The Los Angeles-based Victor Velyan of Victor Velyan Design Co. gives his karat gold and oxidized silver designs an unforgettable patina and healthy applications of vibrantly colored gemstones. Velyan launched his firm in 1995 and unveiled his highly recognizable Patina Collection of uniquely treated surfaces in 2006.
“I work with patinas, giving color to metals,” the designer tells JCK. “These patinas are my canvas. They create a base from which I compose my pieces by adding color and texture through the use of different gemstones and accent metals. My aim as a designer is to simply create stunning and wearable pieces that perfect any ensemble, and to give jewelry collectors something they have never seen before.”
Jewelry designer Victor Velyan
JCK: Describe your signature style and design process.
Victor Velyan: My jewelry has old world flair, with very organic shapes and textures accentuated by the different patinas I have developed. I also work with a fusion of metals—either pure silver with 24k gold or platinum with 24k gold. My pieces always contain 24k gold accents; that is my signature. Plus, I place a sword appliqué in each jewel to symbolize the technique I use to work with the metal in each piece, which is that of the traditional katana sword smiths. I personally sketch my creations, and each jewelry piece is fabricated either by me or by employees under my supervision.
JCK: How did you get into jewelry design?
VV: I have always had an interest in metals and sculpting that prompted me to work as an apprentice with a group of master jewelers. From there, I developed a passion for the art of jewelry making, and in many aspects—such as creating the patinas I currently use—I am self-taught, meaning that I have developed techniques to enable me to create the jewelry I envision.
JCK: Where is your jewelry made?
VV: In the U.S.
JCK: What materials do you work in?
VV: I work in pure silver, 14k, 18k, 22k, and 24k gold, and platinum. I love colored stones, and work with garnets, opals, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds as accents. However, what moves me in the gems I choose for my collection is their color, therefore, I am always open to exploring new concepts using any type of gemstone I feel will add beauty to my composition.
JCK: How many U.S. accounts do you have?
VV: Twenty, including the Cayen Collection in Carmel, Calif., and one abroad.
JCK: What trade shows do you exhibit in?
VV: Couture in Las Vegas
JCK: Have you won any design awards in your career?
VV: Yes, I won a Fashion Forward Spectrum Award in 2010 for a bangle bracelet.
JCK: What is your starting retail price?
VV: In pure silver and 24k gold, prices start at $3,500, and $50,000 for pieces made of platinum and 24k gold.