Handmade jewelry offers a chance to express your individuality, your creativity, and your imagination. Riyo Chan and her brand Shannnam have got this in oodles. The Hong Kong based designer creates bespoke pieces of handmade jewelry by capturing mini worlds in resin and fitting them onto rings, broaches and other accessories. Her amazingly delicate pieces will long have you peering into the depths. Here, we talk to Riyo Chan to find out more about how she came to create such intriguing pieces.
Could you briefly explain your background and how you got into jewelry design?
I have been working in the advertising industry as an art director for some time. It has always been my day job and it wasn’t until recently (2010) I started working on my own designs and products. I love delicate designer products. Before the acrylic accessories I have also worked on knitting and other wearable accessories. A lot of people asked me whether I studied any jewelry or product design at school but actually I have not. However, a lot of my friends who have the expertise gave help and advices along the way, plus a lot of trial and error.
What aspects of life most influence your work? Where do you draw inspiration from?
I like printed materials a lot, such as contemporary illustrations and photography. They always spark random weird thoughts and ideas. I also like to visit museums whenever I get the chance to travel somewhere new.
Your creations concentrate on the miniature and on intricate details. What is your interest in minutiae?
I always think miniatures are cute, and it is where you can capture a scene like a photo, but in a more tangible way. You can look into the scene in difference angles or aspects and you will always find something new. And most of the time the miniature figures have no facial expressions, this triggers more imaginative thoughts when you look at them. This is pretty addictive.
We are so happy to have your Fragmented Chronicles rings on buyMeDesign – they are beautiful. Would you like to tell us a bit more about their conception?
Thank you and I am grateful to have the chance too. Shannnam is a design project founded in 2011, with the passion of hand-made accessories and miniature models. The accessories revolves around different miniature dioramas, some are fun, some are odd, some are uncanny. Within such a micro containment, Shannnam aims to bring mini stories worth your imaginations.
Out of all the mini characters you have produced in your jewelry, who is your favourite and why?
There is one in which a bird is chasing down and a man is trying to escape the bird. I found it pretty weird but the posture of the characters are adorable.
How would you describe your style of art/design. How do you want people to feel when they wear/see your work?
Although the scenes are frozen into the rings, the idea within them is quite spontaneous. The stories in the rings came from spontaneous ideas. But people who see them could also open up their imaginations and freely interpret their own story. I think the first thought is important. Different people would have different first thought and feelings about each design. I hope people who like them would talk to their friends and ask for their interpretation of the story.
What’s next for Riyo Chan and Shannnam?
We aren’t sure yet. We might try to discover more channels to express our weird thoughts, be it miniatures, or illustrations, or motion pictures.