Ever felt like you see faces in cloud constellations or other random objects? This phenomenon of Pareidolia is exactly what Turkish jewellery designer Ayse Daga aims to reflect with her sustainable jewellery collection. The Central Saint Martins Alumna relies on found gems and objects to create a truly bespoke collection complete with unique engravings and naturalistic details. Ayse Daga’s collection has been featured in Overdue Magazine, Ciel Paper Magazine and most recently in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, discover just why this one of a kind jewellery is taking the fashion industry by storm!
What inspired you to incorporate psychology and inspirations from Sigmund Freud in your collection?
I paid a visit to Sigmund Freud’s house in London and was fascinated with the objects on his desk, and how they serve as a guide for each patient to construct a vision in their mind. Starting from the idea of subconsciously created visions, I discovered a phenomenon called Pareidolia, which is the human ability to see shapes, especially faces in random things. The idea of subconsciously creating familiar shapes and patterns and incorporating them in jewellery became my main theme. I’ve created each piece from materials I have collected throughout the years from various places and rebuilt them in a way that gives them a new life and - quite literally - a new face to be worn on the body.
"I’ve created each piece from materials I have collected throughout the years from various places and rebuilt them in a way that gives them a new life and - quite literally - a new face to be worn on the body"
Your collection, as mentioned, is made up of found objects, why did you decide to opt for natural imagery and earthy tones as the key colour palette of your collection?
Gemstones and minerals have played an important role in my jewellery since I have started carving gems and using them in my work. I always think about the symbolism, the history and usage of every material I use. I choose and use materials according to the feeling and the idea that I want to reflect. Using earthy tones wasn’t necessarily my main focus when making this collection, however, the natural imagery has always been a core theme from which I draw inspiration when designing and making jewellery.
With your Graduate collection, you celebrate and pay attention to sustainability, has this always been a main area of interest for you?
I wouldn’t say it is a particularly conscious decision, growing up we were always encouraged to only buy what we needed and up-cycle things rather than buy new ones. The concept of reusing items is deeply rooted in me and therefore, my design process. There are so many ways for a designer or a creator to be sustainable, and there is no right or wrong way. For me, it begins with the choice of my material – choosing yarns and fibres that are natural and renewable, so the production of my work can have as little an impact on the environment as possible.
"There are so many ways for a designer or a creator to be sustainable, and there is no right or wrong way"
What inspired you to give each piece of yours an identity in terms of a personified character and name?
This leads back to the phenomenon of Pareidolia, where ones see faces or familiar shapes in certain things. Every piece depicts an image of a face, they are named after mythological characters, with whom people familiarise in both a characteristically and a historical sense, but haven’t ever seen in person.
What have you learnt from previous collections and what will you incorporate into your future designs?
I have realised that my main interests lie with carving and engraving, so I have started developing collections that incorporate more carved gemstones. Simultaneously, I have been educating myself on the history of jewellery and the symbolism behind it. I have discovered I have a deeper affinity with pieces that have a significant story and meaning encapsulated within them.
"I have discovered I have a deeper affinity with pieces that have a significant story and meaning encapsulated within them"
Shop Ayse Daga's full collection
Words by Lupe Baeyens