DoDo Jewelry / Handcrafted Extravaganza Gems
I first met the creator of DoDo - Simona Gribulyte - during a French language course in Vilnius (I guess we were both very determined to learn the language, because it was during the summer!) At that time we did not have a single idea where our friendship will take us… We collaboratively suffered our existential crises by working on opposite sides of the river Neris and meeting for coffee to share our thoughts on how stuck, lost and demotivated we are and that we need to break the limits. Major changes have happened throughout the last couple of months, and, I believe, both of us have transformed into very different beings from what we have been before. Today, we can proudly say that the boundaries have been broken, the universe has opened up for us and we welcome love for art, freedom and style to our lives with gratitude.
by AUSRA JUOZAPAITYTE
photos AUGUSTE BENDZINSKAITE
What’s the pre-history of DoDo?
Something between David Graeber’s “bullshit job” and a dream job. I lived and worked in Berlin when DoDo idea came into being. Working at a prestigious NGO in Berlin did not provide as much satisfaction as I expected. In fact, love and hate relationship to work developed into a desperate desire to turn towards arts and crafts. At first, I started doing very basic polymer clay jewelry, which I learnt doing as a kid. This activity was purely for my own pleasure and I did not have a single idea to develop it into something like DoDo. DoDo was simply not present in my head at that time. Only after seeing how terrible I am at making jewels from polymer clay, I started looking for other mediums. Here, abstract painting – my hobby – and jewelry crafting joined together to make what DoDo is today.
What is behind the DNA of DoDo?
DoDo is about freedom. DoDo jewelry dissolves existing labels of gender, age, race, religion, politics, etc. Essentially, it does not matter how old you are or what kind of color of socks you wear, DoDo is about freedom to express yourself as “what you think you are”. All too often people put themselves into specific shelves, which are dominated by what society thinks is correct, right, comfortable, appropriate to wear or do, etc. DoDo again challenges this type of thinking by going beyond these labels. DoDo jewelry pieces are very expressive in color and abstraction making it a statement jewelry, which perfectly suits its meaning – to go beyond established borders of self-expression.
Does visual identity also matter to DoDo?
Visual identity is an important element of DoDo’s concept. Dodo – an extinct bird, which completely disappeared after human beings moved to Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean. I chose the dodo bird, because to me the history of disappearance of the dodo bird creates a parallel to what human beings are doing to their self-expression. Our self-identity and expression is not extinct, but highly limited and framed by predominant societal norms, stereotypes of what is good or bad or evil, right and incorrect to wear, look, appear as. I want to revive that limitless self-identity and self-expression through jewelry and make it last.
Is DoDo equal to BoHo? / What’s the spectrum of DoDo’s palette? / How colours do interact with genderless concept?
BoHo is an established style, movement. DoDo looks at an individual self, and how a person perceives her/himself. While BoHo accentuates certain norms of what the BoHo concept is and what a BoHo person looks like, DoDo really digs into personality, uniqueness without established norms. Everyone should be and look the way they wish, without pre-established rules. That is why you will often find DoDo colourful and asymmetric jewelry. To a large extent DoDo colours represent human uniqueness, colourful personalities and crazy stories that we wish to share, and should share, because there is nothing to fear.
How does public react to DoDo’s statement on being genderless?
The public is very accepting of DoDo’s genderless, ageless, limitless idea. It is motivating to see positive reactions in markets, boutiques and fairs.
Tell us about the creative process of DoDo?
Juicy and fresh colours of rings, earrings and necklaces just like beautiful feathers of the DoDo bird have inspired my work. During the production process, colors mixed by hand provide a special combination, making pieces unique and exclusive. Nowhere else on the Pale Blue Dot will you find another piece like yours. That’s a promise. These timeless pieces are handcrafted with love and care, and I do hope each piece will send the rays of love and care to you.
Is DoDo willing to fly outside Lithuania and conquer the world?
Sure! DoDo is conquering the world as we speak! DoDo’s jewels can now be found on 4 different continents. Looking forward to conquer those 3 that left!
Simona’s source of inspiration:
My artistic soul has been awakened by numerous successfully disappointing attempts to be someone who I have never really wished to be. In this path of transition, I am finally saying no to dullness, redundancy and meaninglessness of prescribed norms and identities. In the world where over-analyses of various subjects are leaving the people behind, I seek freedom. Freedom is what I am to myself and what I feel.