Jewelry Designer Spotlight: Dori Csengeri Interview

Are you looking for something different from your jewelry? Searching for vibrant, unapologetic color and texture? Dori Csengeri is creating some fantastic pieces of art in her atelier. Color, painstaking workmanship, and detail all translate into wearable sculpture. This is jewelry to wear and collect.

Dori Csengeri Zephyre Earrings

The Jewelry of Dori Csengeri

Each of Dori’s pieces seems to tell a story: the jewelry feels very personal, even intimate. The undulating swirls of silky cords are embroidered by hand in Dori’s studios, using age-old textile methods that are largely forgotten today. Small faceted beads and polished stones are nestled among the fabric, adding unexpected sparkle. The fabric and gemstones combine in interesting, painterly palettes.

Dori Csengeri Ephrah One-of-a-Kind Haute Couture Necklace, Assemblage of Embroidery and Vintage Jewelry

I am very glad that I was able to review her jewelry in person, as there are incredible details that are hard to capture in images online, like an intricately carved bead that one only notices when up close. Also, seeing the scale was helpful, as the jewelry is quite substantial, but is deceivingly lightweight and comfortable. Another detail: the reverse of each piece is lined in butter soft leather, which results in the jewelry being incredibly tactile, all softness and light.

Dori Csengeri Earrings, showing back of earrings lined in soft leather.

The Collections of Dori Csengeri

Dori Csengeri makes jewelry in a variety of styles, organized by collection. With names like Ganymede, Adesso, and MezzaNotte, each collection evokes a particular theme or aesthetic. Her Bridal collections are studies in texture, with a palette that complements an adventurous, aesthetic bride. Dori also does Haute Couture collections, in limited quantity, made exclusively for collectors who follow her work closely. In every collection, you can sense her textile background and her uncanny knack of combining it creatively with metals, beads and stones to create jewelry.

Dori Csengeri Portofino Necklace, $508 Retail

The Dori Csengeri Interview

idazzle.com: Your background is textile design, so how did you end up designing jewelry?
Dori Csengeri: During my studies of textile design, my dream was to be recognized as a designer who brings her own unique style, color palette and motifs to her creations. Over the years, I was bothered by the fact that I had no control over the way the end-user saw my textile designs or used them. While in Paris studying at the Academie de Port-Royal, I was experimenting with collages from textile materials. This is how the soutache cords landed on my desk. From there on, the road to jewelry was fairly short. I started with small color compositions in textiles, which evolved into beautiful lapel broaches. With time and experience, I developed a needlework technique, which is suitable to the creation of textile-based jewelry and realized that the jewelry path is the right path for me.

What inspires you the most: place, people, art, music, or something else?
Inspiration is something that is most evanescent and hard to explain. There are no rules and no winning formula, only that magical moment when the picture becomes clear. Throughout my life I’ve been collecting different materials from all over the world, ranging from local flea markets to shops in Paris, New York and Amsterdam. In every different place I find something special: an interesting bead, a striking new color, feathers, and countless small elements that spark my creativity. As I sit at my worktable my mind’s wheels begin to turn and things like memories, art, nature, scenery, travel, color, and the little details of life hypnotize my imagination. Each embroidered piece starts as a collection of single objects and by the time it’s finished it turns into a new and unique jewelry that carries my dreams and is a window so to speak to my personal world.

Dori Csengeri Paradiso Earrings, $337 Retail

Your designs are so complex, what does your design process look like?
The design process starts with collecting materials that appeal to me and are in sync with the fashion forecasts of colors, themes and moods. I use the textile cords and needle as my drawing board and so my “sketches” are experimental embroidered segments of different ideas and color combinations. After I make a wide assortment of sketches, the sorting process begins. I pick the most intriguing embroidery segments and I continue developing them, until I have finished color groups that each offers a variety of necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

The physical construction of the pieces is very tight and precise. How hard was it to make your ideas a reality in the finished jewelry piece?
I work long and hard on every style in order to ensure that my idea is thoroughly expressed. The colors, shapes, materials, and composition need to speak for me and only after I feel that’s been accomplished can my jewelry pieces go into production. After I finish embroidering the first jewelry piece and approve it, the piece is scanned in real-size. My amazing team of artisans have the “know how” of looking at the scanned images and hand-embroider perfect replicas.

Dori Csengeri La Divina Necklace and Earrings

Do your collections change dramatically from season to season?
Every season brings with it new themes, new materials and new possibilities that present a wide range of exploration and capabilities. What remains constant in my work is my personal language, my embroidery technique and my commitment to make the best jewelry pieces I can for my clients.

How long does it take to make a piece of jewelry, from the hand embroidering, to weaving in the stones, to finishing with findings?
It all depends on the size of the piece and the complexity of its design. I guess that it can take from a few hours to a few days.

Dori Csengeri Purple Haze Earrings


What is your dream for your company and designs?

I enjoy the process of “translating” my inner world into colorful creations. I love what I do, especially when I receive encouraging comments from my customers about the happiness and joy that my jewelry brings them. What more can I ask for…?.

What more, indeed? It was amazing to get inside an artist’s head a little, to see how Dori imagines and then creates truly unique pieces of wearable sculpture. Her website is a journey into a curated collection of color–I highly recommend exploring DoriCsengeri.com. You can purchase her jewelry directly from the website, or visit one of the authorized retailers, galleries or museums who represent her work.

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