Alexandra Gélinas, founder of Studio Minéral in Montreal, wants you to know that ceramic objects can indeed be worn! Her work mixes the world of design and ceramics through an approach focused on technical expertise, making innovative use of technological advances and combining industrial processes and traditional know-how. She loves exploring unknown fields of application in ceramic design (like jewelry)! We chatted with Alexandra about her work, and are giving you a chance to win! —Noa Nichol
Hi Alexandra! What, and who, is Studio Minéral? What do you produce, and what makes your offerings unique?
After I graduated Industrial Design from University of Montreal, I was hired as an industrial designer at a company that specializes in the design of architectural lighting fixtures. After a few years working at that company, I decided to leave and start my own ceramics design company, Studio Mineral. I am really interested in ceramics because of its untapped potential. Ceramics make complex geometries accessible. It has a plasticity and an ease of use that facilitates the design process, all the way from ideation to products. At Studio Mineral, we decided to focus our production on limited-edition collections. This approach allows us to stand by our business vision to offer unique products that follow the principles of sustainable development. The entire product lifecycle relies on local supply chains, from the selection of the material to the packaging of products. Our collections are focussed on designing objects that customers will want to keep for a long time. In essence, our product offering is targeted to an audience that recognizes the values of timelessness, uniqueness, and sustainability.
When it comes to ceramic design, one doesn’t automatically think jewelry; how do you apply the medium to make it work/wearable?
Love this question! My professional training allowed me to broaden my horizons and to realize how far we can take this material beyond its conventional usage. This is why Studio Mineral will not design products generally known to be made out of ceramics, such as kitchenware. The offering for this type of products on the market is already substantial. Instead, our objective is to use these production techniques to explore new ways of integrating ceramics into our day-to-day lives and offer customers a different experience with this well-known material. For example, Studio Mineral’s first collection, POSE, was launched in December 2020 and focussed on fashion accessories. Our upcoming lines will focus on furniture and lighting.
Your POSE necklace collection is described as “non-gendered brave and unapologetic”—how so?
Ceramic is a material that has survived the test of time. It is durable, ages well and does not deteriorate. It has been used by people in various shapes or forms over the past centuries. There is a duality attached to ceramics that I find fascinating; it can be delicate and resistant at the same time. I truly feel like this duality can be transfer to the human being as well (which fascinates me even more!). The POSE necklace collection is bold, unconventional but also delicate at the same time and that is just perfect like this! These wearable art are for people who are not afraid to go in the world and let others know who they are. To me, a necklace is strong form of communication. Let’s not dilute who we are. No need to fit in: let’s be brave and beautiful.
Where did the inspiration for the SAT necklace come from?
This necklace shape combines the movement of a textile to the far reaches of the universe. Its familiar shape is reminiscent of both the rings of Saturn and the crumpling of a satin garment: whether it is through fact or fiction. SAT offers soft and dreamy curves.
Anything else we should know about ceramic jewelry?
The POSE collection is entirely washable (which feels even better in the context we live in!). A bit like a dish, the necklace can be cleaned with water and a bit of degreasing dish soap. The necklaces are surprisingly light (same weight as an egg). Each piece is slip-casted in plaster moulds (the main piece and even the adjustable and end rings) before going into the kiln for many hours under high temperatures and then carefully sanded to obtain that velvety, smooth touch.
Win! A $138 Limited-Edition Studio Minéral Ceramic Necklace!
Congratulations Maureen B. @akathenan of Saskatoon, SK, who will receive a $138 Limited-Edition Studio Minéral Ceramic Necklace of their choice (choose from SAT, PHA, OEU, and ECH)! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.