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Dia-Tribe

Inspiration, adventures and Johnny Depp

Read about our latest chat with Nick von K...


How would you describe your typical work day?


My days consist of a combination of so many things, I'm always up to something different but lets say they can be put into two categories; fun and boring.

Some of the fun ones include, designing one-off custom jewellery pieces for clients, buying precious and semi-precious stones in NZ or overseas, designing each new collection and overseeing production in Bali and Hong Kong, encouraging the young design students at Diocesan School, talking to customers who visit us at our studio in K Rd, and racing around Auckland on my motorbike visiting all the Walker and Hall stores!!

The boring ones would be; emailing, doing the accounting, paying bills, making sure everyone who owes us money has paid us on time, and sorting out tricky repairs.

Like most jobs there are the good parts and the boring parts, but I still always count my lucky stars that I managed to make it as a self-employed creative person.


What’s your favourite piece of jewellery you’ve designed?

I couldn't pick just one piece, my favourite part of the job is designing and I put my heart and soul into it so there are so many designs that I'm really happy with.

I like the ones that open and close like the Treasure Chest ring and the Poison is the Cure pendant, I like the epic pieces like the 'Kraken Attacking the Pirate Ship' pendant and the huge Double Snake pendant, and I like the hand carved nature of the Mother of Pearl Feather and Wing pendants.


Where do you get your inspiration? What’s your inspiration for your latest collection?

My inspiration comes from - who knows where? I think thats the beauty of inspiration, its a mystery.

Design ideas often come to me in a flash, without a thought trail leading up to them, they just appear.

I remember when I thought of the Ballerina pendant, holding onto the chain with her hands above her head - I had just woken up in the morning and the vision of her popped into my head. Maybe that's because my fiancé is a dancer with the NZ Dance Company and this idea had been brewing in my subconscious mind... or maybe she just leapt in there as a gift from the great creative storm that stretches across the stars.

I do feel very inspired by many things; books, movies, music, art and architecture, travel and good conversations - but my design ideas don't always seem to be directly connected to them. The inspiration I feel from these things is more of a happy feeling for the future, and then I draw upon this feeling when I design.

For my latest collection "Glitter Runs in Our Veins" it all started from me wanting to explore new territory; exploring using cut stones more and the process called micro pave where hundreds of tiny stones are set side by side like in the Sunspear earrings in the new collection.

Cut stones and micro pave setting is all about SPARKLE - and then I thought of a spaceman exploring the stars, looking for a new adventure.

When I looked back on this I realised I was the spaceman and the adventure was me exploring the new collection.

The 'Glitter Runs in Our Veins' tagline came from a friend of mine as I was telling them about my ideas for the upcoming collection, it worked in so perfectly as it describes not only the desire to seek out new stars and adventures but also that feeling of happiness you get when you are on the right path. Plus it also describes those of us who love sparkly things!


What jewellery do you wear?

I only wear my own jewellery, I have such a huge collection of it that I never have time to wear it all and I tend to keep going back to the same things all the time.
I often wear the Mother of Pearl Feather and Wing pendants and a variety of rings most of which are large experimental one-offs that I have made over the years.


How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as a rock n' roll pirate who has crashed through a department store on a motorbike and come out with some modern classics.


What do you covet?

Clothes mostly. I love good style, so when I see someone wearing something awesome - I want one.

But mostly those things turn out to be unjustifiably expensive hence why they are coveted.


What gemstone best describes your personality and why?

Smokey quartz because beneath the sparkle there are hidden depths.


Who would you love to design a piece of jewellery for?

Johnny Depp. I think we would get on well and I would design him something that Jack Sparrow would want to gamble his life on.



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