The Jewelry Interviews Part 1: From Mexico to Florence


Interviewee: Elias Serhan Janbey
LdM Jewelry Art & Design Certificate student



Hi Elias! Before we start the interview, why don’t you tell us something about yourself?
I come from Torreon, a city up in the north of Mexico. For seven months I’ve been studying at LdM now and so far it’s been really great! Originally I’m an Industrial Design student, but I decided to specialize in Jewelry Art & Design as I developed a sudden passion for it. And because the Renaissance has always been a great inspiration for me, the choice to study at LdM in Florence was an easy one!


_SMN5867What was it like for you as a Mexican student to move to Florence, a city famous for its jewelry history and craftsmen?
It has been a great but at the same time also intimidating experience. Being so far away from home in the beginning of course I missed my family, but knowing that I was in Florence to grow personally and to enjoy all the beauty around me was always a great motivator. I fell in love with the city’s history and life almost instantly and became even more anxious to start learning new things here at LdM.


A day in your life as an LdM Jewelry Certificate student, what does that look like? Any special projects you’re involved in?
My days as a student are pretty hectic actually: I have a 5-hour class 4 times a week besides my other 2 classes. My workshop and design classes are the ones I like the most because I’m constantly creating new pieces of jewelry. Monday mornings I feel like a sculptor when working the wax with my Prof. Werner Altinger, while Tuesdays are all about new ideas and designs with Serena Barbi. Then on Wednesday I get to work with precious stones again with Werner Altinger, and on Thursday Federico Vianello teaches us new metal working techniques. I can’t really say that I have a best piece right now, but as Enzo Ferrari once said: my best piece will be the next one!
_SMN5856One exciting, unique project I’ve been involved in lately is the Lyre Project, in which a Silver Lyre from ancient Mesopotamia is being reconstructed. I was asked to join this project by my jewelry Prof. Laura Polsinelli and immediately said yes! Even though at first I didn’t really know what I would be working on, it has really been an exciting project from the beginning to the end.


In what way did working with such big pieces of silver differ from working on tiny details for your own jewelry pieces?
It differs completely being that I didn’t have to think about tiny design details. My tasks included mainly the cutting of specifically sized pieces and getting them ready to be placed on the wooden model of the lyre.


The last question is one for your imagination: if you could create anything you wanted with that big piece of silver, what would you make?
On the one hand creating a big piece of art with such a big amount of silver would be very interesting and challenging. But on the other hand I have to admit that I would probably use the silver to create many smaller jewelry pieces, like an entire collection or many different kinds of pieces. It would use it as an opportunity to advance myself in the professional jewelry world.