BREATH & STONE | SILENCE THE NAYSAYERS. MAY THE CROWDS ROAR.
Time is of the essence.
Tinkering with our existence.
A constant reminder of our status quo.
Touch is overseen.
Digital space warriors we have become.
Can you hear them?
Tessellating their universes of self.
Time is of the essence.
Reverse. Back up. Block out the peripheral noise.
Tell tall tales. There is another way.
Signal. Signal the hordes.
Brohn Smith concurs. Here we find a man who carves his own path. Undeterred, sincere and irreverent. What makes him, him? It is something one can feel, from the moment, he opens his mouth. This is no jokester. Brohn is a truth-speaker. His self curated Breath & Stone universe a testament of his self-effacing interaction with the world. The work he propagates balances the essence of humanity with ancient techniques, driven by ritualistic rhythms. The product at hand is jewelry. Its process raw, deliberate, pensive and experimental. Matter is forged at the benevolent hands of its willful creator, a committed conducted of sorts, ready to propagate his heritage.
Surface. What moment do you recall most of your childhood?
Wearing my mum’s stilettos with her lipstick all over my face, topped off with some of my dad’s hats and garments – it wasn’t the most cohesive look. Music, football and extreme sports were and still are, pivotal within.
Morpheus. To grow perhaps means to curate and engage your surroundings. What first steps did you take towards exploring your creativity?
It began early by altering my wardrobe in any way I could to create an edge. The lack of cool threads and jewels meant I had to create my own self. Art and painting were also a huge part of my creative output come to think of it, I miss these forms of expression!
Partitude. Music, a true expression of sorts. What melodies did you initially find?
The mysticism and emotion music emanates is ever defining. Hatching from a rock/alternative/rap background, I am magnetized to the darker side of music; melancholic melodies with raw structure. Even now, producing electronic music is a profound experience, leaning on my roots musically for the core of each production.
Fermentation. To create means to listen. When it comes to Breath & Stone, which is clearly connected to the earth and its magnificent bio-history, what was your thinking behind the first pieces you made?
After years of creating sample after sample, although the pieces were nice, I was not entirely convinced. My love for the ‘Medieval’ and ‘Viking’ ages and my curiosity for outer-space, both seemed like good places to begin a more in-depth exploration. Eustace was born from a 10th century Viking axe, which inspired a carefully designed piece which portrays growing and developing organisms that have been plucked from otherworldly planets and used as weapons against unknown predators.
Theorem. As I read into your work, I came across this idea you propagate as ‘’The Theory of Hidden Freedom and Choice’’: could you elaborate?
We are all inherently free, but there are elements in human nature and human consciousness that limit us from realizing that truth. I believe our ability to decide, to make choices, is what defines us as free beings, but in order to become limitless we must expand our understanding of reality, which in turns helps us evolve our consciousness. A lack of understanding is a source of misery, on both an individual level and collective level.
Alienate. Another element that I appreciate is what you just mentioned, this idea of shapes or forms that perhaps beckon to or counteract unknown predators?
Like all species, our pieces have naturally evolved. They are worn as an extension of the human form. Rarely, do we take the time to delve into the otherworldly aspects of our lives, whether physical or spiritual.
Introspective. Somewhere you wrote ‘’we must open our eyes’’.... do you feel we live in a distant world, of over-stimuli and perhaps a whiff of ignorance?
In this day and age technology and advertising dictate society’s movements, beliefs and tastes. A vast majority of people do not take the time to enjoy life by being fully present – we are tuned into the notifications, beeps and vibrations, our faces are glued to smartphones. If we are plugged so deeply into the matrix, how are we meant to have unexpected encounters or journeys?
Investigate. So would you say you yearn for something else in this life?
That humanity starts to nurture and respect this planet we call Earth.
Retrospective. Let us turn to your creations. When it comes to the materials you forage, find or encounter, could you explain your technical process?
It began many moons ago with my mentor, forging raw metals in charcoal blocks like blacksmiths, experimenting. It is in these processes the real magic can happen and we still use that same technique today. I have indulged in some novel ways of jewelry making here in Berlin, but feel the older, more traditional techniques work the best for me and my team. Everything is handmade and hammer set, which is how we are able to create this raw and organic texture. It is indeed most time consuming, but I feel that nowadays, it is a rare commodity to create a piece that is entirely unique and timeless.
My design process changes depending on my mood and surroundings. I was always intrigued by the mystery of black diamonds. Therefore, our diamonds have been carefully selected from the depths of middle earth. Next to this, I have been collecting meteorites for many years now so it was only natural to me, that they started finding their way to our silver for an extraordinary marriage. Wearing a piece of the universe truly is powerful.
Minutest. As a creator, you must feel inclined to see your work on people, moving or swaying with time?
It is always nice to observe. I see them lost in time, where movement becomes weightless and the pieces dictate their own journey.
Gathering. Time, freedom, togetherness, all elements contributed to sentiments of opulence. What is luxury to you?
To me, luxury does not have to be materialistic. Spending time with my family and friends, is a profound luxury that people often take for granted.
Netherworld. Lastly, I was curious about your connection to scriptures, ancient techniques, sorcery. How do they exist, can they be maintained or nourished?
I think we are all intermediaries, some more than others. For instance, spirits are mysteries or part of the invisible. If we observe the essence of Voodoo, this is an understanding that everything in the universe is linked spiritually. Similarly, our pieces are linked in a similar manner via rhythms, materials and names. Everything is connected and has been carefully thought out.
Stylized objects representing words and sounds exist around us everywhere, yet most have not deciphered them yet. Breathe, exhale, dissolve… now nothing remains, only evidence of the spirit world; raw artistry will haunt the ages.
Words: Marlo Saalmink | Photography by Salar Kheradpejouh| MUA: Vanessa Warkalla | Models: Alpha Dia & Valerie Mevegue | AD + Styling: Brohn Smith