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Designer Spotlight: Michelline Syjuco

Designer Spotlight: Michelline Syjuco

Jewelry designer Michelline Syjuco has a soft spot for rejects. Hand her a lovely string of pearls, and she'll take the odd-shaped ones to keep. Give her a bag of precious stones and she'll reach for the imperfect nuggets without a second thought.

“As the daughter of two of the country's top experimental artists, I grew up learning how to use discarded materials and incorporating them into my work. I like to take what other people would consider to be waste, and turn them into works of art. I like blurring the line between what is precious, and what is seemingly worthless. It's amazing what beautiful things you can create when you don't limit yourself to the norm”, says the young artist. Undoubtedly, this approach makes for some interesting jewelry just oozing with character.


FANTASY AND REALITY

Michelline's embellished metal jewelry- which she describes as wearable sculptures- are gritty and provocative. Each piece lends a mysterious air of danger to the wearer; only rightly so, as each is inspired by fantastical realms existing in Michelline's boundless imagination. “It's a fantasy world that I created in my mind. There are warriors, and knights, so as you can see a lot of the pieces here look like they could be relics from another world”, she says of her Armadillon collection. “A lot of my influences as an artist came from movies. I'm into a lot of costume fantasy movies like Conan, Mad Max, The Matrix and Dark City. I'm into this whole apocalyptic approach. Beast Master was definitely a major influence growing up because that was the only Betamax tape that we had. I used to watch it over and over and over again!” she shares.


FROM MUSIC TO METAL

Michelline tells of her unexpected journey into the jewelry industry: “I was the lead singer of a band- Faust- back in the '90s. I started making my own accessories and stuff to wear on stage. I quit for a while during college, but after college I got back into it and I was doing sculptures. It just came to me one day. I made a miniature sculpture made out of tin cans and I thought to myself 'what if I could fix this up so that I could wear it?'. So I did that; I put it on a bracelet and it became my first piece. National Artist Napoleon Abueva saw it and he encouraged me to come out with a whole line.”


UP NEXT

Michelline's premier collection, Armadillon, debuted in October of last year. Since then she has established a solid name in the art and jewelry circles. She was shortlisted for the recently concluded Ateneo Art Awards and will be launching her line at Firma this October. She is also currently injecting a little bridal flair into her designs as she conceptualizes a jewelry line for Paradi. Michelline was also chosen to represent NCR in the upcoming Daloy ng Dunong show at The National Museum.

Click on to see what unusual materials and processes this artist uses to make her wearable sculptures.

Click here for Michelline Syjuco's contact information.

Click to view Michelline Syjuco's designer portfolios:
Portfolio one: The Armadillon Collection
Portfolio two: The Armadillon Collection exhibit at the Ateneo Art Awards.


-Renee Puno, Editorial Assistant

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