Inspired by viruses, jewelry designers grow crystals on rope

by Adam Štěch


Exploring the formation of the jewel as a natural process and celebrating it as a performance, the latest collection of distinct jewelry from the conceptual Prague-based designers Daniel Pošta and Zdeněk Vacek of Zorya fuses dynamic drama with simple beauty.

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The Virus collection, the most experimental project to date from this creative pair, launched last October at Designblok 2011 Prague design week. Their previous jewelry includes strangely organic creations of raw beauty in which biomorphological inspiration meets precise technical execution with materials such as gold, silver and stainless steel, as well as textiles, pearls and plastics—as exemplified in the pendants and earrings resembling flowers and beetles in the Bye Bye Birdie collection.

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Discovering new possibilities of the performative qualities of contemporary design, the Virus collection marks a new chapter in the work of Pošta and Vacek. Inspired by the natural processes and substance of every virus and their ability to take hold of their victims and spread, they have created process-based jewelry using simple chemical reactions. Their instrument was the crystallization of alum, which was grown on raw ropes to create natural crystal structures. The upshot is an unorthodox connection of materials with natural and creative art processes.


The elegant collection, which was awarded the main prize at the annual Czech Grand Design Awards, is characterized by a beauty that seems both brutal and fragile.


Zorya’s collections range between $400-$1,000USD and are available at selected retailers in the Czech Republic, as well as at Charon Kransen Arts in NYC.