Dannie Larsson on using sparkling innovation to challenge the conservative jewellery industry
We speak to the Swedish entrepreneur on new techniques, inspiration from old artists, and how to make comfortable jewellery.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
October 17, 2022
Dannie Larsson loves math, studied economics in Paris, and worked in a bank before looking for new adventures, founding Rare Jewelry.
— The bank job was boring but also good, she says. When you design a piece of jewellery, you have to be able to count: Will this be able to work in a piece of jewellery with diamond setting? So, now, I combine mathematics with my love for design. When I design a limited-edition ring, I also make my own design of the cutting of the gemstone. And to be able to cut a gemstone, you have to be able to calculate the angles. For example, I draw the ring and normally, it has around 20 facades of cutting while I try to design something that will sparkle more. Therefore, if possible, I add some cutting angles and can design a completely innovative piece of jewellery that no one would expect.
How rare is this technique?
— I think I’m kind of unique. I’m sure it exists but I haven’t heard anyone else doing it. I always try to do something that I haven’t seen before, something more difficult and rare compared to everyone else.
Innovation, Larsson continues, is key in her daily operations.
— I now make a lot of elastic bracelets which is not too easy. Normally, you work with gold and diamonds but I try to use other materials, such as titanium, and therefore, I can make those elastic tennis bracelets (a bracelet where a symmetrical pattern of diamonds or gemstones is connected by a thin metal chain, Ed’s note). Then you don’t need a lock, you can just have the inside in titanium — it’s gonna last the same for hundreds and hundreds of years — while on the outside, you use gold and diamonds.
What are the main challenges of working with titanium?
— It’s a very hard material, so it’s very hard to work with. If you would set diamonds in titanium, it’s extremely difficult to manufacture but having it on the inside of a bracelet makes it easier to work with and therefore, I can use both titanium, diamonds, and gold at the same time.
Rare Jewelry just won the Craft award at the Swedish NK Galan and is about to launch a special capsule, inspired by Swedish artist Hilma af Klint.
— She was amazing. I love both her personality and the paintings. They inspired me to design three different collections, using spirals and triangles and a modern art of technique in manufacturing, and worn by Lena Olin and Tora Hallström for the grand premier of the new film Hilma.
After that, what’s next for you?
— I’m always trying to find new innovations, such as finding solutions for diamond settings. For example, with one of my bracelets, I don’t use any gold in between the diamond. It’s called ’invisible setting’. And why do I do that? First of all, you have no stop. If you check the sparkle of the diamond… if you have gold, you have gold setting, and you stop the sparkle. I want to produce a sparkle carpet and to do that, I want to minimize the gold in between, so now, I want to use invisible setting in more pieces of jewellery, says Larsson. She adds:
— I’m also working a lot with stretch chokers and comfortable jewellery. I want people to be able to wear their jewellery like everyday wear. They should be good enough to wear when you go to the gym or for a swim, so I always try to find new techniques for the jewellery to last longer. The secret? I design something and then I try it for a long time myself — I’m a sporty person and I want to be able to wear it for everyday use.