There is something happening in the czech jewellery scene. Something really exciting and fresh. Eight young designers set up collective called UNOSTO last year and besides their own collections they work hard on special projects. This time the challenge was clear: to make a necklace. And although UNOSTO is full of accomplished and awarded designers, for some of them, it was a „neckace premiere“. You can see the exhibition called Kolem until the end of November in Prague’s gallery Zlata Lilie (Male namesti 12) , it ‘s full of surprises. And especially for designeast UNOSTO members revealed some secret methods and interesting facts.


When and how was the group founded?
The very first idea was just practical – slovak jewellery association was looking for some czech partners to make an international event, and because we are friends and know each other for a long time, we wanted to take part in it. In the end, the event didn’t happen, but UNOSTO was already born and as we had similar opinions, and so, we decided to keep co-oworking. The name UNOSTO was ment to be a czech crank, that we wish people to wear our jewellery. But we absolutely depreciated the mathematical aspect of the word (it means one hundred).

You have my deepest respect, to organize 8 people must be tough, you are doing it for two years now…
Well, people, I would 8 strong personalities (laugh). Thanks God we agree on jewellery issues and we respect each other in this area. At the other hand, we are all pretty busy, so to get all together is a big deal, i think we have a full UNOSTO meeting maybe once a year.

First Jewelry City, now Necklace, is there some special theme you would like to set in the future?
I have many ideas, but i would like not to shout them down. In the end, the theme is always democratic UNOSTO decision, it doesn’t make sense to push somebody to something he or she doesn’t like or feel to do.

Are Czechs ready to wear jewellery from designers?
Yes, they sure are, but some of them doesn’t know it yet (laugh). It’s more people with some kind of connection to art scene (designers, architects etc.) who buy our jewellery. But as i got to know, situation is very similar in Czech republic and abroad.

You are great curator, but also a designer. Will we see you in the UNOSTO exhibition also as a jeweller?
I will be part of it when it’s time to make myself a pleasure and when it’s not such a rush. But i will be a bit nervous to display something among this kind of jewellery high society.

Any special plans for UNOSTO this year?
There will be czech/slovak exhibition in December, in the prague’s gallery U Kunštátů, it will be a kind of transfrontier declaration of love. We will be also part of designSUPERMARKET in Prague and Berlin and next year there is exhibition coming in Malostranska beseda. And later on we plan to occupy North Moravia.


Klára Šípková made a necklace for the first time! Is there something she would love to try in the field of jewellery design and haven’t done it yet?
Klára: Yes! I think the thirst for something new, different or unrecognized is very important. And for me, it’s not just about different kind of jewellery, but also about original detail solution and experiments with technologies. I made some individual orders earlier this year, for example special kinetic cuff links, unusual stone mount or half titan half gold ring. To look at the jewellery from a different point of view, that’s the way to make original pieces and it doesn’t matter if it is bracelet, ring or necklace.

Markéta Richterová, famous for organic and futuristic pieces is another surprise of the exhibition. Is the delicate silver skelet jewellery her new style?
Markéta: If i have a chance I always prefer experiment to a routine work. I love to work from scratch and try differnet approaches. I feel more benefits while learning something and getting to know new things. Inspiration for Pith necklaces showed by accident when i was reading book full of stories by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

Lucie Houdková made necklace that is flourishing and expanding and they say, that she used really unusal „tool“…
Lucie: I wonder who disclosed my secret. But since it’s out. I had a vision on a what i want to do and how the final necklace should look like and after a few tests i was sure. Necklaces were made by knotting elastic material, which is then expanding and the only material, which worked this way, was a men’s condom. I hope i didn’t discourage people from visiting our exhibition now(laught).

Kateřina Řezáčová likes, when jewellery is not just aesthetical object. What exactly is the „thing“ jewellery should have?
Kateřina: I think some kind of interactivity between the piece of jewellery and it’s bearer is very important. The jewellery should have something more than aesthetic function.. And „the thing“ can be anything – some hidden story, joke, game, motion…There must be a law of action and reaction.

Big wooden balls by Karla Olšáková and Kateřina Matěchová seems normal or boring at the first sight. You must come much closer and have a detailed look. Designers sharpened every simple tree-ring and the result is breathtaking. I can’t even think about time it must have taken..
Karla and Kateřina: We are both outrageous perfectionists and we think it’s essential in jewellery design. Precision is principle and sometimes we struggle to free ourselves from the details. We love to experiment with approachces or materials, but at the same time we want to bring to the jewellery the material naturalism. In this necklace we reached to the delicate surface detail by breaking the wood structure step by step.

Alena Hesounová works with circle. Why a what circles in her work represent?
Alena: My last collection of necklaces Holeganic is just about circles and holes, but i don’t think of them in some deeper meanings. But the truth is, that circles as symbols are endless road of inspiration and nowadays, it’s my kind of my way. But which direction i will go? I’ll let myself be surprised.

Martin Verner is attracted to optics. Why and how it all started?
Martin: I started wondering about optic effects by accident while making light bar for Czech Olympic House this summer with Lasvit. I noticed overlying two glass panels with polished lenses making very interesting efect. The image felt apart and some kind of fourth dimension arised. I have been working with cells and bubbles as a structural elements for quite some time now, but this was the first time i came to its another dimension – optics. I was almost thinking i’m done with bubbles, but now i feel i can hit this road again. So these necklaces are the first pieces form my new collection called Bubbles, again.