Q&A with Suzanne Syz, the Queen of Bejewelled Pop Art

Suzanne Syz unfaceted sapphire ring set in titanium

Last month I offered my readers to step into my shoes and come up with interview questions for Suzanne Syz – the Swiss jewellery designer who creates artistic and sometimes humorous one-of-a-kind jewels. As a thank you I was giving out a copy of the designer’s book to the person whose question Suzanne would like the most.

Many thanks to everyone who took their time to come up with questions and congratulations to Maria Diaz from London who is now the happy owner of the book!

What classical gemstones do you consider contemporary, fashionable and fun at the same time? And what role do diamonds play in your future artistic plans? – Marina Kon, Israel

Spinels are contemporary, fashionable and fun at the same time as they come in a big variety of colours and reflect light like diamonds. I rarely use the typical white diamonds as a center stone. I prefer coloured diamonds or diamonds with high fluorescence, I find them special and attractive.

How would you motivate yourself to carry on designing and creating jewellery when people around you believes it is not a serious profession? As far as I know you went through this stage yourself, how did you stay focused? – Elena Rakitina, Latin America

You are right, first people did not approve what I was doing, but it was 14 years ago. At the time the jewellery making was a part of man’s world, being a woman I had to do my best to prove myself. Always remember that when you have passion you must go ahead no matter what! Do not let anyone stop you from doing what you enjoy!

Suzanne Syz spinel and diamond earrings

Maria Diaz

Maria enjoying her book

Can you please tell us how do you start your day? And when do you feel it is the best time for you to create jewellery: in the early mornings or late at night? – Tatiana Sharonova, Russia 

I am not a typical early riser, so my day starts at around 8am, usually with yoga. As to the best time to work, I think it is in the afternoons or evenings (or on the airplanes when there is no mobile connection and I can have some peace and quiet).

If you could create a new jewellery material of your choice (maybe some new alloy or a gemstone) what would it be and what would you use it for? What would be that materials’ properties? – Veronika Gudkova, Russia

I do not think I need to create something new as I already have materials I enjoy working with. I would like to continue working with titanium or zirconium because I can colour and shape titanium the way I want. It is light and comfortable to wear despite being very hard to work with.

If you were a gemstone, which one would you be? Would you be flawless or would you have some inclusions instead? – Maria Diaz, London

I would be a Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline because of its colour and brightness! And of course  I would have inclusions but the most extraordinary and colourful ones! Flawless stones can be a bit boring and lifeless. Inclusion give stones their character and personality.

Suzanne Syz Chandellier earrings

Suzanne Syz earrings with sapphires and spinels

You have so many fun names of your jewellery, how do you come up with them? – Ekaterina Verendeyeva, Russia

My inspiration for names come from different things and different places when I am at home, on a plane, during a yoga class. Many times I got the inspiration from old movies, stories or even contemporary songs.

Some of your jewels are inspired by objects from everyday life (smarties, buttons, pills, life preserver), the others are built around precious stones. Do you focus on these two types of jewellery to reflect two different personalities: a playful and a more glamorous one? Or is this due to specific requests from your clients? – Gianluca Gabbani, Italy

My jewellery is made to reflect both. My personality is playful and carefree but I surely also love all of my glamorous moments. And so do my clients, they want to be glamorous and fun.

Are there any jewels that you created, but did not show to anyone? If there are, why did you keep them just to yourself? – Tatiana Pfaifer

I do not recall any jewellery that I have created but kept all to myself. I love to share my creations with everybody, this is why I even started using Instagram, which seems to be really popular nowadays. You can find me under «suzannesyzartjewels».

If you were living in a fantasy world, what would it be like? – Karina Rikun, Paris

I think my ideal world is a fantasy world indeed. It is a peaceful place with no wars and conflicts of religion, the countryside would be unspoiled and I would be surrounded by beloved people and my dogs!

Imagine you were going to a high class event where one had to wear a Haute Couture body jewel as a part of their outfit. Can you please describe us yours? – Pamela Hastry, Paris

Since I do not do body jewels, I would probably not wear one if I was to go to a ball like you have described… KP

Photographer: Saira MacLeod // Product shots are courtesy of Suzanne Syz // Video is by Philippe Fragnière

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