Minimal jewellery brands are all over the place, but there’s clearly something about Arc Objects. Its founder, Daniela Jacobs, started it out of her thesis at Parsons, where she studied Integrated Design. Now, her work moves between jewellery, ceramics, and design, but avoid being labelled as she finds titles are limiting. Today, we sit down to talk with her about nature – her main inspiration –, growing up in a family of artists, and how does she define her practice.
I recently read that you consider the brand a concept instead of a product. Did you have this idea in mind when you started, or has it evolved from something else?
I’ve always wanted Arc to be more about a concept than a product. That’s part of how it got its name, in fact: an arc is both a geometric form and something less tangible under which many things can be encompassed. I wanted Arc to always be able to exist both as something theoretical and as a creative exploration.
You mentioned that the project begun as a result of your Parsons thesis, which made you explore colours, textures, shapes and even sounds found in nature. Can you tell us a bit more about this? Which textures, colours and sounds made you conceive the brand?
Arc was ‘born’ out of my senior thesis at Parsons, where I was an Integrated Design Major. This program encouraged alternative approaches to fashion rather than teaching students to follow along with the way the industry currently runs. I was able to study the ethics of production and consumption, as well as sustainable businesses as my sort of ‘minor’ – and I took my technical classes (ceramics and metal) with Product Design majors and applied those skills to jewellery design.
I started experimenting with making ceramic jewellery in a context in which the curriculum was geared towards a product design area of focus, so out of necessity I started designing home objects too. It was great to expand the scope of what I was designing and making – it felt natural and exciting at the same time.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been inspired by the sounds of the sea, the vast expanses of desert landscapes, the textures of salvage weeds, plants, and fauna. I knew I wanted to make a collection inspired by the idea of wearable/useable sculpture made of an unusual material. For my thesis, I continued to refer to these sources of inspiration, finding that my designs were often very simple, abstract, geometric shapes that in one way or another were sparked by these muses.
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As an artist, why do you think certain outlets separates the title of Jewellery Designer and ceramicist? Do you truly consider them different professions or trades?
I find titles are often limiting. I make jewellery – often with ceramic – but I’d rather not be considered a ceramicist because it’s not the only material I use; similarly, jewellery is not the only thing I design, so in this way, calling myself a jewellery designer doesn’t feel like a perfect description either. I understand why certain titles exist, but I think sometimes it’s more fitting to live and describe ourselves according to our own vocabularies. 
Both of your parents are artists, so I assume you discovered and played with many textures as a young girl. Why the special bond with the ceramic? What do you love the most about this material?
Yes! I’ve been ‘playing’ with different materials for a long time. I took my first pottery class when I was about five years old, so I don’t exactly remember the details – but I do remember feeling very comfortable with clay. I love that the material is thousands of years old and can feel fresh and modern and timeless all at once.
The collection explores wearable and functional sculpture, an amazing concept that lately seems so common among many jewellers. How do you make it work, and how do make it so unique as your pieces always results to be?
Thank you. I think an honest expression of one’s personal voice is inherently unique. My creative process is intuitive. I try to do, make, design, live by, and envision what feels right and follow that.
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Could you tell us about the latest collection and its creative/production process? Are all the pieces handmade?
Arc is intentionally seasonless, so rather than there being new collections every season, it’s a body of work that evolves and grows. Some new pieces get added to the core collection, while other limited edition pieces or projects may emerge for specific periods of time. Things usually begin with a sketch for a new design, followed by a plan for the exact method of fabrication.
It's very clear that you love being creative with textures. What about colours? We often see gold, silver and bronze, but do you agree that white seems to be the iconic and distinctive colour of Arc?
Not necessarily; I just like the materials I work with to stay the natural colours that they are. That’s why I just use clear glaze with the porcelain, and why the silver stays silver. I definitely have an affinity for soft colours found in nature, but I also love a good contrast; like black, for example, I love the way that pops with the white porcelain!
What inspires you?
So many things! Warmth – in people, in temperature, in colour; the sea, the waves, the way things look underwater, its transient magic; asymmetry that feels as balanced as symmetry, playfulness, openness, passionate curiosity, a strong contrast (textural, musical, sensory, edible, etc.), the golden light that touches everything as the sun is lowering in the sky, honest expression of individual identity, dance, romance, etc.
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Arc has been portrayed in biblical outlets such as Vogue, The New York Times, and many other international publications. Did you expect this response? How does it feel?
I’m honoured that publications such as these are interested and have written about my work!
Beside the magical concept of the brand itself, what do you think it’s that magical ingredient everyone’s seeing and, mostly, feeling when wearing your pieces?
It’s hard to say. Arc is such a personal expression of my creative language it’s thrilling when others see it and connect with the ideas behind it too.
What’s coming next?
So many things!
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