Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

It was all concrete all the time back in a 2018 jewelry design atelier at TUMO Studios. Working with Paolo Picone and Rossella Flammia, founders of the experimental, Berlin-based Studio Mondocubo, students explored just how far they could stretch the definition of what jewelry could be.

When thinking about jewelry, concrete generally doesn’t come to mind. But the medium turned out to be the perfect foundation for students to explore their creativity and let their imaginations run wild. Thanks to its neutral color and minimalist appeal, it’s a material that can look modern and elegant despite its roughness.

Over the course of two weeks, the students, working closely alongside Rossella and Paolo, brainstormed and sketched out their ideas before hitting the jewelry room and bringing their visions to life. Drawing inspiration from architecture (the brutalist buildings scattered throughout Yerevan), mathematics (perfectly formed and centered ratios) and astronomy, the group added a wide range of uniquely designed pieces to the TUMO Studios collection.

“I think the key thing that stuck out in this atelier was how Paolo and Rossella introduced these materials. At first we were kind of skeptical with the concept of using cement as a foundation, but after they showed us their own pieces we were all really inspired to step outside of our comfort zones and challenge ourselves with a new aesthetic,” described Lilit Ghazaryan, who participated in the atelier.

“Working with this material actually proved to be more relatable in a weird way,” added Anna Babujyan. “For instance, there are so many old buildings around this city that are perfect sources of inspiration for design. Concrete really helps you translate and capture your vision. It’s definitely not as feminine as other materials, but it’s very striking and elegant as a finished product in its own way.”

As the age old adage goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Likewise, don’t judge a bracelet by its material.