When wandering through an Ancient Roman, Greek or Byzantine exhibition, the captivating beauty of the works of art incite reverence for these civilizations and their traditions. Pamela Card, the owner and creative director of Pamela Card Jewelry, captures the magnificence of these antiquities through her own designs. Through the use of lost wax casting and hand forging techniques, Pamela’s pieces strive for authenticity and recall the love for one’s craft that manufactured items simply do not carry. I interviewed Pamela to learn more about her pieces, her entrepreneurial journey and inspirations.
What were you doing before you started your jewelry line? Was creating your own line always a dream or was it something that devel- oped along the way?
I started out in Fashion Design. However, I have always been someone who thrives in a more expansive creative atmosphere and working for a big company just wasn’t for me. So I decided after 5 years of work in the industry to move to Istanbul and focus on designing a collection of jewelry inspired by ancient history that was genuinely and authentically mine.
You mention that you draw inspiration from Roman, Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman Art. Is there one that you prefer over the other?
I would have to say that I prefer Roman and Byzantine Art above all. I explored these two forms in greater depth while living in Turkey. However, it’s difficult to sway one way as all the above have such unique and distinctive characteristics that make them special historically. I focus on mixing elements of all the above to combine components of historic beauty with modern day sentiments.
What is your favourite place that you traveled to? Why?
Barcelona and Istanbul have both had significantly impacted my life – both culturally and historically. Istanbul provided me with a deep appreciation for ancient artificers. As well, Barcelona gave and showed me a love I hold to this day.
Why do you use the lost-wax casting and hand forging method to create your pieces?
By using ancient practises like lost-wax casting and hand forging, I am able to design with a completely hands-on approach to my work. As I don’t focus solely on the perfected symmetry of jewelry, I can use these techniques to play and experiment and I often come up with a more artistic and sculptural design. I never want to mass produce the designs I make, I want to promote the beauty of ancient craft and focus on it’s longevity.
On average, how long does it take to create one piece from start to finish?
When I am developing a style from it’s stages of conception it can take around 2 weeks to allot time for playing, trial and error and final finishing. Trial and error is an invaluable component of my design process.
Do you have a favourite piece in past or present collections? If so, which one and why?
The Birth of Venus is a very important piece for me as I designed it around one of my favourite works of art by Botticelli. Not only does this pendant have fractures and ‘worn’ areas to make it appear as if it could have been pulled from a museum exhibit, it also was designed with a new concept which I used to create my newest collection – The Quattrocento Collection. I didn’t spare any details with this piece, it’s engraved on both sides of the coin, and designed with strategically dripped wax to create fractures and shape skewing before lost wax casting.
What are some bumps in the road that you encountered from the beginning of your business to now? How did you overcome them? Is there anything that you would do differently?
As I always want to remain truthful to myself, my beliefs, and my vision, I worked extremely hard not to stray from my mission as a brand. It’s not difficult when you have a structure that you can refer to every step of the way. Eventually your mission and vision are ingrained in your head and you get over the difficulty of potential straying. Focus, passion and drive is key – especially in the early stages. I wouldn’t do any thing differently as each issue I faced and overcame ultimately made me stronger and more prepared. Stuggling is inevitable and how you deal with it proves how much you want your brand, art, concept to succeed.
Where would you like to see your business in couple years from now?
Constantly evolving, creating newness, continually exploring art and sculpture.
Any advice for people thinking to quit their job and take the leap into owning their own business but still hesitating?
Hesitation is inevitable when leaving a place of security. However, the gratification and freedom of making something that is entirely yours is worth all the trepidation of leaving the mundane. If you want to start a brand or venture into a new industry, experiment and research new material, focus on what interests you and take less traveled avenues. Surround yourself with your genuine believers, their support is essential to your state of mind. Fear and apprehension will be common during any process of drastic change like starting your own business but I believe having your own passion project or dream job is worth every emotion.
Photos: Courtesy of Pamela Card