"My formal education is in art and design and communications and I have always needed art as a creative outlet. My family history and passion for gems lead my path to jewellery design and it began as a way to continue work from home while also being able to take care of the kids. Over the years it has grown into a business that I am incredibly proud of and it brings me joy every day." - Jen Volkadov
I had the pleasure of speaking to Jen Volkadov, the Illinois-based jewellery designer. I followed her work on Instagram for some time but only recently had the chance to have a chat with her and got to know her as a jewellery designer. Jen cultivated a passion across all aspects of jewellery from an early age. As her grandfather was a jeweller who had a home studio where Jen had spent most of her childhood as a little girl. She remembers almost everything, even the smell of her grandfather's studio, and the little diamond pinky ring Jen adored was given as a gift by her grandfather and all the good memories treasured with her! The bond between the two was so great that inspired Jen Volkadov to follow her grandfather's footstep and continue the family tradition alive. All those were for a reason then hey :-)
Jen Volkodav started her "Jen Volkadov designs" brand in 2007, after a successful career as a graphic designer, illustrator, and photographer. Jen's designs convey her artistic vision by focusing on bringing light, shape, and an organic framework to some of the most beautiful stones in the world, and has an artisan's aesthetic and her collections are renowned for meticulous craftsmanship, signature lapidary techniques, and an abundance of colour and also her appreciation of the handmade and rejecting principles of mass production but custom made pieces are meant to have a personal meaning to the wearer, beyond adornment.
Jen's inspiration and creativity come from many sources like people, nature, art, photography, fashion, graphic design, colours and as it is said artist holds all unbounded consciousness to call upon in times of creativity. "If I had to choose only one designer that truly inspires me, it would be Wallace Chan" - continues Jen. Wallace Chan has been a great inspirational source especially, Chan's designs without limits and Chan's courage for experimenting with different sources of materials to set his gems in. For Jen, this is the case and she is forever envisaging the entire work of art and transferring this creative vision into artistic material form influenced by the natural beauty of the places where she lives and travels, along with the color, texture and individual uniqueness of each precious stone, play a major part in her designs.
Jen Volkodav's love for gemstones is limitless. Her Instagram account dazzles with a variety of unusual coloured gemstones. To be precise, Jen’s favourite stones are tourmaline, emeralds and diamonds, this is clearly reflected in her eye-catching jewellery with flawless quality. Jen’s love for emeralds dates back to her childhood since she was a little girl and particularly Zambian emerald with the blue undertone. Like many of us, she's a typical girl who cannot resist diamonds, not all types, but the old European cut diamonds. "There is nothing like those old, chunkier facets to cast the most amazing rainbows. They truly have a spirit of their own" - she smiles.
Today, Jen Volkadov feels blessed because she gets to do what she loves every day and to continue creating pieces that reflect her desire for something truly unique. As much as Jen’s personality amuses, and fits perfectly with her fine jewellery, so are her bohemian heirlooms with vivid colours that transcend generations and speak the universal language of art. Just incurable eclectic jewellery pieces!