In this interview, we meet Barbra of Ace of Cups Jewellery who makes beautiful fairytale-inspired vintage earrings.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Amsterdam. As a kid, I used to draw all the time. My mother always bought me sketchbooks. She herself worked as an illustrator in the late sixties. I went to Art school when I was about 30 years old. Before that, I had never realized that this was an option for me.
I have painted and made drawings, mainly portraits and city views, and I have taught art classes to adults and children for years, which I loved to do. I especially loved working with children. What they made, especially the young ones, was often so surprising. And now I make jewelry, something completely different! And I very much enjoy it.
What is the story behind Ace of Cups Jewellery?
I first got the idea to make jewelry during the summer of 2019. I remember I felt really inspired to follow up on this idea, even though I did not understand why or where this idea had suddenly come from. Being a painter the idea of making jewelry had never crossed my mind before. Shouldn’t I stick with what I had done in the past?
I decided to step out of that box and eliminate all thoughts about what I should or should not be. I started making my first earrings later that year. And I haven't stopped since. And so Ace of Cups was born.
I followed my gut, my intuition and above all, I followed my heart. And it has now brought me to La Boutique!
As a kid, my elder brother and I loved to look through the kaleidoscope we had at home. I was mesmerized looking at all those beautiful pieces of glass turning into beautiful new patterns every time I turned them around. It was magic! Now, making jewelry, I combine colors and shapes and I love using glass. It’s kind of a playful process actually, especially at the start of creating new pieces. And that’s exactly what I want my jewelry to be, kind of playful, with a touch of magic, but stylish.
We noticed that you often use Czech Glass as a material. What is special about Czech Glass?
Czech glassmakers have been cultivating their own special techniques for hundreds of years and their glass beads are known all around the world for their quality, shapes, and finishes.
When I started making jewelry I soon fell in love with Czech glass beads. I find them very appealing and very inspiring. Because of the color range, but mainly because they have a kind of rough folklore fairytale style that I like very much. They fit in perfectly with my “vintage and fairytale-inspired” earrings. I would love to go there myself one day to see the craftsmanship and the work process of the local glass bead artisans.
Do you have a favorite spot in Amsterdam? Why / What does it represent to you?
I love to take a walk along the Amstel river or just sit beside it. It quiets my mind.
I also love the Westermarkt/ Noordermarkt on mondaymornings in the Jordaan. They sell all kinds of interesting stuff and I like the bohemian atmosphere a lot.
What does local craftsmanship mean to you?
To create something new out of nothing, with your own hands, something that didn’t exist before, for me personally that’s the best thing there is.
Local craftsmanship is valuable because the products are often original and authentic. It should be visible, so people have a chance to enjoy, appreciate and support it.
And to me, it’s also about getting to know the city you live in in a whole different way. By discovering local craftmanships in the area where you live, you actually rediscover your home town!
What type of music do you listen to?
I enjoy lots of different styles of music. From Fado to reggae and so on. I like James Taylor a lot and Ray Charles. Stevie Wonder is very special to me and lately I very much like to listen to Salif Keita, especially the song Seydou, it’s beautiful. My brother who passed away last year loved it too. He wanted to live in Africa. The song is very pure, soft, and gentle and it reminds me of him.
If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life what would it be?
I would have no problem at all with eating real Italian lasagna every day for the rest of my life.