Following on from our post last week, in which we gave you a deeper look at the intricacies involved in the creation of The Man in a Cage, this week we are bringing you an interview with the man behind Saxons of Oxford himself, Jorg Schlieffers.
Working as a notable member of the product design industry for many years, Jorg felt the desire to develop his passions for the world of design by re-surfacing his jewellery designing aspirations. Saxons of Oxford was born and initial sketches and ideas have now been formed in to such a reality we could have only hoped for.
Sitting down with Jorg, his enthusiasm and excitement for Saxons is intensely clear. We hope this interview really gives you an insight into the face and driving creative force behind Saxons of Oxford.
How would you sum up Saxons of Oxford in 3 words?
Pushing the Boundaries…
What gave you the inspiration to start designing jewellery and form Saxons of Oxford?
I have always been drawing, designing jewellery, going back to my university days. A student sculptor friend of mine was a gifted jeweller and seeing him work with precious metal was a delight. He executed many of my early designs in his home workshop, us sitting side by side, deciding the details. He ended up forging our wedding bands.
As a product and now jewellery designer, what prompted you to have such a passion for developing and designing?
To quote Joseph Campbell: ‘Follow your bliss!’
It is truly a blessing to be able to follow your own path and express yourself in your chosen medium. I am blessed having the ability to try and follow my passions in life. From my early childhood years I was building, dissecting, designing ‘stuff’ and I was lucky enough to turn my passion, my ‘bliss’, into my profession.
It sometimes seems that you have an invisible path to follow and it is laid out there right in front of you. All you have to do is open your eyes and follow it. That’s what Joseph Campbell is all about. I admire creativity of any kind, be it in traditional media, music, digital arts, visual or the written word.
Expanding on our creative abilities was the goal when I set up Saxons of Oxford, it seemed a natural extension…
In your opinion, what is the purpose of jewellery?
Jewellery is an expression of one’s individuality. I guess you could call it a strife for beauty and perfection, going to very roots of humanity. The earliest cultures did not have running water or the internet but they managed to express themselves in creating jewellery for themselves, their loved ones, dead or alive. Did they have to create that jewellery as an affirmation for being alive? What is better than feeling truly alive?
So we simply follow in our ancestors footsteps…
What makes Saxons of Oxford so unique and special?
Simply the fact that we are not jewellery designers in the traditional sense! Neither myself, nor any of my team have ever had a single hour of traditional jewellery training. This has freed us in a way to apply to our jewellery ideas by not exactly knowing the boundaries. We approach every design from a very technical approach, as we also have high-end tools at our disposal. It is a work in progress, but a combination of thinking outside the box, creating unusual designs with distinct flair and having a great toolset at our disposal is allowing us to push the boundaries…
Which of the pieces from the current collections is your favourite and why?
It has to be MiCky, our Man in A Cage.
First of all, he is the start of Saxons… Secondly, he was almost impossible to implement. The idea was straightforward, yet the process of getting him just right and building him to the original vision proved almost not feasible, we tried multiple paths. One unique approach worked in the end and I am proud of that fact, as this micro-machined marvel proved to be a fantastic, creative journey.
Where did initial inspiration for the Insider collection come from?
Ideas can come at any time, any place. Nobody has seemingly ever captured a man in a cage in the way we did with MiC. There is something here that can be applied in many different ways. In this case, the caged man idea came while falling asleep. As the ‘Man’ was still with me the next morning waking up, I thought ‘better go and build this one’
How do you see Saxons developing in the future?
We have put all the pieces of the puzzle in place and we will simply try to keep doing the best we can in creating unique and beautiful art. We hope to pick up followers and raise awareness about our brand and products while expanding on our ideas and new collections. The search for beauty is an eternal human quest, so the market should always be there for beautifully conceived and crafted jewellery.
I am enthusiastically curious and curiously enthusiastic about the road ahead…