Danish designer Vibe Harsløf cites timeless Scandinavian design and the frantic nature of urban centers in her contemporary jewellery pieces for both genders – a strategy gaining increasing attention in both Denmark and abroad. Her proximity to the fashion world has enabled her to collaborate with designers such as Wood Wood, Soulland and Wackerhaus – we sit down with the young visionaire to learn more.
What are your earliest memories with jewellery?
That would be 2 pendants from my grandfather, one is a small glass amulet he bought in Colombia as a young man, it has a bird made of tiny feathers on each side – a red one on one side and a peacock on the other side. The other one is a small heart-shaped perfume container with a girl on a swing painted on it – the story is that he found it on the playground as a child. I loved to look at them as a child and feel very fortunate that they are now in my possession.
What led you to pursue a jewellery design practice? What has formed you as a designer?
I always knew I wanted to be in the creative field but I wasn’t really sure what direction to go. It wasn’t until I visited a degree show at a German design school with a jewelry design line, that pieces fell into place –the students had made jewelry of all sorts of materials, which to me was a true eye opener and very inspiring. Then later when I got an internship in a workshop, I fell in love with the craft too.
How do you approach the design of your objects? What is meant by “urban jewellery”?
I usually have an overall idea of what I want to express, but it is not until I sit in my studio with some wire, metal sheets and stones that it starts taking actual shape and direction. That’s when I get into a flow where one idea leads to the next. The term urban jewelry refers to the bolder pieces that I make, which mainly appeal to people in bigger cities, where looking loud is accepted
Do you think actively about the placement of jewellery on the body – or do you approach your designs as functioning potentially anywhere?
I don’t think actively about it but I tend to get slightly obsessed with a particular part of the body, which leads me to investigate it, by exploring the function of it and how I can work with it. Usually I work directly on my own body by bending metal wire or drape chain directly onto it, to see how it works – I think it is really interesting to see how much I can restrain a part of the body, before it gets annoying and too inconvenient. These are just my ideas- it always makes me happy when I see someone wearing a piece differently than intended, if it still works with the body and looks good.
Where are you based? Have you found a particular geographic context for your work?
I am based in Copenhagen. I don’t think geography plays an active part in my designing, but being brought up in Denmark, surrounded by Scandinavian design and aesthetics definitely has influenced my work – its almost as if it is a part of my DNA to reduce my designs.
What have the biggest challenges been in designing in your own name?
So far there hasn’t been any major challenges –my first name is a bit confusing to all English speaking people – Vibe is actually my first name and pronounced veeba…. Nothing major.
Where do you hope to take Vibe Harsloef in the future?
To the stars
For more information, see Vibe Harsløf