The Ale Bremer jewelry collection is what designer Ale describes as a nostalgic interpretation of the reflection of her Mexican culture and the Southwest. Living between both New York and Mexico City, Ale's newest collection Mujeres is an ode to women and the ever-changing female body form.
From her studio/home in New York, Ale spoke to us about her collection, creative process, and her weekly journal entries focused on Mexican jewelry design.
What was the most surprising point in going through your creative process developing the Mujeres collection?
This is the only collection that became a collection by surprise! I started mindlessly working on a small female sculpture object which then became an incense holder for my studio. I realized people had a good response when I shared it, and I decided it was going to become a small line. It is also the smallest collection I’ve worked on.
What does the creation of the mujeres collection mean to you, and what do you hope other’s see in it?
The Mujeres Collection is an ode to the female body, it’s for those who identify as women, it is an exploration of shapes. A bare body to carry with you to make you feel empowered. It always puts a smile on my face knowing I have a little sculpture hanging around my neck and I hope whenever someone wears it does the same for them.
Can you tell us about your inspiration creating the symbolism of the Personal Devotion collection?
The inspiration for the Personal Devotion Collection is rooted in Mexican religious and cultural syncretism. I try to recuperate the significance of personal objects of devotion as an intimate reliquary. Using a design commonly used for religious medallions, I took out the iconic figures and changed them for symbols that represent a personal memory, struggle, identity, or desire. In this collection, jewelry acts as an archive of a person's feelings.
I chose those symbols because they are an important part of who I am. The heart represents the Mexico I grew up with, an interpretation of the sacred hearts that adorn Mexican street markets and houses. Coming from the US/MX border, the serpent represents the southwestern desert, their adaptation, renewal, and resilience.
My grandfather was a metallurgical engineer, someone who studies metals, it's mining and reactions, their compositions, and properties. I thought it was something so out of this world, how something from the earth where we stand on, not visible to the naked eye, could be extracted and become metal, I always looked up to him.
It wasn't until I went to college that I took my first metals class and discovered I could apply all of this learning making jewelry and objects.
Can you explain wax-casting?
It is one of the oldest methods of jewelry making, it consists of making a model, which is always made by hand by me, then a mold is made to be able to reproduce pieces.
Wax is injected into the mold to obtain more wax models that are placed in a metal flask filled with plaster. It’s heated up to melt the wax away and it creates a new mold which will then be filled with molten metal to obtain each of the pieces.
What comes out of it are called “castings”, then they need to be worked on, filed, sanded, tumbled, polished, and assembled in order to get the finished pieces!
How do you seek inspiration when you’re feeling stuck?
I usually write down or sketch ideas on a notebook whenever inspiration strikes. I always have a few ideas on my mind ready to be explored and made into collections. That way whenever I need to, I can go back to them and develop them.
But if I ever need inspiration I tend to go back to my roots and background, I try to go deep into what is important to me or think about stories that I think need to be out in the world.
What is your favorite creative destination, near or far?
Right now, Taxco, Mexico. I have a book collection about Mexican master silversmiths, most of them were artists based there, they're an endless source of inspiration. I’m excited to start working on some statement pieces and small objects inspired by silversmiths from the 50’s.
Ale Bremer Journal!
Due to the current situation and knowing people might have more time on their hands, as I know I have, I started a weekly, which is now a monthly, Journal! I talk about Mexican jewelry-related themes.