Please introduce yourself 🙂
My name is Tamara Bavdek, I have a bachelors degree in Industrial Design. I’m passionate about dogs, surfing and all aspects of design and fashion from the artisan to the photography. I founded This Ilk in late 2008. I have travelled the world quite a bit as well…
What do you love about making jewellery and how did you discover your passion?
In fact as a child I wanted to be an inventor. I have an interest in art and sciences and always wanted to explore both which brought me to design school. I have always been a jewellery lover, I would always bring jewelry back from my travels as souvenirs and have always looked for the most original, interestingly handcrafted and well thought out pieces. I think the jewellery line however was more of a means to create something I could autonomously and relatively quickly complete with satisfying results. It came from the urge to create beauty and bring ideas in this case the application of lace as accessory into reality.
How did you venture into jewellery making?
It all started with a short boyish hair cut, a reaction to some needed change in my life at that moment, which required some large earrings to feminize my look. I looked curiously to Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol’s muse for inspiration. She wore a large pair of black earrings I fell in love with and wanted to replicate in size and shape. I found a bit of vintage lace that resembled the shape the most and sought out ways to stiffen and turn into earrings. The result was large lightweight earrings my friends encouraged me to market. The rest is history…
How would you describe your style?
I have a summer and winter look that overlap a bit. A mix of gypsy-esque with some modern more architectural shapes in winter. In Summer, I wear a lot of white and always pretend I’m by the beach. I seem to always have a touch of exotic vibes that come from the cloths I collect throughout my travels that mixes with the local designers pieces I purchase from friends or at local events…
What’s the inspiration for your designs?
There’s a touch of retro 60’s and 70’s mixed with modern design and architecture as well as world artisan inspirations. Somehow the jewelry seems to always have an Art-deco hint to it.
How do you make your jewellery and where do you source your materials?
I have many many sources of materials. It’s what helps keep it appart from the rest but it’s a lot of work keeping inventory and organized and in stock. I use a lot of vintage lace that was produced in the New York area not too far from me in Montreal as well as vintage metal parts from the Toronto area. The rest are bits from here and there some old shops in Montreal as well as suppliers in Europe and Asia. Every pieces has a different way of being made but in general, there is a delicate cutting process, hand dyeing, treating against fraying, stiffening and assembling in various ways.
What’s a typical day in your studio?
These days I tend to be doing more computer work as I have 2 lovely ladies helping with production and shop management. Lets just say everyday, there is a bit of emailing, organizing shop and customer orders, making jewellery, packaging and posting it.
How can people buy your jewels?
What’s your favourite quote?
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.
Thanks, Tamara 🙂