By Karen B. Gibbs
The exquisitely detailed jewelry of Konstantino Sioulas has soul—soul that is deeply grounded in the antiquity, culture and landscape of his beloved homeland, Greece. Whether it’s his “Black Diamond Ring” or his “Mother of Pearl Black and Onyx Bracelet,” each Konstantino piece features his signature hand-designed engraving and embellishments. “I am obsessed with detail and perfection in my work,” says Konstantino. “When you love something you’d better love it completely, inside and out.” Click here to see more Konstantino Designer Jewelry
And he does. In a recent interview, Konstantino offered insight into the loves of his life: his work and his family. He also spoke glowingly of his business and personal relationship with Lee Michael Berg.
Q: What influenced you to become a jewelry designer?
A: It was not an influence, it was a need. After more than 15 years selling, styling, working on the bench, making jewelry and admiring other designers, it became a need to walk my own path—a mental need, a soul need and a business need. Design is the ultimate stage of the art of jewelry.
Q: When did you know that you wanted to design and make jewelry as a career?
A: I knew from the first day, 37 years ago, that jewelry will be “my life, my wife.” It was love at first sight! This is where my hippy self and my “ancient” self meet—in the jewelry.
Q: How would you describe the trademark features of a Konstantino creation?
A: Hand-etching, hand-engraving, a special antiquing procedure, complicated design and ornament, but most importantly—the soul. And soul is what characterizes my jewelry.
Q: You stated that it’s the journey, not the destination that is important in creating and making beautiful, timeless pieces. What are the highlights of your journey as a craftsman?
A: My first meeting with Lee Berg was memorable. We had a big business argument. Results? We doubled our business and tripled our friendship.
Another highlight for me was when I saw my jewelry on Keith Richards, Roger Waters, Carlos Santana… that was extremely touching.
Q: Your love for Greece—its antiquity, architecture, arts and geography—has always inspired your jewelry creations. What specifically provided inspiration for your latest collection?
A: My last collection is a gold collection named “Melissa” (bee). It was inspired by the nymph Melissa who fed baby Zeus with milk and honey. Melissa (bee) is also a symbol of fertility and abundance.
Q: As a designer, what other designers do you admire and why?
A: I admire the ones that bring me that slight feeling of jealousy and healthy, noble competition. As John Hardy told me, “Konstantino, I hated you before I met you because I love your jewelry.” So, I love the ones I hate.
Q: What is the most popular piece of jewelry you’ve ever designed?
A: It is a ring with a quote “ ΘΑΡΣΕΙΝ ΧΡΗ» that means “need to dare.”
Q: What is a favorite story about one of your creations?
A: It was the “Soul” collection. It was an attempt to bridge my world (old world) with a rock and roll electric guitar and hippy symbols. I loved it. The buyers hated it big time. And the customers adored it!
Q: What are your aspirations for yourself? Your children? The business?
A: I know I will never retire. I see myself continuing to evolve my business together with my children.
Q: Since your creations will outlive you, what do you want future generations to say about you and about your work?
A: Time is the judge for real art. If they memorize me, if they wear and admire my jewelry, if their artistry gets influenced by my work, that will be the ultimate honor for me.