Caroline Sillesen and Corali

For her annual jewelry collection for Corali, Copenhagen based architect and multidisciplinary creative Caroline Sillesen found the intersection of her two professions; architecture and what she calls ’tiny sculptures’. Continuously inspired by the ocean, she built the collection around the fundamental elements of the sea, consisting of solid stones together with more organic shapes of wind and water. Oak spoke to Sillesen about her inspiration and the similarities between jewelry and architecture.

What is your inspiration for Corali? Tell us a bit about the background and how it all began.
I was drawn to jewelry when I was studying architecture at the academy, while I was building models of metal and welding and soldering. I am far from the first architect to have a partiality to jewelry. In many ways, jewelry and architecture reflect each other. As an architect, you are trained to experience space at tiny scales, very similar to the scale of jewelry. In both professions, there is great attention to detail as well as a focus on the design’s relation to the body. I love that I can span my work scale from a whole space to the tiniest thing and still see a connection.

What is your ambition for the Corali Elements collection?
‘Elements’ is mainly a silver collection, which means I have had the opportunity to add more material and therefore size to the pieces. It has more statement to it and I love the weight of the pieces – they are very present when you wear them. Until this collection, I mainly created smaller pieces that kind of blend in and become a part of the person wearing it, whereas ‘Elements’ is bolder. With this tiny architectural assembly of sea forms, I have tried to examine the complex ways in which nature and culture interact and produce embodied objects. I hope that it is well received with all of its quirkiness.

What do you identify as the red thread of the Corali brand?
The theme that I keep coming back to is the ocean. Not everything has to be shells and seaweed but it relates to the ocean’s physical manifestation as ’the world of upside-down’. It is a place of a different time – possessing a duality of both being full and empty at the same time. Also, my favourite book, Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’, has become a starting point for each collection. His way of describing places and conceptualizing them is mesmerizing.

How would you describe your relationship with photographer Olivia Frølich?
Olivia and I started working together two years ago. Since then we have become friends as well and our projects have meant a lot to both of us. We spend way too much time planning everything down to the stupidest tiny detail and coming up with ideas that might never be realized… But I guess that’s how it is when you are truly inspired by someone. I can say proudly that we are well on our way to building our own language. When I plant a small idea Olivia knows how to take care of it and make it grow into something very special and beautiful.

View Caroline Sillesen´s Elements collection here