If a Hollywood director came across Chus Burés, they would commission the blockbuster then and there. A Spanish jeweller that worked with Louise Bourgeois, was headhunted by the Thai government to train its silversmiths, and who designed a lethal hairpin prop for a cult Spanish movie? Gold.
Here, Chus tells us about his new Motley collection and those incredible moments in his own words.
I was surrounded by artists and art from a young age – it’s in my DNA.
When I first started as a designer, my artist friends thought it was the most glamorous part of creativity. To be an artist, you have to get your hands dirty, work hard and spend hours in the atelier. They thought being a designer is all big openings and nights at the disco – so they wanted to be a part of it. I collaborated with many artists early in my career.
In 1999, I collaborated with Louise Bourgeois. After that, doors opened.
The Reina Sofia was planning a retrospective on Lousie Bourgeois, and they heard I had worked with artists. I was asked to create a piece around a design of hers from the 1950s. I met her, showed her my work, and we launched a necklace together. After that, I had the opportunity to work with artists from all over the world.
Designers have briefs, but artists are free.
As a designer, you have to take into account all sorts of things – trends, briefs, limitations. But artists are free. The necklace can weigh three pounds, it can be anything. It was important to my work to have a relationship with contemporary artists. It was always collaborative, built on common interests or visions. If someone comes to me with a ready made idea, I recommend an atelier. The interesting work happens when a designer and artist can have a conversation.
Each of my collections represents a period of time in my life.
Style is not a repetition of form of colour – it’s the soul that follows you through your career. Picasso’s work is so varied, from the blue period to cubism, because it’s not about repeating the same story the same way all the time. Some of my ‘collections’ contain different concepts, but that’s because they’re about a moment instead of one single medium or story.
The original Potato Collection represents ideas from a very rich period for me artistically.
At the time, I was asked by the Thai government to work with top future designers in Thailand. Their skill and refined approach to silversmithing was inspiring. I developed several collections there around food, from potatoes and rice to peppers. When you get to know any culture, you do so through food. I grew up in Barcelona surrounded by cooks, so it’s very important to me personally.
I revised the original Potato Collection for Motley.
My Motley collection revisits and updates the original Potato Collection I created in Thailand for a different time and audience. I thought it would be interesting to revise the original designs and find the evolution in the ideas and concepts.