Meet Claudia Hamers and her magical world of rings!
Claudia Hamers is a Dutch designer. She creates jewelry, but it is rings that captured her heart forever. Trained as an engineer, but an artist in her heart, she found the perfect way to express herself!
Her rings are very unique. She loves to design them especially for you! And bring you something that will create a little magic. Looking for personalized jewelry? You might just want to check Claudia Hamers out!
When Claudia contacted me the first time, I heard this warm, enthusiastic person on the other side and before I knew it I heard all about her story and how she ended up in Italy and how she creates amazing jewelry. She has worked for several companies. You can see what Claudia Hamers designed for big brands such as Prada, Dupont, de Beers, Heineken and many others.
Meet this charming Dutch designer! And see why you might want to contact her and perhaps have Claudia create your next treasure!
Interview with Claudia Hamers
Esther: Your name suggests a mix between Dutch and Italian origin. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Claudia: "What's in a name", hahaha, in my case Claudia comes from Latin and it is probably the demonstration of Italy being my destiny! Laughs: ‘’but think of Emperor Claudius, the Cripple, let's hope I won't be crippled’’
Esther: Let’s start at the beginning. What can you tell us about your family and your upbringing?
Claudia: I remember a song in elementary school during music lessons: "why we don't we move to warm countries where the calypso birds sing". I really thought: Right, why don't we move? In fact, the nice Italian weather was a good reason for me, but not the only one.
When I was 19 I fell in love with the Italian cult movies from the '70’s. Visconti and Rossellini. There were these women on marble terraces with Roman pillars and beautiful gardens having philosophical conversations. I imagined myself being there. On my first car trip to Italy, I felt home from the moment I crossed the border. From the perfect Switzerland roads entering the dark and chaotic Italian tunnels looking over the romantic Como lake down in the valley, I knew this is IT. I felt happy!
Esther: When you were young, what were your creative dreams?
Claudia: I create since I can remember. In the basement of our bungalow, I prepared a haunted house, a scary footpath for the family and neighbors and every Saturday I created bracelets of little pearls and colored stones I found in nature. I carried them around in a wheelbarrow to show them to people in the street, ringing their doorbells.
This all was around the age of 5-8. Later I created theater decors at school, writing the play and inventing magician performances. Then photography, playing the piano, knitting long coats, and then since I was 15, also fashion. Silk jackets and linen dress with the old sewing machine of my mother. My grandmother was a professional tailor so there must have been something in the blood. I didn't dream about the future, I was just always making things.
Esther: What and where did you study?
Claudia: I studied industrial design in Delft and during the 3rd year I decided I wanted to go and work in Italy. The design culture over there was already 'en vogue' in the '80's.
Esther: From school to work, what were your first steps?
Claudia: I was so much motivated that I prepared a book with my scholar design work and I wrote a letter to a few famous design studios in Milan. It all went very organically, really. Perhaps you should know that the second part of my name is Hamers, in English that means: hammers, the tools. I suppose that when I think I want something, I become like a hammer, persistant. Sometimes it is an annoying thing but for my new life and career? It worked perfectly!
Esther: You have a technical background, yet are an artist at heart (and by training). How would you describe the process of creation?
Claudia: In my jewelry design it is easy to recognize my love for art and technology. I try to invent a new way of stone settings, provoking the italian artisans. Respecting their know-how but going beyond the usual limits. As I didn't study to become a goldsmith or had any gold techniques for that, my inspiration comes from wider fields and is therefore less restricted.
Today however, I need specialized craftsmanship such as a stone cutter, a goldsmith and other artisans for making my jewelry. When design seem difficult to realize we search for solutions together. This leads, I think, to innovative jewelry.
Of course, I hope that my rings will kind of be liked instantly: -'love at first sight’ -but I also care a lot about telling the secrets of a creative process. The object becomes richer for it!
The Magic of Rings:
The Pharaoh ring is showing the high level of Italian handcraft. Inspirations for rings can come from many channels. From sculptures to music, from people to art.
The Hurt ring points out the love for imperfection by using a gemstone which is cut in the middle. This cut is perfectly shiny and shows it was meant to be like that. A few rings have a precious secret hidden in the inside, like the Flame ring with its rubies and diamonds creating a flame at the inner part. My inspiration comes from our desire to desire. I research the object of desire. Desire is an emotion. Something abstract turning into material is truly the inspiration for the Magic of Rings.
The Jimmy ring is made for the index finger. It gives a woman the feeling of power and independence. The Circle ring is inspired by the Love Bridge close to Lucca, in Tuscany. The story about the early Gothic bridge is dedicated to important love stories in history because the arches create perfect circles and seen reflected in the water , they form two halves. Like they are in love.
The gemstone itself can also be the inspiration for a jewel. The beauty of the naked, raw stone on the skin was the inspiration for the nude series. You can use any stone for this, any piece of heritage, color, size. It is just all about the stone you love. Traditionally, jewelry is concentrated on gemstones. Metal is only needed to wear and position a gemstone on the body. The ideal concept is feeling the gemstone without the gold. This fact is a limition and my inspiration at the same time: I like to deal with this question!
For me, it is always important to go back to essence and never just make any random shape. Rings give the feeling of power. They are not just a sign of loyalty.
You see something of yourself in it. I give particular importance to high-end finished jewelry. Gold is a hard metal, but it has to feel soft. You can hug it and play with it!
Esther: What are the strengths and weakness in your character that brought you where you are today?
Claudia: The strength in my character is my empathy and intuition, I guess. In front of my clients I easily feel compassion and what they need. Sometimes I visualize a design solution in less then a second. It is just there, in my mind. Of course I still have to finalize and resolve the technical details.
On the other hand my weak point is marketing and PR. Sometimes I feel living in a bubble. It takes me a lot of energy to organize and communicate.
Esther: What was your first biggest passion?
Claudia: When one is young, the artistic ideas still need to be developed. The conceptual view and the critical capability I all learned this during my university studies on industrial design. Before it was just experimenting with materials. The technical university of Delft, teached me complete product development. It is a complex process where material and innovation find each other.
The engineer title gave me many opportunities. I mean, let's be honest, a wild creator like me, should not be on a technical university because it didn't match my way of thinking. But at the same time, it saved me because I had to become very organised and independent. I simply couldn't be, with my creating abilities, all over the place. I was trained to be not just the artist or designer who had a great idea, but I learned also the practical stuff such as scouring, dealing with a factory and which rules apply for mass produced products.
Putting art and techniques together is my biggest passion. I love to create emotional value, especially to boring plastic mass produced products. Or make unique artisan pieces applying high technologies. It works in both ways. This is my love! This is my biggest passion truly!
Esther: What has been your biggest accomplishment, in your own eyes, both private and professionally?
Claudia: To become independent is always an issue for an artist. I created products for a lot of companies. The past years I have found the courage to create pieces without thinking of marketing, commercial aspects and even about the opinion of the OTHERS. I received the biggest compliments when I noticed that exactly the most particular shapes and details became the ones that are now most admired.
Actually, I noted that my professional growth went together with my own personal growth too. The artist creates herself. Trusting myself is the biggest satisfaction.
Esther: How does a typical day look like for you?
Claudia: My typical day mixes all kind of things without any logic. The private and the work, the social and the travels are all mixed constantly. It gives me a sense of freedom. In the morning I give priority to projects, especially for the work I do as a consultant to other companies. My car reflects this too! It is both office as my lounge area!
I drive to factories and meetings. My day is like a little like a smoothie. I love to see my friends or business relations for lunch and even mix these encounters with the lunch appointments of my husband or daughters. Always love to make a big pasta for all. The evening can be good for meditation and the morning can be good for listening to my favorite music: classical piano music and deep soft techno.
Esther: What can you tell us about your collection and why is it all about rings?
Claudia: I love to limit myself. Limits can be very powerful. Designing rings is a statement. I think rings give you strenght and a ring itself is like a mini sculpture, carried always with you. Rings are magic and complex.
In the future, I would love to continue with sculptures. High-end sculpture, home jewels, big emotional objects of desire. I already started with marble jewelry. Big rings in marble, playing with the colors like gemstones. Inspirations for rings can come from many things. From sculptures to music, from people to art.
Esther: Any dreams or plans for the future?
Claudia: Besides being on the cover of Vogue and worn by famous personalities from all over the world ? :-) It would feel like such an enormous accomplishment if the owner of some big jewelry brand would come and see my work. Their compliments and their opinions would weigh double for me.
Esther: If money wasn’t an option and it was all very possible; what would your dream be for your work?
Claudia: If money wasn't an option I would love to create big sculptures. Going out of size. Feeling small next to them.
Esther: Where can we find your work? Do you do bespoke commissions?
Claudia: You can find my work on my website. If someone is interested they can contact me and we can work from there. No need to come to Milan. Everything can be arranged through email or phone. All my jewelry that I create for my clients are made by the very best Italian goldsmiths. In fact, I act as the designer. My clients become the of the goldsmith. I arrange my fee with the goldsmith. Every piece is a unique piece. That means that I won't create more than 5 of any series. For more questions about how I work and where to find me, please do contact me through my website and telephone! My way of working is unique :-)
Esther: I think your rings are simply awesome! Say, I love one of your rings that I find online, but I live in the U.S f.e. How does it work?
Claudia: I know that sizing the rings is always asking for an extra attention and time. Especially when the client isn't able to come down, it has to be calculated very precisely. We have all the tools to make it as precise as possible. In the end, it has to be perfect! Everything else is like aforementioned, all can be done through e-mail and phone too!
More about Claudia Hamers jewelry and rings can be found on her website. She loves you to contact her personally in order to create something really beautiful for you!