FREYWILLE perfectly exemplifies the union of art, history and fashion to create an elegant and stylish jewelry brand. According to the brand, FREYWILLE “puts the joy of art and the passion for creative power first.” We caught up with CEO Dr. Friedrich Wille to learn more about the brand, its inspiration, a look into the design process and more.
How did your journey in the jewelry industry begin?
My passion for art was definitely shaped by my father when I was still a child. As a young man, when I had just finished university, I came to assist Michaela Frey, who founded the company in 1951, as a financial and legal consultant. When Michaela Frey passed in 1981, I had to restructure the company and find a new artistic director. I engaged my later wife Simone, a young artist who had the vision and the skills to meet the requirements. Simone developed a brand new style of enamel ornamentation and high quality fire-enameling techniques – the FREYWILLE style as we know today. Together we internationalized FREYWILLE and today we operate more than 60 own boutiques in 25 countries covering four continents.
What was the initial inspiration for your brand?
The original FREYWILLE design look – a brand new style of enamel ornamentation and high quality fire-enameling techniques – was created in the 1980’s by a team of young designers, goldsmiths and experts of enameling. Parallel to the innovations in fire-enameling, the world of arts became a central source of inspiration, with our now famous artist interpretations now acting as our greatest success.
What else inspires you when designing?
We have studied for many years to reach the successful fusion between artistic verve and a perfectly crafted quality finish. But the defining difference that sets FREYWILLE apart from others is that aesthetics rest solely on the artistic design. It is our artistic craftsmanship and creative spirit that forms the heart and soul of FREYWILLE.
Through our association and linkage with recognizable names in the historical art world we have created a new category, linking fashion and art. We have created something new that highlights our admiration for artistic genius and places the emphasis on our own creative craftsmanship.
It is through our concise attention to detail that FREYWILLE has come to be known throughout the entire world.
Can you give us an idea of your design process?
Due to the fact that the core value of our beautiful products lies in their artistic nature, it is essential that FREYWILLE artists and designers take their time to develop successful commercial fire-enamel design with high artistic value. Enamel is a very noble yet fragile material to work with, so FREYWILLE’s specialists are constantly investing time and energy to perfect our creations. All items are treated with utmost respect – maintaining our high demands for quality requires paying close attention to every detail. FREYWILLE has developed a unique technique of fire enameling that sustains pure, vivid colours throughout the enameling process.
How long does it typically take to create a piece of jewelry?
About 80-100 steps are required to finish a FREYWILLE design. Many steps are done in high quality manual labour. From the first inspirations and ideas to design drafts – the final designs and the production can often last many years in which the famous FREYWILLE artists create promising pieces that stand the test of time.
The challenging part of the work is to translate the gouache-colour drafts, which have been designed by the artists, in enamel and to work out the colourful effect of the detailed motives in the design.
The colour application begins with the grounding of the 24 karat yellow gold or white gold powder. After the colours are applied in several layers, they are fused into the base layer of enamel during the firing process. At the end of these working processes each piece is polished and reworked with a brush. The edges are painted by hand and after that the enamel has to be fired once more. For the final touch, the finished piece of enamel is hand fitted into its final mounting.
How would you describe your brand using only three words?
Art, passion, craftsmanship.
Have you noticed a shift in consumer attitudes since the start of your brand?
What we have learned at FREYWILLE – especially when opening new boutiques in markets we have not been to before -, was, that everywhere around the world people are in love with art. The fascination for the beautiful things in life and artistic design is universal and not constricted by national borders.
Copyright © 1995 – REED EXHIBITIONS AMERICAS, a member of RELX Group Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of REED EXHIBITIONS AMERICAS.Read from the Source