Montreal-based jewellery designer and goldsmith Pilar Agueci has been making jewelry for over decade. Her clean and modern designs will effortlessly enhance any urban monochrome chic look. Pilar was kind enough to do an interview with Lola Who about how she got started, finding inspiration in urban architecture, and the importance of always learning new things.
Lola Who: How did you get into jewelry design?
Pilar: My interest in jewellery design began with a fondness for making small scale objects. As I child I made little things for my doll house: cutlery, dishes, eggs and bacon in a pan. I loved working with Fimo.
I went to a high school focused on art and design, and on to pursue an education in the material arts: ceramics, textiles and jewellery. I eventually focused on jewellery because metal, as a medium, was a new challenge. I loved the historical and sentimental connotations of metalwork.
I also spent a lot of time in a metal shop as a teenager. I practiced many of the techniques I use now, but on a larger scale. I attribute the finishes on the jewellery to that experience: sandblasted, brushed, textured.
Lola Who: Where are you currently based and how does your city inspires your work?
Pilar: I take inspiration from my daily life and my journeys through the city. I’m fascinated by the wear and tear of our daily lives and how it affects our urban landscape. My current studio is on the second floor of a building overlooking a cityscape from another era, an inner-city metal foundry and a crumbling viaduct. I chose my studio because of the view; the rusted metal columns, geometric shapes and faded colours; I find these elements so inspiring.
Lola Who: Who do you typically envision wearing your finished pieces?
Pilar: I try to create jewelry that is timeless. I’d love to see everyone wearing my work one day!
Lola Who: What is your favourite piece you’ve created?
Pilar: Last year I worked with an amazing couple to produce their wedding bands. I made a fitted yellow gold wedding band with small diamonds for her. The ring was designed to sit on the engagement ring, but I loved the piece on its own too.
Lola Who: What advice do you have for aspiring designers entering jewelry design?
Pilar: I think my answer to this question will be different ten years and twenty years from now, as I am still learning so much about being a jeweller. Being a jeweller is very multi-faceted. You need many skills; communication, production, administration… And of course, a good sense of business. If you choose your focus and remain dedicated to it, you will see it unfold.
Lola Who: What is the one of the most useful lessons you’ve ever learned in pursuing your art?
Pilar: I’ve had the chance to work with some of my mentors in this field. All I had to do was ask! The answer may not be always positive, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. You may find yourself in a unique position! There are many opportunities out there, but they don’t come to you, you have to go out and find them.
Lola Who: What music are you listening to these days?
Pilar: I started listening to jazz when I was a teenager. My father introduced me to some great musicians that I still listen to these days. Yesterday, I was listening to Esbjorn Svensson Trio. Other than that, my daily soundtrack is my seven-month-old baby and her babbles. Recently she started saying “ba ba ba” and “ma ma ma.” It’s really cute and exciting!
Lola Who: What are your plans for this summer?
Pilar: I recently moved my studio. I plan to spend time there settling in and enjoying the space. I will be traveling to show my work in the next few months so I want to prepare a few new pieces. We plan to take a trip as a family to Scotland, France and Italy, and enjoy our beautiful Montreal summer, drinking beer on the balcony and going to the park.
Visit Pilar Agueci’s website