We were told that a renowned Indonesian jewellery designer was in town, and since we’re looking at everything glittery, glamourous and valuable this issue, we just had to sit down for a cup of coffee with the man to find out more about him and his shiny (multi-award winning) creations. Pak Chevy – the founder of Chev Jewelry – has been in the Indonesian industry since 1985, and today is a household name in his homeland. With thousands of unique creations to date, he is now looking to spread his distinctly Indonesian works around the world, and we are told Malaysia could very well soon see these in boutiques.
*****Article by Angelo Manuel*****
Chevy explains that he has had a fascination with jewellery since he was young. As such, he pursued an education in the fields of architecture, fine arts and gemology – a potent combination of skills which would help him make real all the marvelous designs he imagines, and leave his mark on the Indonesian jewellery industry. His persona certainly reflects his company’s motto which reads ‘respect is earned, honesty is appreciated, trust is gained, and loyalty is returned’, as he proves to be a very humble chap, despite his reputation as a design genius, and the number of prestigious awards he has garnered over the years.
He had a pretty meteoric rise to fame which began in the 80s, and first became well established in Magalang, after which Chevy’s goods were well received at some of the most prestigious outlets at Gajah Mada Plaza – which was then one of Indonesia’s most preferred malls. Following this, he began garnering numerous awards, with some of the most notable include winning the De Beers Diamond Competition (International Awards) in 1991, and being named a finalist at the competition in 1989 and 1993.
With the proven ability to win the hearts of international audiences with his creations, he continues to represent Indonesia’s industry in competitions and exhibitions around the world. In turn, his creations have found their way to models, the rich, powerful, famous and elite from all walks of life. While we were surprised at first that he does not take custom orders, it soon became clear that a man with such fame had paid his dues and has worked his way to becoming a trend-setter in his homeland.
Expanding his network and further securing his status as one of Indonesia’s top producers of fine jewellery, Chevy joined the gold factory ‘P.T Oro Agento’ in 1995, and to date, he owns a stake in the company located in Central Java. This move would mark his venture in production on an industrial scale, as the aforementioned company presented the resources to mass produce both handmade and casted pieces to cater to growing demand for his work.
Chevy’s style is distinct; best described as ‘ethnic and contemporary’, with traditional Indonesian design elements such as batik, and themes revolving around the flora and fauna native to the country. Each piece that comes from his factory is incredibly detailed – true to the reputation of Indonesian craftsmanship – and prices range from $500 USD to hundreds of thousands dollars, depending on the materials, precious stones, and limited availability of a piece. Some of which, we are told are only made once, entirely by hand, ensuring exclusivity to just one lucky owner.
With a smile, the gentleman tells us that often, he looks to his beloved wife for inspiration. He explains that the process always starts with a sketch, after which a wax impression will be created to base a mould on. Then, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, topazes, garnets and pearls are carefully outsourced, and inspected by a qualified gemologist. Meanwhile, his metal of choice is nothing less than argentium sterling silver, which is a material widely known for its non-oxidant properties, superior purity, brightness and resistance to tarnish and firestaining. Depending on the theme of his creations, the silver is further coated with other luxurious metals such as palladium and gold rhodium for a touch of elegance, and to enhance its aesthetic appeal.
ring 2 copy
Sporting a bejeweled silver claw on his index finger, Chevy also illustrates how some of his creations have numerous parts, allowing both a variety of aesthetic variations and mobility of the appendages as opposed to large single pieces which restrict movement. Also, he demonstrates to us how some pieces, such as rings feature detachable parts, allowing owners to swap the combinations of ornamental gems and motifs. While the designs appeared intricate and delicate, he cheekily dropped a piece on the table with a thud to show us his confidence in the quality and workmanship of his glittering creations, when questioned about their durability.
He gives us a hint about what to expect next, telling us that 2014’s collections will feature a ‘warmer’ approach, showing us a few examples which incorporate natural elements such as pearls, wood and even stingray skin. Chevy says that this is a rarely used material due to the painstaking process to treat it for jewellery application. To determine what to present each season, the artisan pays close attention to both international and local trends and interprets them in his trademark style.
Only recently has this Indonesian magnate begun to venture beyond his homeland (which is in itself a huge market). Chevy believes it is important for him to share his native culture with the world through his work. Hoping to inspire others throughout the industry, Chevy advises aspiring designers to be true to their style and roots, and to never skimp on craftsmanship and quality, as this will make their work unique, and worthy of the world stage.
Currently, plans are afoot to set up boutiques throughout the Asean region, with Malaysia being one of his first stops, followed by the Middle East and Europe, while China also remains a great prospect due to the rising number of elites in the nation. As such, lovers of fine jewellery and art have much to look forward to when Chevy Jewelry makes its way here. With that in mind, we’re pretty sure that they will be received well by the local luxury market, considering the fact that some of the themes, motifs, flora and fauna are shared between Malaysian and Indonesian culture.
Occupation: Jewelry Designer
Background: Architecture, Fine Arts, Gemology
Style: Contemporary Ethnic Indonesian
Base of Operations: Jakarta, Indonesia
Years in Industry: Nearly 30
Achievements: Winner of the De Beers Diamond Competition (International Awards), 1991; Finalist, De Beers competition, 1989, 1993