If the woman you love says yes to having R2D2, or an X-Wing, or a TIE Fighter as an engagement ring, then goddamit man, you marry the heck out of her! In this exclusive interview with geeky jewelry maker, Paul Michael Bierker, he talks about his design process as well as his favorite pieces from his collection. [you can read our original post about him here.]
How did you get started in making geeky jewelry and what was your first ever design?
I have always made interesting and quirky designs, I guess the match was lit when we did the Original R2D2 rings. From there things started to go viral and my youth and my geeky passions just took over. It is AMAZING there are so much fun content to translate into jewelry. I need a 40 hour day just to keep up with my ideas.
Can you take us through your creative process in transforming pop culture references into beautiful pieces of jewelry?
It all usually starts with a moment of inspiration. Anyone can just copy stuff but we try to take the essence of the imagery or idea and translate that into something that is well, different, and aesthetically pleasing. A lot of times the best ideas come from my clients or my amazing Facebook community. They are always giving me feedback and encouragement. As an artist I find that to be important. As a custom designer, the relationship and two way communication between client and artist is absolutely imperative.
Do you have any favorite movies or TV shows that you like to use as reference?
I really have a long connection with Star Wars. Even as a kid I was in AWE of space spaceships and the fight between good and evil. Some of my favorite comic books as well have developed my sense of what I think is cool. I loved Iron Man and Daredevil a lot, I guess I like the underdog and people who overcome the odds and adversity to rise above the pain and almost sure doom to help others.
What piece of jewelry in your entire collection are you most proud of and why? And what was the hardest to make?
I get asked this question a lot and the answer is the same. The engagement ring I made for my wife was one of the most trying and important items I have ever created. It was my first piece as a grown up I guess. I needed it to be perfect, so perfect I had to have a buddy help me finish it LOL. I was a mess. But she said yes and I am more in love with her today 16 years later than ever.
How does it feel that a lot of people want to wear an X-Wing or R2D2 over more traditional rings?
As an artist my medium and content is always changing. I am humbled that people make a fuss over my work. The nice thing is I can make whatever I want, though I have a strong following in this cool alternative jewelry category I still have traditional clients too. I am so blessed really, I am just in awe of where my work is taking me and my studio. We have HUGE plans for the future and look forward to continually translating cool culture into jewelry.