Orangerium Coming from the word "Orange" (colour) and the Latin ending "Rium" (suggesting place) "Orangerium" refers to a planet devoted to colour orange.
The name is intrinsically linked with the colour orange and its association with joy, fun and happiness. Orangerium is naturally playful and otherworldly, suggesting a planetary confabulation, a magical place where nature, intense colours and flights of the imagination all flow freely. It’s the perfect name for the range of unique, handcrafted jewellery made by Eliza and Rustam. It conveys a hint of the exotic, the warmth and colour of other worlds, not surprising, given the colourful background of the two creatives who, since 2015, have grown this successful artisan business in Mayo, a beautiful coastal county in the North West of Ireland.
The back story Eliza grew up in Poland in a small town of Oborniki Slaskie near Wroclaw. Her impulse to create was evident from a young age. At ten she placed a plastic pen on a hot frying pan to see if she could shape a magic ring from molten plastic. Though the smell was wretched she still remembers her excitement at spying granules of glitter emerge from the synthetic shell. The ring drew the attention of her friends who wanted her to make some for them and also revealed Eliza’s entrepreneurial spirit. She trained as an architect, studying in Wroclaw before she moved to Ireland in 2007.
Rustam was born in Baku, Azerbajan. He is of Russian, Persian, Azeri, Armenian and Jewish descent. Following political and military unrest at home Rustam’s family left Azerbaijan for Germany in the early 90’s. Rustam moved to Poland where he trained as an architect before moving to Ireland in 2004. He maintains close and frequent contact with Germany where his family lives and where Orangerium has a growing client base.
Growing up in Baku, Rustam heard vivid stories of his great grandfather, who was a well known jeweller and had a jewellery business in Baku. His hand crafted elaborate pieces were popular with customers all over the East, and even worn by the courtiers of the Czar of Russia.
Eliza and Rustam met while working in the same architectural practice in Liscannor, Ireland. While they both enjoyed the challenge of working on functional and ambitious building projects they felt their talent for creativity and innovation might find a better outlet in making unique, one off, handcrafted jewellery but in a way that still reflected their interest in form and shape and colour and place. They now live and work in the breathtakingly beautiful and ever-inspiring West of Ireland in county Mayo, a few minutes’ drive from a small town of Kilkelly. Ireland became their permanent home, their ‘own special place on Earth’.
Rustam and Eliza are the proud owners of three gorgeous and mischievous cats. They are also music lovers (not surprising in Rustam’s case since both his parents are musicians). Rustam plays classical guitar while Eliza plays piano. They both grew up with art. Eliza is an accomplished photographer while Rustam is an illustrator. Kayaking, running and parcour figure amongst Rustam’s interests while Eliza likes weight lifting and crossfit training. They both enjoy hiking with no shortage of interesting places to explore in and around the wild and windswept landscape where they live.
Unique creations The landscape and environment plays its part not just in nurturing new ideas for their work, it provides much of the raw material too which they integrate into their jewellery. Wildflowers, moss, lichen, fern, reclaimed wood and seashells are all to be found in the diverse range of Orangerium designs - pendants, brooches, earrings, necklaces, without mentioning the unique hair stick which has become a signature item in their collection.
Working closely together they design through a collaborative and organic process. While they plan, draw, work with precious metals and make most pieces collaboratively, Eliza specialises in working with flowers and resins while Rustam likes to add and integrate the elements of wood. They enjoy trying out new ideas and are not scared of experimenting with materials. As Rustam comments ‘every failure is a great teacher and takes us closer to perfection’.
What makes Orangerium designs so eye-catching and intricate is how they capture fragments of nature with elements of forests and gardens and the Atlantic ocean carefully selected and integrated into the designs. When these fragments are fused with resin and edged with wood and silver, precious, colour intense micro-environments are created that appear encapsulated in clear and crystalline forms
Every Orangerium product is designed, handmade and completed entirely by Eliza and Rustam. Their methods of making, as well as their materials, are sustainable, eco-friendly and respectful of the natural environment, which they care deeply about. Every individual piece they create is thoughtful and considered, expressive of a particular place and time.
These are highly wearable, highly desirable and very collectible pieces that will stand the test of time.
As Rustam and Eliza are keen to point out:
‘At Orangerium we put as much emphasis on the high quality design process as on achieving a highly finished product, and so, all of our creations are remarkable and unique. We were so proud and pleased when our pendants were bought by a film production company and feature in the Netflix TV show Nightflyers.
Every piece of Orangerium jewellery we make is handmade and one of a kind. Because we select and integrate traces and fragments of the natural environment into our unique range, what you will find with Orangerium jewellery is a sense of feeling closer to and connected with nature.
As we aim to grow and expand Orangerium’s reach we welcome the opportunity to take on unusual and interesting commissions and we always aim to please. We pride ourselves on bringing you unique and beautiful items and on providing you with an unforgettable and positive customer experience.
Orangerium items are often chosen and worn by people who are a little like us, brave and bold with a sense of adventure. Our clients are often people who like to express their individuality and personality in the things they wear. That’s why they choose our original, distinctive pieces. Orangerium jewellery is a fantastic gift for someone you love or for yourself‘
Eliza and Rustam are both members of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.