Have you ever met someone who leaves a lasting impression on you, someone with the ability to think outside of the box, and the skills to bring those ideas to life. Someone like Eve Balashova, contemporary jeweller.
We first met Eve in 2021, when she created bespoke Mermaid Tassels for us. Eve 3D prints each scale with precision, interlinking each one to create a kinetic tassle which is a true work of art.
Eve creates truly remarkable jewellery, and is currently cooking her upcoming collection. We were thrilled to find out she just about had enough time to squeeze in another batch of made to order tassels!
Having moved to Scotland from Russia to enhance her skills, we caught up with Eve to get the rundown on everything from designing innovative jewellery to learning new cultures.
Hey Eve! So first things first, how did you get into designing?
I feel like I have been creative for the majority of my life, and it has certainly been a journey to arrive to where I am today. I always wanted to pursue a creative career ever since I started attending evening art school as a child back in Russia. It was a very traditional course, mainly based on teaching technical drawing skills. My original intention after I was to go to university to study architecture, but I shortly realised that I was missing a physical hands-on connection with what I was creating.
Jewellery design felt like a more fitting discipline as I not only had a chance to plan a piece from scratch, but also got to construct it with my own hands. Some of the work I make today is very architectural in nature, so in a sense my interests merged into one!
Your Jewellery is so unique, where do you take inspiration from?
I am very passionate about all things geometric, repetitive and grid-like! It is a running theme that can be tracked through my work ever since my degree show collection. My design choices are also very much driven by the material process that I work with. My main material is 3D printed nylon, which is very light and flexible. I use these qualities in my work to create volume and movement, which turns flat geometry into existing and visually intriguing pieces.
Can you explain a bit more about your design process and the 3D printing?
Before a design can get 3D printed it needs to be 3D modelled on a computer using specialist software. This is the most technical and crucial part of the process, as the way a 3D model a design will determine it's physical characteristics, such as movement and flexibility. Even a couple of millimetres can make a huge difference, so I spend a lot of time perfecting the models to make sure they perform the way I intend them to.
The process of 3D printing starts from a bed of extremely fine nylon powder. A laser runs through it layer by layer, each one a micron thick, slowly fusing them together, gradually building up the object. Some 3D prints carry a memory of this process on them - it can be seen in slightly rippled texture that looks almost like wood grain - this is a sign of layers of nylon fused together.
Is there a particular design that you love the most?
It is hard to choose a favourite, but one of the design that resonates the deepest with me is my Brushstroke earrings. I feel like with this design I managed to create a completely new perspective on a classic hoop earrings. They are incredibly dynamic, each strand moves individually and their size allows for unlimited variety of colour and it's a great way to experiment with combinations and really expand my colour horizons.
What would you say has been your proudest career moment?
I would say every 'first' has been a major highlight for me - first independent fair, first sale, first stockist. It's always so exhilarating and I would like to believe there are many more moments like this to come!
Is there anyone that inspires you, either in your work or personal life?
I have always admired Zaha Hadid, her incredible vision and futuristic, innovative approach to architecture. Another notable figure and a source of inspiration, is a Dutch fashion designer, Iris Van Herpen. I think her work is a great example of a symbiotic relationship between technology and traditional skills, something that I try to balance and harmonise in my own work.
You come from Russia, what was it like moving to Scotland?
It was a bit of a cultural shock! Prior to moving I've never been to Scotland so everything from horizontal rain to accents was totally new to me. The move couldn't have gone smoother though - I was and still am, totally blown away by how friendly and welcoming Scottish people are. There is always someone super keen to help you when you're looking lost.
Do you have any top tips for young creatives looking to get into the designing world?
Try to get as many design and manufacturing skills as early as you can. The design world is incredibly diverse and you might be surprised with what skills might become handy in the future. For example, I learned 3D modelling as part of my jewellery degree, but I ended up utilising this skill to much greater potential, creating not only jewellery but also a design for a lampshade and our lovely bag tassels.
When you aren't thinking about designing what do you do in your downtime? What's your favourite thing to get up to?
I love social Latin dancing: bachata and salsa! The music is incredible and there is always a lovely community spirit at dance events. Sometimes I go for an occasional game of tennis, a sport I've been playing since I was about 7. Travelling is something I love as well, I've recently explored the North of Scotland: the Isle of Skye and North Coast 500 route, all the way up to John O'Groats: miles and miles of incredibly scenery and history.
As you know, we are all about handbags. Is there a particular style of handbag you love the most?
I'm a very practical person and love a good balance between aesthetics and functionality! Things like size and convenience are important to me, so my bag choice is usually a tote or a cross body bag! I love Sarah's Dahlia for its diversity of use and the incredible colour selection.
Shop our made to order mermaid tassels here.