Dri and I are from the same city in Brazil, Curitiba, but we only met while she was living in Copenhagen, Denmark. We have common friends, but it was our similar way of living and working that made us so close. Dri was born to live and fly. She has ambition, eagerness and the heart of an explorer. Her design is the consequence of a large research, competence and her bouncing between different countries, and yet keeping artisan-made jewellery approach in modern eras, where fast and large productions are part of the fashion world. Jewellery has, as mentioned in the interview, its challenges, but Dri, in an attempt to respond to my questions, went through her own beliefs, processes and mind to exploit her brand and further projects. Keeping in mind slow production and that a piece may be timeless.
“For me, sustainability is our duty with the world.”
What is sustainability for you?
For me, sustainability is our duty with the world. It’s the way we behave thinking about the nature and future generations, we give back what we receive from the Universe. It’s about being ecological and respectful. It should be taught at home, because it starts with education in our families, going through schools and everyday life in companies and work environments.
Can you introduce us your brand Dri Chede?
It all started with a passion, more than 10 years ago. I started to create and sell my creations as a hobby. I used to create bijoux and then silver/gold jewels after studying and doing some abroad experiences in silversmithing. It has to do with being able to create, freely, whatever stimuli that are captured by my inspiration. It is about creating pieces that will afterwards be a part of women’s life and dress them for whatever occasions they encounter. It’s about designing, empowering and being close to art.
You have lived in different countries, and have travelled the world. How those experiences reflect on your design? Have you worked with local artisans to understand their techniques or processes?
I have had the opportunity to work with other handmade goldsmiths in Denmark, Italy and Brazil and each one of them had different techniques and ways of production that then helped me to develop my own way of working. Travelling the world gave me a very humanist vision of life, helping me to understand better their cultures and needs. But the most precious inspiration comes from the forms, landscapes, colours and how the whole set represents each country I visited. If I could, I would do a collection of every place I’ve been (lol). I always try to include something from those travels, like pictures that will then compose the storytelling of the brand, local artisans jewellery made of different materials, stones that I collect on the way (like the Quartz collected in Norway that were used in a limited edition Quartz Rings from Nordica collection).
Your jewellery is handmade – can you tell us about your creation and production process? How, in your opinion, small-scale artisan can apply sustainability in their products/services?
I think sustainable attitude comes from small actions that over the time really make the difference. My way of production goes from drawing in paper to testing directly with the metal, so I only apply small changes to my prototypes, jumping the middle processes like wax modelling, 3D printing, other metals prototyping and in that way avoiding waste of materials. We only print the necessary, having almost all of our marketing in the digital life. Appart from that, avoiding electricity waste in the laboratory, good habits as riding a bike to work and being conscious when buying materials so we don’t accumulate stock are also part of the daily life of my colleagues and I.
You work with a range of materials, such as metals, stones, etc. How is your research process in regards to the raw material?
As part of being a handmade brand, I’m very attentive to reduce the chances of stocking materials and pieces that may be obsolete with time. Unfortunately prices are a difficulty when it comes to buying and choosing the right supplier. So we can’t always take the most sustainable path. We have already worked with some interesting projects like: buying waste of factories, buying recycled gold from Venezuela and supporting small artisans when buying their material. But perhaps it will be more and more feasible from now on.
Do you have any material waste? Or how do you avoid to have material waste?
Even though I pay a lot of attention to that, we do produce waste. Used files, broken tools, and discard materials that are no longer good after too much use. But metals (silver and gold for example) are almost 100% recyclable and that’s a good thing!
Are you able to recycle jewellery? – do you have an example to share with us?
Yes, we are able to recycle jewels by melting and then restarting the process. Also in all my collections I design jewels that can be worn with pieces from older collections and by this way recycle the use/make new combinations. We also encourage clients to never throw anything away, so using the same metal to design something new (like our Special Projects). Also designing pieces that carry a more atemporal design, not focusing on what’s trendy at the moment and maybe is no longer suitable in the following season. Besides that, I create pieces that can be used in different ways, allowing each consumer to create it’s on way of wearing it and being creative. For example the ear-cuff Fio and necklace Fio from the following images:
Photo: Renata Chede
You can check more of her work at www.drichede.com.br.
Interview by Camila Buschle
Adriana Chede, 1989
Jewellery Designer &
Founder of Dri Chede
Currently living in Milan
photos by Mana Gollo
and Renata Chede