MEET CHRISTINE TRAC, THE DESIGNER AND MAKER BEHIND ABACUS ROW.
Photos by Emily Malan
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE?
I love new crafts and working with materials that aren't a part of the actual production of my jewelry. The process of practicing a different skill and experimenting with new mediums is a constant source of inspiration. I get excited about the potential of integrating new crafts into my work, but specifically in a way that contributes to and evolves my work as opposed to just expanding it.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR APPROACH TO DESIGNING ABACUS ROW:
I am driven to create minimalist jewelry that is rooted in small and subtle details. For me it's about finding the right composition to balance lots of little details. I am focused on designing a line of jewelry for women who want to keep it simple but want to demonstrate an appreciation for detail.
WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCTION PROCESS LIKE? WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU'VE OVERCOME ALONG THE WAY?
My production process is iterative and experimental, it's the period and space within which I am constantly refining my craft and continually learning as a designer and a maker. I start with a rough design concept and I spend much of my time working through variations of that design with my materials. Production is a translation process of sorts, I've definitely had moments of frustration because I couldn't craft something quite like I envisioned. During these times, I can become wildly aware of my limitations. Sometimes it has to do with the resources I'm working with, sometime it's just me. Despite the momentary frustrations, these are each opportunities that have allowed me to learn more about my materials and process, and to identify how to work within those constraints or decide to break out of them.
THE MATERIALS YOU USE ARE SO DELICATE AND BEAUTIFUL. WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU APPRECIATE IN EACH ELEMENT OF YOUR JEWELRY? HOW DOES IT ALL COME TOGETHER FOR YOU?
I couldn't work at this scale if I didn't absolutely love the smallness of my materials. At this scale (mm), I can work with really rich colors and bold metals and still create simple and understated jewelry.
WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE FOR YOU LINE?
I have an intense love for fibers and textiles so I'm planning to incorporate those more into the Abacus Row line.
DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR OTHER EMERGING DESIGNERS?
The details are important but don't get fixated on them and don't let them become an obstacle. If there is an opportunity now to make something happen and you can but aren't ready because of some details, learn to get over it quickly. Know and note areas where things could probably be a little better and work on them. There will be more opportunities for the improved version, especially if you start putting your work out there.
READ CHRISTINE'S FULL STORY HERE