The beautiful jewelry by Monique van Bruggen of Studio mhl is playful and graphic. Together with her boyfriend Erik, Monique plans to develop Studio mhl further this coming year.
How did you start making jewelry?
“My mother made jewelry and there were always beautiful materials lying around at home – that’s how I started out, when I was still a kid. When the time came for me to choose what to study, I didn’t want to go straight into jewelry. I went to the Design Academy in Eindhoven first. But after my internship with jewelry design duo Wouters & Hendrix, I decided to attend the Jewelry Design course at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy after all. After graduating, I worked at studio IJM and it opened a new world for me. I loved working with colors, building sets, and making props and illustrations. After a while I decided I would like to start making my own things and for a long time I worked closely with Bonne van der Ree (of the BonBon Boutique). She owns a shop in Amsterdam, selling her own jewelry as well as work by other designers including mine. I worked with Bonne until January of this year.”
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
“I live in Amsterdam with my boyfriend Erik Bakker, and 2015 promises to be an adventurous year for us! We are going to work on developing Studio mhl further together and we are expecting our first child in April!”
How do you go about designing your jewelry?
“Often I start with a kind of atmospheric impression in my mind and I try to translate that into a shape. I try, in particular, to hold on to a narrative aspect in my work. And I find it important to make it myself as much as possible, and not work with too many ready-made parts. The gilded and silver-plated mussels, for example, are made from molds we made from two mussels my mother found on the beach at Domburg. I also love to take photographs, and want to do more illustration in the future.”