School of Art,
Something mundane can be exciting
'My name is Eve Balashova. I am 24 years old and I am originally from a small industrial town in the North West of Russia called Murmansk. I moved to Glasgow at 17 and graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2016.
My work is a fusion of machine made and handmade - I make jewelry that combines 3d printed nylon with metals. I want every piece I make to represent a careful balance between digital manufacturing and traditional craftsmanship in a way where they don't overpower, but mutually highlight each other.
Things that surround us on a daily basis are pretty repetitive. This repetition fuels my ideas and reminds me that something mundane can become something exciting. A pile of printer paper, stacked up chairs or neatly folded cables - all give me ideas for new textures and shapes.
I usually look for ways repetition that can be used to give basic geometric shapes a new life. I experiment with this in Rhino and build several compositions using the same starting element. A lot of the time my 3d models look almost dissected, to give light an opportunity to seep through.
I rarely have a completely finalized design on paper. After model is 3d printed in nylon, it sometimes shows unexpected tactile or kinetic qualities that further dictate the development of a design.
So the silver elements I build around 3d prints by hand. It helps me better understand the relationship between two materials. Silver is usually sanded and polished up to a smooth shine to reflect the colour and grainy surface of nylon. I tend to stay away from texture on metal - plain silver acts as a quiet background to vibrance of the 3d print.
Almost all pieces are laser hallmarked to show purity of metal, year the piece was made in, maker’s mark and mark of the Assay office. Hallmarking is a legal requirement, but I also see it as an important aesthetic and conceptual element of my designs.
Finished design usually contains an element of surprise - texture, movement or an optical illusion, things that only become apparent when you interact with a piece. One of my favourite parts of introducing a design to a viewer for the first time is letting them pick it up and enjoy the unexpected.
I learned to accept that making mistakes and failing is an essential part of design process. In fact, it is probably the most important part - feedback received from a mistake is what pushes your design to be better and stronger.
When I was younger I used to play tennis and noticed that I always played a lot better agains a stronger opponent. Design in a way can be similar to that - you get better and learn faster when you set yourself a goal that’s outside of your comfort zone. Working under pressure can sure be unpleasant, but it’s the challenge that forces you to look for the right solution twice as hard.