Peter Schmid took over Atelier Zobel, a renowned German design house, and has made the collection all his own. Squash Blossom got this exclusive interview with him.
Shop his most recent collection here.
SB: Describe the first piece of jewelry you made that you were proud of?
PS: My work is engaged with contrast. I really enjoyed this piece because it juxtaposes an ancient Egyptian glass bracelet with a piece of contemporary glass created by Andreas Hochstrasser – I played up the differences between the histories by creating a pattern of 24k gold inlays against looser sketch also in 24k gold. When I rolled the pattern into the piece, the edges of brooch shifted to create a raw uneven edge. I really enjoyed the unintended consequences of the process. For me, there was a lot going on… the discovery of this ancient piece of glass and the conversation between the ancient and the new… and also how my design created a canvas for this conversation in both intended and unintended ways…
SB: Who is a fellow designer that you admire? Why?
PS: Elena Votsi. I like the clearness of her vision. Whether she working large bold forms, or delicate ones, there is a purity to her approach – I appreciate that. And she’s wonderful!
SB: Name five things you could not live without.
- The Munsteiners… their talent, their stones, their friendship…
- Music… Live… but when I’m on my own… I’m playing: Mando Diao, Zero 7 (the simple things), Selah Sue, Sam Smith… Prince…
- Whisky… it’s about conversation… in my glass is a blended Malt Whisky from Japan – Taketsuru 17 years old.
- Fab Men’s Shoes… there just aren’t enough… on my feet are United Nude, Niel Barrett and John Fluevog
- We love to cook and we love people! My wife Sue and I cook all the time, whether we’re sitting with our team on a Wednesday afternoon or drinking a cocktail in our kitchen with friends… great food brings people together – I believe the same applies to jewelry. Both the act of creating the piece as well as the act of gifting the piece creates special memories.
SB: Is there a piece that you sold that you wish you had kept for yourself?
PS: We held an exhibition called ‘Mach Neu aus Alt’, loosely translated, ‘Make New from Old’ – (luxury Upcycling) – the idea was that clients should bring ‘dormant’ jewelry to the gallery be ‘awakened’ with a contemporary design. I had a collection of antique brooches that I used to create the piece for the invitation. We created a modern theater for the early 19th century crane … well… you can see the result here… the original brooch can be unscrewed and worn separately in its original form. I would have kept this piece but a someone I admire purchased it for her personal collection – which of course made me even more happy.
SB: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?
PS: I aim to create enticing work, because jewelry should always stir our emotions. This distinguishes jewelry from other products, manufactured based on price-points. My work cannot be measured by sales figures, but rather the beauty of a piece is measured by emotional intensity and pleasure. These small works of art, made with the blood of our hearts, often become our clients most beloved objects. When this happens, we know that we have done our work well, both individually, and together as a team.
SB: What’s your motto?
PS: I like the word extraordinary. It’s not one of those arty words like banal, or existential that you use to sound smart. It’s quietly states that something, beyond what’s usual expected happened here… We (my team and I) often say that we create extraordinary jewelry for extraordinary people.