MURKY is a Swedish designer duo who focuses on silver jewelry. Their work brings together a dark aesthetics with a conceptual approach that distinguishes themselves among other labels. MURKY is more about craftsmanship. Certainly, a rebellious force that defies the role and function of jewelry today.
Your collections are very unique and personal, it feels as though you are closer to art in the way you express yourself rather than establishing a contemporary label. How do you find your balance?
There are elements in both fields that interest us. Art in general is a strong source of inspiration. It is often an initial starting point. We like to write texts alongside our work and research literature and writings of other artists to gain inspiration for our collections. In order to stay true to our vision we do not follow trends. We do not want to be a part of the disposable fashion industry. We want MURKY to last for generations.
I see that you preserve craftsmanship in your work. How important is this to you?
For us the element of craftsmanship is essential and is what defines MURKY. We see two sides of the practice of craft. In one aspect it is a calling for us, the urge to create jewelry using our own hands. The other aspect is, a counter-reaction to the excessive amount of jewelry that is mass-produced at great speed, and at low-cost.
What is that you find fascinating about working with silver?
There is definitely something 'magical' about working with silver. Learning about its possibilities and its resistance, and then finding a way to master these characteristics is truly captivating. The feeling of wearing silver against your skin is something we appreciate as well as the permanence of the material.
Would you consider working with gold or other precious metals?
There are a few MURKY pieces that we can imagine in gold and think they would communicate a different message if they were so. We do appreciate the eternal aspect of gold, but at this stage we will continue to work in silver. Other than that we have not discussed using other precious metals.
Do you have any interests in the occult or in jewelry that provides other functions than just adornment?
We believe jewelry has more meaning than adornment. Jewelry portrays a silent communication between wearer and its surroundings. It also acts as a reminder of past significant moments, and future aspirations.
Some of your pieces have a medieval feel and some resemble torture artifacts. How do you deal with the darkness? What are your sources of inspiration?
History is a natural part of our creative process as well as our thoughts about the future. However we have not specifically looked closer at medieval jewelry or torture artifacts. This said, we are aware that the darkness in MURKY jewelry is present. We believe this is a question of interpretation and reference points. How people perceive our pieces varies depending on how they define darkness. For some, darkness is intimidating, whilst we see it as calmness such as a still black surface on a body of water. Darkness can be alluring considering what might be underneath this surface.
You incorporate oxidized patinas as well as the natural effects of silver when it reacts to the exposure of elements over time and usage. What is your vision of this process in your jewelry?
We find an oxidized surface exciting as it is a mystery in the way that one does not know what lies underneath. The longer the piece is worn, the oxidized surface begins to fade and beautiful shades appear. To obtain the dark surface on our pieces we use burned hair or eggs. This ties into our sustainable way of working with only recycled silver.
What is the next step for Murky?
We will continue to create MURKY jewelry in order to increase the awareness about our brand, how we work, in order to reach a market that appreciates our aesthetics and ideology.
Are you open to collaborations?
We are open for collaborations with other artists and think it could result in great work. However, we are adamant about it being a right match and therefore are quite selective.
Your designs emphasize in hand jewelry. Why this particular part of the body?
We once wrote "MURKY determines the hands to be the forefront of its movement." This is our ethos. The hands hold so much meaning especially in regards to how and what they communicate. It is a silent communication and can be more powerful than the spoken word. In our work we also aim to capture the beauty of the hands, in regards to movement and the sense of touch.
Have you considered creating piercing jewelry or any other body manipulations as part of your designs?
We are more interested in the 'in-between' such as pieces going between the fingers, or following lines on the hand. We create jewelry that highlights the anatomy of the hand. If we were to create a piercing jewelry it would be because that specific piece required it.
Can you share with us any references in music, art, literature or fashion that you feel is close to you and to Murky's identity?
Emelica: "The eye, distant, lazy, passive. No impressionism without an impressing force, without the pressure of touch". Michel Serres, The five senses.
Mike: Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hands finds to do, do it with all your might".
To view Murky's collections, visit their page here www.murky.se