Stephanie Simek designs a line of accessories that reflects her interest in organic components. She also makes experimental works using sound, electronics, and natural materials and lives in Portland, OR. We recently spoke with Stephanie.
Photography by George Barberis
Please describe your studio/line.
I like to think of my studio as a place for experimenting and researching materials, where some of the successful discoveries are translated into jewelry, fragrances, and other objects.
Your wearables are so varied in type and form, what inspires you?
In general, I get excited by materials, how they can be shaped and worked in ways you might not expect. Initially, I started making unusual combinations with natural materials like hair, sea-life, and botanicals. More recently, I’ve focused on minerals and made an entire jewelry collection featuring gemstones that have remarkable naturally occurring properties. Some stones completely change color under different light. Others have exceptional shapes, colors, or beautiful inclusions where a mineral has formed inside of a different, larger one.
What’s your next project/idea/installation?
Lately I’ve been spending my time mostly continuing to research minerals and experimenting with some of their different properties (electrical, magnetic, and optical). I’ve started growing crystals and recently made an invisibility cloak with calcite that I hope to incorporate into something larger. I’ve slowly been acquiring different specimens, and just began playing around with light sensitive minerals and photographic processes. I've also set up a greenhouse in my studio where I have been growing different kinds of plants, learning about propagation, grafting, and extracting fragrances.