…Become Something Unique
Words by Sommer Brugal Photos by Eric Morales
From a young age, designer Agnes Seebass was obsessed with unique shapes and forms. She thought she wanted to be an architect. But when she tried her hand in jewelry making whilst in college, she knew she had found her calling.
Agnes’s journey in jewelry design spans across three cultures. While she currently lives in Austin, where she continues to design jewelry, she earned her certificate as a goldsmith in Germany and spent just over twenty years honing in on her craft and learning how to silversmith in Mexico.
No matter her location though, Agnes relies on her workshop and tools to remain centered. Once she’s working, the designer says she feels completely calm. In her workshop, she’s able to create pieces that speak to her heart.
“My work is really personal [and] what I make is always what I feel,” Agnes explains.
When she began making jewelry, she said there wasn’t much of a vision or concept behind her designs. She simply created pieces she thought were beautiful.
The Seeds Collection is one of Agnes’s favorite collections. A seed is also a common motif found in many of her designs. And while a simple shape might seem insignificant to some, for Agnes, its meaning is universal and can be understood by everyone.
“Any idea is a seed, and then it comes to life,” Agnes enthuses. “For some, it’s on the computer. For me, [an idea] comes to life through my hands. It depends on what your medium is, but the seed is always the first element of any creation.”
Using seeds and other features found in nature as inspiration, Agnes is able to display her passions through her pieces. She says if she weren’t a jewelry designer, she’d probably be a ranger.
The Geometry Collection is another personal favorite for Agnes. Her admiration and appreciation for this collection is directly correlated to her love of architecture and forms.
“When I work with plant motifs, I’m probably more connected to [a meaning] of beauty we can all relate to,” Agnes smiles. “But the Geometry Collection is more (about) this surprise element.” Agnes says she uses the simple shapes and lines in different and unexpected contexts to spark a sense of curiosity in her designs.
After more than 25 years making jewelry, Agnes is exploring new ideas and possibly a new direction. She has always dreamed of learning how to weld.
As she moves forward, the designer wants to create pieces that express something very specific. While she will continue to create jewelry, Agnes says she’s excited to explore a more abstract form of art, to have an idea and to put that idea into very simple lines.
Taking a step in a new direction can be intimidating, if not scary, for many. Agnes, though, is embracing it head on, attributing her excitement to her love for the craft.
“I think when you are young, you ask yourself, ‘Can I do this for the next 40 years and not be bored?’ Right now, I like what I do even more than when I started.”
Inspiration can come from anywhere. For Agnes Seebass, nature, lines, and unique forms are often the center of her work. But according to her, other designers have also played a large role in her evolution as an artist. Those artists are Zarina, Jesus Rafael Soto, Constance DeJong, and Donald Judd.