Q & A with Paris-based Danish jewelry designer Tobias Wistisen
Educated from the famous ESMOD art school in Paris, Tobias Wistisen took his first steps in the industry while operating in the studio of legendary designer John Galiano. Combining the aesthetics of haute couture and anarchy while still upholding the rigorous functionalism and craftsmanship of Scandinavian design, Tobias has developed a unique style. ‘Organized chaos’ he labels it. We got in touch with him to get his insight on his hands-on approach to design, inspirations sources, and Paris.
Why accessory design?
“I love the fact that it’s so limitless. The opportunities are colossal. It’s easier to experiment forms and shapes and to push the limits compared to clothing. To create a pair of pants you need two legs and you need to be able to sit down, right? That’s not quite the same wit jewelry the boundaries are wider. I’m unorthodox in my approach to materials and forms and I also enjoy the speed of manufacturing. You can do things much faster. You can sit and draw things, shape it in wax and then have the piece of metal in the next moment. I’m manual; I use a hands-on method in my work. It was one of the things that made me want to start my own.”
How do you stand out as a designer?
“My autodidact hand-made organized chaos style. I’m raw and dark but yet sophisticated. I use aged leather, silver, wood, each material is selected for a specific purpose: to develop a unique personality over time. I have a problem with classic fine jewels. It lacks a pulse.”
Describe organized chaos?
“It’s crude and refined at the same time.”
What inspires you?
“Seeing anything other than accessories and jewelry. It’s more interesting to look at textures. I love to observe nature and landscapes when I travel. I live in a big city, so when I’m on vacation, I try to get out into nature. For example, I found the Death Valley incredibly interesting because of its great textures. I work with a lot of textures so for me that’s fascinating. I also find it very inspiring to come home. Denmark is something different. I’ve always loved its barren and dark winter. I think it’s extremely impressive when everything is gray, all the leaves have fallen from the trees and it’s all gloomy.”
“First of all Paris is a really cool place to stay. If I ever forget how beautiful the city is, I’ll just go for an evening walk and cross the Seine. I mean the city is beautiful. And secondly, the city has a long and proud tradition for fashion and jewelry. It’s convenient for me because I can get things done quickly here, which fit my eager personality. And I love to go to all the museums and exhibitions here in general. There is a huge amount of that here, so I can get my creative batteries filled up anytime I want. It’s stimulating to perceive things in real life.”
What’s your favorite spot in Paris?
“Père Lachaise Cemetery, no doubt about that. The reason? Because it’s so large, hilly and there are many trees there, it’s like a shelter you feel almost cut off from the big city life. There is no traffic noise; it’s kind of a respite for me. And I like the contracts. In the same way, the cemetery is weird and messy it’s also very refined and polished. It’s like organized chaos in there.”