My name is Iris De la Torre and I was born in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico. I am a jewellery designer with a passion for colour, graphic design and plastics. I grew up surrounded by my country’s rich and colourful culture and history. Being inspired by Mexico’s traditional folk crafts it was inevitable that I would want to pursue a creative career, so in 2003 I travelled a very long distance to London to pursue my dream to study Jewellery Design at Sir John Cass Department of Art and Design at London Metropolitan University, followed by one year of the Master’s degree in Jewellery Design in 2010 at Central Saint Martins.
Plastic jewellery and accessories that are innovative, original, colourful and full of fun:
My interest for plastics started in my childhood when I was 4 years old and my mum bought me a lilac pair of jelly lilac shoes that smelled like bubble gum. This fascination developed later at university when I realised that plastic materials would dictate and reference work. I very much enjoy working in the plastic medium and, in particular, acrylic sheet and rubber because it translates my colourful ideas successfully.
My inspiration to design comes from a variety of sources: growing up in my country which is a place vast in history and culture drew me to Mexican Folk Arts and Crafts found in my city’s local markets: the expression, colour, ingenuity, their narrative and the graphic quality found in the imagery of the wide variety traditional folk crafts (the simple shape and sweet expression of a Tonala ceramic owl with hand painted illustrations; the vibrant colours of and geometric shapes of the Huichol textiles; the beauty of the papier mache Lupita dolls). Another big influence of mine is 1960s graphic design for its use of bold colour, form and geometric shapes. I am also influenced by pattern repetition, early plastic jewellery, everyday things and objects and the way they work, London, modern technology, inspirational people, nature: flora and fauna.
The design process of my jewellery is a lengthy development from the research, gathering of information and ideas to the initial ideas sketching and the selection of my chosen shapes, colours and materials to the final designs; prototyping and testing of the pieces in order to arrive to the final product. A new project can take up to six months or more.
My jewellery materials are sourced, laser cut and digitally printed by my suppliers in London. I assemble all pieces by hand in my Surrey studio. On average, each piece takes around two hours to assemble. These materials – mainly plastics: rubber and Perspex – bring my ideas to life. They allow for a broad spectrum of colour and brightness not to mention a variety of different work processes, including flexibility and durability.
I believe that my jewellery designs and the way is constructed speaks an aesthetic language that captures graphic excitement and colour, which embodies fun, delight, spectacle and enthusiasm.
I was recently commissioned by the V&A to design an exclusive collection of jewellery for their “Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up” Exhibition.
My work has been featured on the The Financial Times, Grazia UK, the V&A Museum blog, The Evening Standard to name a few.
I do hope you enjoy browsing through my jewellery and products!