We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Tyran Kouka, the founder and silversmith behind Lilt Jewellery. Here’s what he shared with us.
What inspired you to become an artist/maker? How did you learn your craft, and what drew you to it?
You could say that I’ve gone into the family business. My mum is a silversmith in New Zealand and has been my teacher and mentor throughout this process. I have always been a creative person but have only recently backed myself to follow the Silversmith career path full time. I love the feeling of making something that’s in my head come to life and the thrill of others liking what I have created. Going into a state of flow and getting totally lost in the work let’s me know I’m in the right place.
Can you please describe your typical process for creating a piece?
I find inspiration everywhere so I always need to have a note pad and pencil nearby. Usually I’ll have an idea at night and need to draw it so I don’t forget and then I’ll head into the studio to make it the next day. I start with the structure of the piece and then let the shape tell me what texture it needs to have. Recently I have been working with fused rubber to add some contrast and texture to the pieces and I’m really loving that.
What themes or messages do you try to convey through your art?
Not so much themes or messages, but I’m drawn to fine lines and geometric shapes. (And always black and white/silver!). I try to make each piece a statement of wearable art and something to show off the wearer’s personality.
What sets your work apart from other makers in your field?
I think because I make art pieces that happen to be jewellery, they are uniquely different from other makers. Although my designs are similar in nature, each on has a unique style and I like that there are only ever a few of each one in the world.
What has been your proudest achievement as a maker so far?
Being able to pursue a full time career in Silversmithing is definitely my proudest achievement, but every time someone purchases a piece I still do a little dance. I’ve also been invited to do my first exhibition show with artists of other mediums which is super exciting!
Who or what are some of your biggest artistic/maker influences? Why?
Definitely my mum. She is the coolest person I know and her designs are stunning. If I can be half as successful in this career, I will be very happy.