by Kelsey Keith
Arielle de Pinto is a Montreal-based jewelry designer who has reached cult status with her collection of intricately crocheted metal accessories. More akin to wearable art than haute jewelry, de Pinto's work combines the essence of handicrafts with contemporary materials and a loose, unstructured aesthetic.
With a background in printmaking, the designer had no formal training in jewelry design. She learned to crochet by following the instructions off a Susan Bates crochet hook package—luckily for the legions of young and avant-garde, de Pinto felt more attraction to metal (burnished gold, hammered silver) than yarn.
Up next is a collaboration with German contemporary label Anntian incorporating textiles and thread in addition to de Pinto's typical crocheted metal. We connected with Arielle to ask her a few questions about her process and inspirations.
What influences your look? Do you derive inspiration from other jewelry designers or do you try and insulate yourself so as to forge your own path?
One facet of my approach is the direct creation of masks and more sculptural pieces. The jewelry designs often tend to flow out of that [three-dimensional] process.
Have you always lived in Montreal?
I grew up in Toronto, attended university in Montreal, hold an apartment in Brooklyn and am generally on the road for more than half the year.
Any upcoming travel plans, for work or for play?
Maybe a little party at Creatures of Comfort in Los Angeles during May, and then the Arnhem Biennial in June for an exhibit curated by Suze May Sho called "La Maisons de Poupées," with works by Martin Margiela and Sandra Backlund. The road continually beckons and it's a challenge to stay at home.
Arielle de Pinto's 2009 collection is available in New York at Assembly and No. 6.