your designs? Please give a specific example.
Yes, some of my designs represent fairy tales from our childhood, and some of them are stories from the real life or absolute surrealism. For example, I have a whole collection which captures moments of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s book The Little Prince. For creating them, I use a 3D technique. I make tiny silhouettes of the Prince, the fox, make some stars, then solder all of them together and here it is- a necklace with a moment of the book 🙂
Having majored in computer science, what inspired you to change your path to jewelry design?
In fact, I graduated in computer science to find out what I don’t want to do in my life. I just wasn’t good enough in that area; my imagination works differently. In the end, I just changed the virtual things to real ones. Another thing is that I love all the millions of tools and machines that a jeweler uses every day. These are my toys now and every day in the studio I feel like a little boy in a sea of toys 🙂 I love the fact that now I can touch my creations.
On the same theme, how did you get your start creating jewelry? Did you have a mentor who had an impact on your career early on?
Yes, my guru’s name is Stefan Dimitrov. An old friend of mine who introduced me to the world of jewelry. One of the best craftsmen in Sofia. This man is like an encyclopedia of jewelry making. There is no question he cannot answer. So far, we’re working together. I completed a winter course in jewelry design in the United States, and also a craft course in Sofia. But just a few courses are not enough, you start learning something when you start doing it.
With a craftsmanship degree in handmade jewelry, how did your education impact your designs?
The good thing is that I completed several craft courses just to improve my technique, and no one has an influence on my ideas about design. It was all just improvisation. There are many advantages to graduating from university, but the disadvantage is that your teachers give you guidance. My style was created by itself.
Most of your pieces are made of silver; why is this your material of choice?
This noble metal gives me a whole universe of techniques that I can apply. It is soft, when it is not hardened, it can be chemically colored … I really like to oxidize it in black or dark gray and add gold details, a great contrast is obtained. So, I can say that gold is also very important 🙂
You state that much of your jewelry aims to express concepts and ideas about nature. Why is this important for you, and how do you enjoy translating this in designs?
Nature is something very important. We are deeply connected to it, despite the fact that we forget this very often. The real beauty is somewhere there, by the river, far from the city. Go there and you will get inspiration. Can you imagine a world without trees, without mountain views, without seas and lakes? That is why I would like to show people how beautiful nature is, they should enjoy it and protect it.
A piece of wood found on the beach, included in jewelry, gives a special spirit and beauty.
Your designs are very beautiful and incredibly unique. What is your design process, or does it vary from piece to piece?
Sometimes I make sketches, other times when the idea is clear, I make the design directly from metal or wax. But I usually don’t think about the design very carefully, the idea comes suddenly, and the hardest part is to remember it 🙂
Many of your pieces are like pages from a book, with tiny figures and landscapes telling a story. Why is focus on active storytelling? How do you choose which scene to portray?
This gives meaning to each of my jewelry. I don’t want to create jewelry that just shines. I would like to create jewelry that tells you something, reminds you of your dreams and how important it is to pursue them.
Since your jewelry is so intricate, about how long does it take you to create each piece, from design to completion?
This is usually a quick process. And that’s because when I start doing something new, I can’t fall asleep before I see the result. So, I can work 20 hours a day just to see the result faster. Usually it takes a few days, sometimes two weeks…
Can you share your process for making custom pieces? Do your clients give you a specific design to create, or do you use their ideas as inspiration? How do you work with clients that want a one-of-a-kind piece?
I’m always happy when someone comes up with their own idea. This provokes my imagination. I start thinking about new techniques, new materials sometimes … Most clients with their own ideas end up getting only one-of-a-kind pieces.
Want is your relationship with your customers, and how do you want them to feel when they wear your pieces?
My clients make me happy because most of them are intelligent and happy people. Rude people do not pay attention to special jewelry made by hand. I would like my jewelry to make them smile and be happy. To make them forget their problems and follow their dreams.
What do you want your brand to be remembered for? What do you want your legacy to be, personally and professionally?
With non-standard ideas and precise work. The characters represented in my fairy tale jewelry are always happy and inspired, so I want a lot of people to recognize themselves there 🙂 I can say that I want my professional heritage to be personal to people.