Bianca-Maria Bolum

Jewelry collection is rooted in my Romanian cultural heritage and seeks to address the underrated difficulties of young adults in the postmodern world.

At the core of my work sits a traditional Romanian fairy tale, 'Povestea lui Harap Alb' ('The story of the White Moor') by Ion Creangă. The story follows the journey of becoming that the main hero, initially a young and naive prince, goes through in order to be deemed worthy of taking over his uncle's empire. He is faced with several challenges in his quest, including his own death, and manages to overcome all of them with the help of his supernatural sidekicks.

In perfect symmetry to the Romanian fantasy hero, the contemporary heroine is also faced with challenges as she enters the real world of adulthood. But unlike the story, she has no magic helpers and has to face life on her own.

Fine arts and craftsmanship are at the core of the "Postmodern rite of passage" collection. Every piece is handcrafted by myself, using traditional metalsmithing techniques in innovative ways, or entirely new techniques altogether. I combined wire wrapping, wax carving, etching, resin casting, stone setting, plating and polishing into a collection that's truly one of a kind. I also incorporated traditional Romanian motifs in the wire weaving, the carved patterns and the colour combinations. Each of the jewelry pieces represents one of the challenges in the fairy tale mirroring a challenge of the postmodern world.

The 'Cottage on fire ring' is inspired by the third fairy tale challenge: the hero must spend a night in a burning cottage. He succeeds with the help of his supernatural sidekick, a troll who is always cold, and can absorb all the heat of the fire. The contemporary heroine has to move house frequently and flat share with untidy strangers who leave dirty dishes around.

The 'Wine and bread brooch' is inspired by the fourth challenge, when the hero is forced to eat mountains of bread and drink rivers of wine. He succeeds with the help of his supernatural sidekicks, two elf-like creatures who are always hungry and thirsty.
Back to the postmodern world, the young heroine has to pass the challenge of resisting alcohol, drug and food addiction.

The 'Ant and watch bracelet' signifies the fifth challenge, Harap Alb has to pick the poppy seeds from the mountain of sand. And because he was previously kind to the Ant Queen, he gets to ask the ants to come and help with the task, until every single poppy seed is picked. Back into the 21st century, our heroine faces the challenge of time management and punctuality. But now, all that comes to help her is her watch.

The 'Bird behind the moon necklace' symbolises the sixth challenge of the fairy tale: catching the dove hidden behind the moon. Unable to reach for it on his own, he gets help from his elvish friend who happens to have extremely long arms and a special talent at catching birds. The postmodern heroine also has to catch a valuable thing: a job offers. In the contemporary story, she faces the challenge of financial independence and the start of a career. Unfortunately, there are no professional job-catchers that could do the task for her, so she has to stretch and reach out on her own.

Graduate BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery student from University of the Arts London. Skilled in traditional as well as digital jewellery design and manufacture, fine arts, digital marketing and customer service. I consider myself a reliable, hardworking and creative individual with great passion for the arts and design. Currently working as Junior Jeweller at Elliot Fitzpatrick Ltd within the Goldsmiths' Centre London, handling jewellery and silversmithing manufacture and refurbishments. I am also the Social Media Manager of the company, managing our official Instagram account. Moreover, I am working as an independent designer and maker, having recently opened an online store with my original jewellery as well as taking on personalised jewellery commissions.