Marmarometry is a new series of jewelry made by Xenia Nefelly Vlachou. Their main element is the Greek marble in plain geometrical lines and minimal look which matches harmonically with metal. She is influenced from architecture and the series were introduced for the first time in Greece on January 2015.
| interview by Anna Baniora | MA, fashion business management |
The art of Jewelry making is founded in the ancient years of Classical Greece. What special characteristics do you believe a piece of jewelry carries in comparison with other fashion products?
Since my early years as a fashion design student, I was fascinated by jewelry making. I believe that a single piece of jewelry can make a statement about the person who wears it and their character, their preferences; even one’s styling can be determined by the jewelry that they wear. So the power that jewelry carries is very strong and what intrigues me more about jewelry making is the experimentation of the unique and extraordinary materials that can be used.
Your creations are made of Greek Marble. Why did you choose this material? What does marble symbolize to you?
My country has a great tradition in the art of carving marble ever since antiquity. The nature of marble is to last forever and represent the notion of eternity. I somehow feel connected with this material when I have it in my hands to process; it evokes feelings as I transform a piece of Greek land into a work of jewelry, allowing someone to carry the aura of Greece with them all the time.
What are the challenges that you face in the process of using this material?
Marble is a unique material that has a dual quality, it is both rough but also sensitive. With a special process that is called water jet cut, marble is cut with the use of water into shapes. Water is used to prevent it from breaking. The second difficult part is when I connect the metal accessories. It can break really easily. For my collections I use the renowned pure white Thassos marble, from the island in northern Greece, Aliveri grey marble and Livadia dark marble with some strands of white.
In 2015 you won the competition for jewelry designs held by the Archaelogical Receipts Fund in Greece.
Three out of ten pieces were selected by the ARF to be placed in museum shops around Greece. The pieces were inspired from ancient Greece. Two of them represent the floor plan of the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and the third represents a small sculpture named ‘Peploforos’ from the archaeological museum of Athens.
Your brand represents your love for Greek culture, history and fashion. You actually support the return of the Parthenon Marbles through your creations. Tell us about it.
When I visited the new Acropolis Museum I was intrigued with this idea. The museum is among the best museums in the world and the connection between the place with the Parthenon is so intense that the visitor can feel all the energy. It was then where I thought I have to support the return of these pieces back to their birthplace, to reconnect with the rest of the ruins as a whole.
Describe your role model. How does this inspire you?
My role model is the actress and former Minister of Culture – Melina Merkouri. She was a dynamic, well educated woman with a great personal style. What I really admire about her is the fact that she used her influence for a great cause to promote her country and fight for cultural matters like the demand for the Parthenon marbles to return to their birthplace.
What new creations will we expect to see from you in the future?
Recently I created a homeware collection inspired by Cycladic art, the first minimal form of art, made by marble from the famous Athenian mountains of Dionysus and Pentelis. I also created a collection especially for my store in the island of Paros. In the future I am going to prepare an exclusive collection that will combine marble with precious metals.