Arturo Borrego

Designer Jewellers Group member An Alleweireldt interviews guest new designer Arturo Borrego 

Arturo’s work immediately caught my attention at the New Designers exhibition because it was so well made and very intricate, but also has a very nice balance of colours and materials.

I’ve asked him a few questions about his background and inspiration.

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Where are you originally form and what did you study?

I was born In northern Mexico.

After graduating with a BA in Industrial Design at the University of Monterrey, I specialized in rapid prototyping and model making of consumer products. A profession I have practised for 20 years in four different countries.

For the last 12 years I have being working for a worldwide renowned Industrial Design consultancy and have also been a guest lecturer at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology.

I am currently an artist-in-residence at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin

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What are the different techniques involved in your work?

Throughout my professional career, I have constantly been challenged to create appealing objects out of raw material, whilst employing a wide and diverse set of tools, machinery and techniques; my skill set includes CNC machining, rapid prototyping and 3D modelling.

My eager and creative nature in conjunction with an awareness of the potential my skill and training has to offer, has led me to embarking on jewellery design and manufacture.

Because of my background, my approach to jewellery making has been unconventional. It marries traditional practice with my own acquired skills in Industrial design and product development in an effort to widen the possibilities for contemporary jewellery design conception and manufacture, in pursuit of a distinctive re-thinking of jewellery design which will kindle the imagination.

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What is your inspiration for your brooches?

My father was a cavalry officer in the Mexican army. Through the lifestyle typical to a family where one member is a ranking officer in the military establishment, I was made aware from an early age of social insignia that denotes rank, affiliation and status within a society. However, as I grew I learned that medals and representation of rank and award is common across society not just in the military. Examples such as sporting medals, boy scouts and community commendation awards which note the bravery of individual community members in the service of their neighbours highlight that ranking is an important part of human experience and recognition. This practice is especially interesting when we acknowledge that it is present in all societies and cultures worldwide throughout human history.

Within the military, recognition of medals is so ingrained that a soldier or officer will unconsciously acknowledge the insignia, and therefore ranking, of a colleague they have never met, which will then indicate to them how they should behave and communicate with one another. As well as influencing behaviour and communication, insignia have the power to generate feelings such as pride and/or envy which can encourages people to both admire and compete with others – to strive to be a better person, a better athlete, a better soldier.

This social phenomenon inspires my current collection of brooches, where society’s hunger for recognition and distinction of individuals is represented in ornamental pieces of fashionable artistic accessories.

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What future opportunities are coming up?

– Designer Crafts at the Mall exhibition 2013, society of designer craftsmen.

– Jacqueline’s Choice, exhibition and sale 2013. 16th and 17th of March 2013.

– Artist-in-residency at the National College of Art and Design, Ireland.

I am currently in the process of setting up a practice and reputation as a designer and manufacturer of studio Art, Fashion and bespoke Jewellery in Dublin, Ireland.

Have you won any prizes yet?

– First prize in the category of jewellery in the Royal Dublin Society National Craft competition 2012.

– Materials Grant, awarded by ‘’Future Makers 2012’’ organized by the craft council of Ireland.

A selection of Arturo’s jewellery will be on display in the Barbican in London until 1st January 2012.

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