Gold of the highest grade can afford provocation, whilst the finest diamonds — giddiness

The founder of the M-A-R-K-I-N jewellery lab is Vladimir Markin, a Moscow-based artist with a distinctly personal style. In case you are wondering, a jewellery lab is an ongoing experiment in creating jewellery pieces, open to anyone willing to share their ideas. The lab’s first year has yielded two collections, “Lingerie” and “Stationery”. Both proved an instant sell-out in boutiques in Moscow and London. Today jewellery by M-A-R-K-I-N can also be found in Asia, in Singapore and Hong Kong, but your order can be shipped to just about any place on earth. June 2012 saw the unveiling of a third line, “Bridges”, which tackles the designer’s favorite concepts - those of industrial design, jewellery mechanics and materials. The collection was inspired by the bridges of the world. The “Cathedrals” line of pendants continues this journey into architecture, exploring the architectural drawings of medieval castles. The “Mechanisms” collection arrived in early 2013, and contained pieces meant to change with their owners. Each M-A-R-K-I-N creation is a transformer, shape-shifting in accordance with laws of physics. In September of 2013 the company unveiled a new “Wood” collection made with ebony at the jewellery show in Hong Kong. The primary material used in this line is gold, accented by ebony, diamonds and colorful precious jewels. The architecture of each ring is determined by the size and shape of the precious stone hand-picked by Vladimir Markin himself, and all wood inclusions are set by hand.

Every one of Vladimir’s pieces showcases the designer’s creative mind, his youthfulness, a kind heart and ironic mindset. He casts a curious eye on the construction of the world around him. He opens every mechanism to study its inner workings, to understand, for example, how a flower grows. With a tenacity of a young boy he disassembles the little “toys” only to put them back together into wearable jewellery. His creations may lack occasional feminine elegance or caprice, but then, whoever said that every woman imagines herself a delicate violet, and not a thistle, or a tart lemon?

Markin’s looks put you in mind of a runaway teen-ager, whose backpack might well belong to Tom Sawyer: its contents conceal most unexpected delights. They help fire Markin’s thought process and creativity. Markin re-imagines the world’s most beautiful cathedrals built in the shape of a cross as funky cross pendants, and crafts filigree rings resembling famous bridges. Inside his pieces everything moves, in an echo of a boy’s infatuation with levers and mechanical devices. The designer’s love of travel launched a collection in ebony wood where each precious piece relays a story of faraway lands and is imbued with a spirit of adventure.

Vladimir Markin’s new collection resembles smooth beach pebbles polished by the beating waves of the sea. And just like a pebble can conceal a sparkling druse crystal, Markin’s jewels harbour treasures inside: a miniature mechanism “opens up” the stone to reveal pave diamonds and sapphires. A similar device is hidden in cufflinks which look like a computer chip on the surface, but open them, and you are holding a piece of art. A “jeweller with a message”, Vladimir Markin invites his clients into a game, and rest assured - you will never be bored.

Владимир Маркин