Art & Design
17 June, 2021
Craftsmanship, Design and Sustainability: Helena Rohner for L’Atelier Óptica
This June we are on celebration. At L’Atelier we enjoy bringing you the latest trends in eyewear design, from all over the world to our corner in Barrio de las Letras (Madrid) and through our online store. For us a good design must involve a conscious creative process, whether it is through its materials, its manufacture or its durability. With this in mind, we decided to go a step further and create our own first product handmade by Helena Rohner, that is how we came up with our straps for glasses, now available in our atelier in Madrid. They are made of organic materials with the special sensibility and care of the Spanish designer.
Today we want to know more about Helena Rohner’s world. The harmony of her pieces shows her deep care for the environment. After more than twenty-five years leaving an imprint in the design and craftsmanship world, Helena Rohner keeps evolving. At L’Atelier Optica we share many of her principles and that is why we decided to do this collaboration, to bring you a taste of that world full of creativity and sensibility that she exhumes. Today we bring you an interview in which she talks about the basis of her avant-garde jewellery.
25 amazing years in the business. It all started combining gold and ceramic. Has the design scene change since then?
It has been 26 years. What a journey! It all started because I wanted to sculpt metal adding colour and contrast with other materials. At the beginning it was silver with varnish and after that many other combinations, in a research process about the materials like wood, ceramic, glass, leather, thread and lastly 3D printing. The design world has certainly changed, now it is a lot more global and open, which is a blessing!
If you had to describe your work, would you label yourself as a designer or a craftswoman?
I firmly believe in craftsmanship; without it the design would not be possible. I am constantly learning about the materials, their strain, their capacities… and I set a goal to include all of their qualities in the jewels and objects I make.
Your work says a lot about the emotional value of the materials, do you think this approach is related to sustainability?
For sure, everything we produce is local, custom-made and made-to-order, avoiding dead stocks and waste. We recycle everything. My team, the proximity to the suppliers and the materials I use are intuitively sustainable, it is what gives character to the pieces we make.
Is sustainability one of the main values of Helena Rohner’s pieces?
Definitely, our last pieces are 3D-printed using PLA, a polymer obtained from the remains of carbohydrates like potatoes and yucca. Lightweight jewellery that is biodegradable and represent the new digital craftsmanship.
How did this collaboration with us originate?
Through our friendship, I buy all my glasses here and as a designer I think a nice strap for your glasses is very desirable. So we started talking about it and we finally did it.
How much of yourself do you put in your designs?
Everything. I make what I cannot find in the world and I try everything personally. It could not be any other way.