Yulia grew up in a small town in the Ukraine, with few opportunities and conservative attitudes towards art, but she always loved making things with her hands. She never wanted to work in an office for someone else, and just wanted to make a living doing something that she loved. It was a struggle, and her parents were against her pursuing that life.
But she was obstinate. She moved to Lviv when she was 20, and studied at the Academy of Arts. When she graduated, she bought herself some tools and started making some work to sell. “And I got it! I’ve always tried to do my jewelry better and neater. Constantly invent new forms and styles.”
“Over time, I had so much work that I could no longer work alone. I am looking for someone to help and found my husband Eduard. Now we are working together and this is our family business now.”
Inspired principally by Tiffany glass, there are also hints of mid-century modern style, surrealism, Victoriana, and popular culture. The resulting jewellery is rustic yet elegant, defined by its rich colours and its blackened copper lines. Yu loves glass because it never loses its colour, and always looks different in different lights.
The husband and wife team regularly participate in markets and festivals around their region, and Yu says it’s one of the things that she loves about her work – talking with other folk is fun, and is also helpful in understanding what customers want.
She describes Lviv as a very beautiful old city, but is thinking that it’s time to move on. “Now my husband and I are looking for a better place for ourselves and our business, because our country is good to visit, but bad to live here. We want to live in a place where there is less corruption and more opportunities for development.”
With regards to living the life that you want, she doesn’t think you should worry about finding the answers first, but just keep on moving: “The thoughts will materialize, so think about the possibilities and do what you love.”
You can find more of Yulia’s jewellery in their Etsy shop, ArtKvarta.