Friday, November 26, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Our very first feature by the Chinese press!
Within 3 years of the conception of her artisan jewellery label, Choo Yilin’s design-driven jewellery has won two international design awards as well as national grants to exhibit in London and New York, She was simultaneously selected to be part of an ethical panel during London Jewellery Week 2010 as well as the JA New York’s “New Designer Gallery”, the latter seeing only 10 designer participants worldwide. Her creation works has meaningful themes; for example, fusing high end jewellery with Thailand’s Karen’s traditional handiwork while collaborating to raise funds for the Karan people. In addition, she has become the first Asian designer to work with not-for-profit group Too Precious To Wear where both of them work to communicate environmental conservation messages such as protecting corals and marine creatures.
Q Why did you choose this line?
I was originally a political analyst; jewellery design became my hobby for me to unwind from work. However, I moved to bangkok with my husband and decided to convert jewellery design into a business.
Q As a young female Asian jewellery designer, what was the hardest part? How do you overcome it?
I was in a completely foreign country with no connections, and in an industry that was male-dominated. Thus, I had to work extra hard, and had to prove to my industry counterparts that I was serious and could be trusted.
Q Where do you derive your greatest sense of satisfaction?
The jewellery I design isn’t just jewellery, it’s jewellery that holds deep meaning. For example, one of my jewellery line hopes to communicate that it is possible to create beautiful jewellery without destroying the environment; the pieces look like coral, but they are actually made from recycled precious metal. (This is because wearing real coral is extremely destructive to the environment.)
Q To enter into an industry, what are the prerequisite conditions?
Constantly reflect, constantly improving, constantly listening, and continually growing.
Q What advice would you give people who want to develop in this area?
To have very clear goals, be humble and to learn, and to find a suitable partners to collaborate with.
Christmas comes early on 5 Dec 10 for us as we hold a massive sale. Old sample pieces and past sample collections start at 80 SGD.
In the spirit of Christmas and a continuation of our commitment to artisanal luxury (okay fine, we wanted an excuse to eat chocolate!), we're hosting the event at Truffs. The chocolate chefs will be on hand with lovely samples of their signature handmade chocolate truffles and chocolate cakes. In addition, at our request, they will share with us how to discern from the dizzying array of chocolate today, starting from the types of cocoa beans that determine the essence of the flavour to how the intensity of the chocolate contributes to taste.
It's our version of a Christmas treat! :)
Date: 5 Dec 10
179A Telok Ayer Street
Time: 1300 - 1700 hrs
RSVP: kevin (at!) chooyilin.com
by 4 Dec '10 as there may be space constraints.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
A couple of months ago, I recieved an e-mail from a complete stranger. Apparently, J's fiancee, E, had come across one of our rings through a random google search! I cannot remember what the search was for, but I believe it was something rather generic, like "artisan" and "ring". Was suitably chuffed with our company being so well placed in google searches but was even more taken aback (in a good way) where E and J decided to work with me after a single skype phone call (w/o video to boot because I wasn't appropriately dressed :P). They were Americans but based out of Shanghai and a quick facebook search showed that we had no friends in common. Still, they trusted me to work on a high-value item; I was touched.
I was still in the midst of the "leafy-vine" phase and we worked on something around that. E's father is a sculptor and she highlighted some of his pieces to use as an inspiration for the ring. His pieces were highly abstract and very organic so it was a natural fit in with the label's design philosophy of organic asymmetry; we incorporated elements of his sculptures in the bezel that was used to hold the blue-green sapphire in. They resembled vines that criss-crossed haphazardly around and on top of the bezel with three diamond-studded leaves that added further embellishment to the structure -- we loved it. My absolute favourite part of the ring had to be the shank though: diamond-studded leaves and vines (completed with the organic texture!) formed all around the the ring. The gemstone was yet another unheated blue-green sapphire from the Ilagagar mines. It actually came as an oval but we shaved off some bits to get it into a rounded cushion cut to best fit the design.
For the engraving, J surprised E with a symbol that was a private joke between them... the wonders of laser technology. ;)