Neža Žehelj

Many things influence how we feel – colours, weather, shapes, smells, materials ... and we think about all these factors when deciding what we like and don't like. Jewellery is no exception. It comes in different shapes, sizes and colours, it is made using different techniques and materials, and each piece has specific characteristics. Marble is a rather unexpected material for making jewellery. It represents something cool and sophisticated, but on the other hand durable, strong and classic. Marble represents the finest form of stone. Jože Plečnik (the world-famous Slovene architect) was also fascinated by it. Much of his oeuvre is in stone. His architecture is renowned for being timeless, innovative and at the same time supremely classical. Its distinctive forms continue to inspire artists of all kinds today. Jewellery designer Neža Žehelj also drew inspiration from Plečnik's architecture for her marble jewellery collection. She says: "I have also taken inspiration from the material that you feel through its shape or touch – I have always been captivated by the grandeur, smoothness and a kind of unearthly shine of worked marble. In churches and staircases, stone columns, statues or other marble details always call me to admire and touch. I am fascinated by how a mighty mass of raw marble can become something so refined, smooth and perceptive."

Neža Žehelj, jeweller and jewellery designer, combines design, goldsmithing, art and fashion in her work. Created under her own brand, her jewellery is an interpretation of stories, inspirations and anecdotes of life, conceptually woven and produced in the form of wearable objects, unique art pieces and jewellery collections. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and completed a three-year apprenticeship with master goldsmith Christoph Steidl Porenta in Ljubljana. She was accepted to the prestigious Royal College of Art in London and has exhibited in curated exhibitions in Austria, Italy, France, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia. She lives and works in Ljubljana.