Nothing pleases us more than discovering an artist whose work we not only admire, but whose ethos and design aesthetic share the same principles as ours. Hvnter Gatherer is a Chicago-based jewelry line that features striking metal work and simple yet modern designs that call upon the ideology and imagery of primitive human cultures and trade techniques. Artist and Founder Laura Prieto-Velasco uses both precious and non-precious metals when crafting her pieces and each one possesses a "landscape of unique imperfections" that continue to change over time. We immediately identified with her emphasis on materials, minimalist design style and conceptual campaigns. We reached out to Ms. Prieto-Velasco and she graciously allowed us to feature her new line, "Origins", and answered a few of our questions (See Q&A below)
The Brvtalist: The new shoot is for the "Origins" series. Talk about the inspiration for the collection and what you wanted to do with the shoot.
Hvnter Gvtherer: The idea for Origins sort of evolved out of a desire to dig deeper than jewelry as a historical or personal memento and think of jewelry as a timeless artifact devoid of past, present, or future. The imagery evolved in stages - The first batch was a collaboration with a very talented former student come intern, Ana Zhang, who began working with me as I was starting to think about imagery for the collection. She wanted to incorporate some of her photography and image-making skills into the internship so we began brainstorming ideas for the lookbook.
The second batch of images were created in collaboration with freelance fashion photographer Mateo. We met through a mutual friend and instantly formed a bond over fashion, music and underground culture with a dark gritty edge. The first time we hung out we listened to Rectal Hygenics newest LP together (Ultimate Purity/Permanent Records), which was the perfect soundtrack to set the mood for our collaboration. I find his work and him as a person to be incredibly inspiring and am looking forward to future projects together.
TB: Do you consider your jewelry unisex?
HG: Yes very much so! I try to create timeless yet unique accessories that can punctuate virtually anyone’s wardrobe.
TB: Would love to hear what you're into and how it inspires Hvnter Gvtherer. This could include music, fashion, art, film, etc.
HG: So many things and people inspire me in these genres! I really gravitate towards Iris Van Herpen’s approach to fashion and see her somewhat as a role model in the art/design/fashion world. Her concepts are always extraordinarily relevant and she continually produces collections that synthesize technology and design in new and exciting ways. The inspiration behind the 2015 collection “Hacking Infinity” completely blew me away and was really inspired by the idea of “new geographies and our place within them”.
For film, some of my favorites include psychedelic horror classic "Susperia" by Dario Argento and recent dark humor favorite "What we do in the Shadows". I think a lot of the dramatic macabre imagery and interesting spins on popular culture tropes has influenced the way I design pieces for Hvnter Gvtherer.
Although I try to listen to lots of different kinds of music; raw, experimental and emotionally charged sounds resonate most deeply with me. Kim Gordon and Bill Nace’s newest project Body/Head is a my latest audial addiction, and am eagerly anticipating Chelsea Wolfe’s newest album Abyss.
I have especially enjoyed the underground art and music culture here in Chicago. I try to get out to see things in person as often as possible and am thankful to be a part of a vibrant community of creative individuals. I find the supportive atmosphere inspiring/energizing and am constantly humbled by all the talented people who contribute to it - I love having an excuse take a break from the solitude of being a studio artist and to check out what friends and friends of friends have been up to.
As a visual artist, I have always made it a regular habit to visit local galleries as much as I can. Personal favorites include Johalla Projects, Slow, and Comfort Station. Being summer, this month has also been filled with amazing music and I was thrilled to see so many local talents such as Wrekmeister Harmonies, MT Coast, HIDE, Oozing Wound, and Toupee perform live in some of my favorite venues over the past few weeks.
TB: I Love the primitive quality of your products. Being The Brvtalist, materials are very important to us. Talk about how you select your materials and how they play into your look, aesthetic and build quality.
HG: Although I enjoy working with a variety of materials I have had a deep love affair with metal for almost 15 years. There is something about the way it feels that has me hooked in a way that is difficult to explain….There is a lot of history in every mark, both metaphorically and physically. It is a material equally relevant in its most raw and primitive state and possesses an uncanny ability to synergize with organic and inorganic materials. I am fascinated with it on so many levels but find a deep poetry in its transformative potential as it relates to our past, present, and future selves.
TB: Finally, is each piece handmade?
HG: Yes! I handmake each piece from raw materials, start to finish in my private studio.
We would like to thank Laura for taking the time and contributing such great answers that have made us appreciate her even more. For more information, please visit www.hvntergvtherer.com