Louise Kriek, the ideas and inspiration behind Force of Nature
As part of our commitment to ensuring De Beers Forevermark diamonds make a positive impact throughout their entire journey, we were proud to collaborate with aspiring jewelry designer and runner up of the Shining Light Awards, Louise Kriek to create a striking masterpiece design for the Forevermark Red Carpet Collection. The resulting design, known as Force of Nature, comprises a ring featuring the two millionth De Beers Forevermark diamond, and a brooch with an exquisite 2.08 Black Label Round Brilliant diamond at its center.
Here Louise shares with us her inspirations, the story behind the Force of Nature, the two millionth diamond jewelry piece, the importance of the Shining Light Awards and the positive impact that her experience with De Beers Forevermark has had.
What inspired you to do a Jewelry Design and Manufacturing course?
I’ve always loved body adornment, and I’ve been making my own jewelry since I was fourteen. After I finished my degree in music I decided that I wanted to do something which required me to use my hands more. I went for a short silversmith course and I fell instantly in love with the process.
Who or what inspires your work?
I watch a lot of movies, and I love reading fantasy. The more creative fields have always attracted me, and it’s through other artists’ work that I find inspiration for my own work. For me, jewelry is a way of bringing the fictional to life, of creating something fantastic to adorn everyday life.
Who was your inspiration growing up?
The author Anne Rice was and still is a big inspiration to me. Her books are filled with beautiful descriptions of aesthetics which I’ve always identified with. I think it was imagining the various jewelry, outfits and characters which she describes in her books that inspired me to imagine my own designs.
What has it meant to you to be a runner-up of the Shining Light Awards and to carry out an internship at the De Beers Forevermark Design and Innovation Center in Milan?
It has meant the absolute world to me. I got to live and work in such a beautiful city, and I got to experience behind the scenes of an international diamond brand. I witnessed extreme hard work and dedication, and that is something I will carry with me forever.
What has it meant to you to work on a Forevermark Red Carpet piece featuring the two millionth diamond?
When I first heard about the project I was both excited and nervous. I knew that I wanted to create something which would make both De Beers Forevermark and everyone back in South Africa proud. I also wanted the piece to be true to my own design style while still adhering to De Beers Forevermark’s design aesthetics. It was an honor and a privilege to work with such exquisite diamonds, and the fact that the two millionth diamond is sitting in a piece which I designed is still mind blowing to me.
What was your inspiration for the Force of Nature?
I wanted to stay true to the theme of protecting nature’s beauty, so I decided to use an animal which I have loved since I was a child. In South Africa, we are very lucky to have a very rich and diverse natural environment, with so many beautiful species of antelope. I decided to use an iconic African antelope, the Kudu, as inspiration for the pieces, because this particular animal has always been very strong and elegant in my mind. It is this strength and elegance which I wanted to emulate in the pieces. The beautiful twists of the Kudu horn embody the resilience of the African landscape.
What message do you want to convey through your jewelry?
I want the wearer to feel beautiful - that is always the goal. Jewelry should be an enhancement of everyone's personal beauty. It can also be a statement and have deep meaning to the wearer, and that’s what gives it power. I want my jewelry to harken back to the ancient traditions of wearing adornment as a talisman, but in a modern setting.
What emotions or reactions would you like your work to provoke to those who view the two millionth diamond piece?
For this piece, I want people to be struck by the size of it – the horns are a symbol of power and grace, and I want the viewers to feel those two things clearly. I also want them to notice how the horns cradle the hero diamond, protecting it just as we should protect nature’s beauty.
What opportunities do you feel De Beers Forevermark and the De Beers Group provides for women?
In terms of community I think De Beers Forevermark and the De Beers Group provide women with the opportunity to be empowered. The work the De Beers Group does in Southern Africa is proof of this – women are given the opportunity to become financially independent and to contribute to their communities. In terms of style and fashion, Forevemark and the De Beers Group provide women with the opportunity to feel absolutely amazing while wearing the world’s most beautiful diamonds. But not just that, their jewelry has meaning behind it, it symbolizes love and eternity.
Investing in Forever
Protecting Forever by investing in the future, we are proud to have supported Louise Kriek and to encourage the empowerment of women with our ongoing work for ‘For Women. Forever’, as well as our partnership alongside the De Beers Group with UN Women. A partnership that hopes to accelerate the support of women in diamond producing countries.
An aspiring jewelry designer, we are honored to have given Kriek the opportunity to showcase her talent and creativity through the design of the Force of Nature.
Dedicated, hardworking and enthusiastic, Kriek inspires us with her desire to learn, her ambition to protect nature’s beauty and her passion for design and making beautiful pieces of jewelry.
Exceptional and extraordinary, the Force of Nature jewelry masterpieces will truly be treasured Forever.