Jewelry designer Tomasz Donocik always knew he wanted to be an artist. And when he was introduced to jewelry design during his first year as a student at Central Saint Martins in London, he recalls he “immediately felt it was the perfect discipline to combine 2D and 3D design.”
The Polish-born designer, who grew up in Austria, went on to earn a Master of Arts at the Royal College of Art, where he created pieces for De Beers and LVMH. Afterward, he worked for a time for British jewelry designer Stephen Webster, where he says he developed “a strong commercial mindset.”
Donocik struck out on his own in 2008, launching his namesake brand in 2008 in London. The brand’s workshop is currently located in the city’s creative and eclectic Shoreditch district.
Since launching, Donocik’s become known for his color savvy and artistically askew forms. But the designer really hit his stride—and earned the attention of the international jewelry community, major retailers, and mega-influencers—when he launched his richly colored Electric Night and Stellar collections. Both series use diamonds and multicolored baguette-cut gems set in winding geometric designs. The jagged, linear designs have become signature for the designer.
This week Tomasz Donocik the brand made its official U.S. debut—inside Saks Fifth Avenue’s new 7,000-square-foot Jewelry on 2 department in New York City. Considering this splashy entrée, it seemed like an ideal time to ask Donocik our 5 Questions:
JCK: What inspires you as an artist and designer?
Donocik: I’ve always been interested in storytelling, and my inspiration comes from literature, cinema, painting, but also from the vibrant and constantly evolving surroundings of London. I also draw inspiration from my travels around the world such as Japan, America, France, North Africa. The Electric Night collection and the Stellar collection were based on the sci-fi cult movie Blade Runner, and the work of American artist Frank Stella, respectively.
Who is your core customer? What do you think she/he looks for in your collection?
My clients love the bold and confident look of my collections. They are not looking for something classic but are rather drawn to a strong design and richness of colors. The very contemporary geometric lines and the unusual combination of precious and colored gemstones I use in my jewelry collections make them instantly unique in the eyes of my customers. They look for something out of the ordinary in their everyday lives…. The people who wear my pieces love art and design and want to wear pieces that not only have an aesthetic value but also a story and emotion behind them.
Electric Night Cuff earrings in 18k rose gold with baguette-cut iolite, blue topaz, tanzanite, amethyst, and sapphires
Blade Runner ring in 18k rose gold set with baguette- and triangle-cut emeralds, iolite, tanzanite, blue topaz, amethyst, and sapphires
What are some of your favorite pieces you’ve ever made—and why?
The Blade Runner ring from the Electric Night collection is definitely one of my favorite pieces. The whole collection is dedicated to the contemporary baguette cut, blending Art Deco and futuristic aesthetics. What I love the most about the the Blade Runner ring is its baguette-cut channel-set gemstones, which create a highway for the colors to travel. The Blade Runner ring is available at Saks Fifth Avenue in multicolor and blue color palettes.
What jewelry designers do you admire—and why?
I am very fond of Hemmerle jewellery house, who uses untraditional materials such as aluminum and turns it to beautiful art pieces. I also admire the craftsmanship, sophistication, and never-ending fantasy of Joel A. Rosenthal, who works in Paris under the name JAR.
What’s the best movie you’ve seen recently (or what’s the best book you’ve read recently)?
Blade Runner 2049. The color blocks and hues of each scene [were] visually powerful. When I watch a movie, I love to be immersed in an artistic experience beyond the story. Plus the Blade Runner movie is very close to my heart, as I am a huge fan of the cult first Blade Runner movie from 1982, which has inspired me to create the Electric Night collection.
Top: Stellar Explosion ring in 18k rose gold set with pink opals, white agate, Mozambique ruby, hematite, and white diamond baguettes (all photos courtesy of Tomasz Donocik)