Just like you, I love unusual jewelry. The “where did you get that?” type.
I was born and grew up in Russia and was lucky to move around quite a lot. I ended up visiting a lot of fascinating places around the world and over six years ago I ended up living in South Africa.
In each country I was able to find a way to express my creativity: I would take up knitting or the art of ikebana, but I never planned to make creativity into a profession.
My jewelry story began almost accidentally. Taking part in a charity art event I got acquainted with a young woman who, later on, brought me to a jewelry workshop.
It turned out to be an absolutely fascinating activity.
Firstly, I always liked being the “artist” creating my own image. And jewelry, in combination with various fashion styles, gives you, basically unlimited opportunities. Secondly, I found myself in an absolutely new creative dimension: completely mesmerized by the meditativeness of working with metal and by how traditional all of the procedures are (many have not changed through the ages, despite the vigorous development of technologies). You feel like an alchemist, turning the “lead” of nature’s forms into the “gold” of an unusual designer piece. But, actually, that is a figure of speech: I work with silver.
I started to see “jewelry potential” in almost all surrounding objects: seashells, found on the beach, driftwood burnt by the desert sun, the dry skin of an exotic fruit, textured Himalayan salt.
And so, gradually, my individual style came to be based on nature’s forms, textures, a love for harmonious geometry (probably my math degree speaking) and the abstract images of my favorite Russian avant-garde artists. In the history of jewelry art I found other sources of inspiration – American and Scandinavian modernists, such as Arthur Smith, Alexander Сalder, Betty Cooke, Vivianna Torun, Harry Bertoia.
With time, all this required some kind of structured form and we created a brand, naming in 22by7jewelry. It came from mathematics combined with the symbolism of my initials: PI (Petrakova Irina). These two letters make up the well-known number Pi that you get when dividing 22 by 7.
We gradually structured my work into two collections: the art based “With art at heart” and nature based “22bynature”.
I hope that you find something for yourself in my work, something unique and unconventional.
Irina Petrakova, creator and designer of 22by7jewelry