Projects at Poepke: POMS

October 11th, 2011

POMS 1

Created by Adriana Giuffrida, POMS are intricate, bold and entirely unique. They take their name from pompons, a breed of chrysanthemum that appears to possess perfectly spherical flowers that, on closer inspection, are composed of pointed petals, sharp and complex.

This tension between simplicity and intricacy, the whole and the part, is reflected in the surprisingly detailed nature of these pieces. Each is constructed by Giuffrida, composed of semi-precious stones, Greek and sterling silver beads, and bamboo, wool and silk threads, strung on double-looped jewellery elastic. No two are the same.

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Poms is a new venture for you, Adriana. Where did this come from? What are some of your inspirations?

Well earlier this year, I went on my honeymoon and the idea for POMS seemed to present itself to me. I had just left my job and was seeking to do something that could satisfy me creatively, and suddenly the idea for POMS appeared to me in a vintage store in Hong Kong, where I had an idea that I felt could really have fun with. I was very lucky because that trip also involved a stint in Bali, which resulted in me being able to get most of the silver beads that I have used in the first collection, so it seemed to be kismet.

I’m inspired by many things, especially the outdoors. I live in Clovelly at Gordon’s Bay, the landscape around this area is so beautiful. I’m privileged to be at arm’s length of it, so I find I can look outside my window and be inspired.

My dear friend Amelia Stein wrote a beautiful entry into my catalogue for POMS where she mentions roundness as an essence, and how it is delimited and infinite. I find this really inspiring, it means the potential for POMS is endless.

Could you tell us a little about some of the materials involved in these intricate pieces?

I use a variety of materials to create POMS. I hand make the pompoms from silk/wool thread, which is fantastic because it is luxurious. The pompom’s felt with wear, so they end up only looking better with age.

I then use sterling silver beads and semi precious stones to create each piece. Each piece is threaded onto elastic beading thread, which means that they can fit any size and can be piled on, which I really like.

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It’s quite incredible that each and every piece is unique – and that all are handmade. Is it difficult to keep generating new variations?

Oh thank you, the variations seem to kind of form themselves to be honest. Once I have the colour of the pompom, it kind of dictates the stones I can use, and I work from there.

I’m really fascinated by how different each ring turns out to be, and this then spurs more ideas. What I love most about making POMS is that, if I think of something I would like to try, the result can be quite immediate which really helps the creative process. It’s lovely to do something that you feel you can keep expanding.

While you have previously worked in design in your ‘day job’, how does it feel to be going out on a limb with your own pieces?

Well, I have come from a production background which can, at times, be quite frustrating, as you are always relying on the skill of someone else to execute your ideas. I wanted to design but was scared by running this process on my own, so I was always seeking something that I could do myself, that didn’t require the dependence on someone else. It is quite a strange feeling to put something out that you do have a close connection with, it is hard to part with these little rings once they are made and there is a sense of nervousness around that. A good friend once said to me, if you like it, then surely there is someone else out there that will like it too. I keep being spurred on by that thought.

You happen to be quite a creative lady. What else do you do with yourself when you’re not making Poms?

When I’m not making POMS, I’m usually at work at the new P.A.M Store (which has opened at the old Monster Children space), being surrounding by lovely objects and books, or on the couch watching documentaries or films with my hubby, or heading to the beach, or cooking, which I find super fun and relaxing, and then making POMS again!

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The POMS Project begins at Poepke on Saturday 15 October.

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