Some Enchanted Jewelry: An Interview with Chain Chain Chained

I don’t mean to brag, but Regina Pruss of jewelry line Chain Chain Chained once told me that I am her “number one customer.” It’s a title I wear with pride every day, and literally, as you can often find one of her winsome works around my neck. I’m thrilled, then, to see ModCloth carry items by Chain Chain Chained.

Drawing much of her inspiration from nature, this Russian-born, Detroit-based artist’s mesmerizing designs are often based around objects – stones, bones, leaves, feathers – that she discovers while traveling and exploring the great outdoors. Take just one look at the Necklace de Plume or the Earn Your Wing Ring, and you, too, will be charmed, I’m sure!

How did you begin making jewelry? Were you ever trained in the art?
I started making jewelry as a hobby and to take a break from my graphic design work. I wanted to work with my hands. Over time, my collection of objects grew and I was able to create a line. The jewelry is always evolving, depending on the season. I have taken a few jewelry-making classes and my favorite was metal soldering.

Necklace de Plume and the Earn Your Wing Ring

You describe your accessories as “Magical Jewelry.” Can you speak to the vision behind your work, and what you feel gives it a sense of ‘magic’?
When I create my jewelry, I like to think that there is a certain magic involved. From the creation process to the moment someone receives their package in the mail – it’s all very personal and special. Every piece is destined to be worn by someone out there.

Your jewelry often features unique charms and trinkets. How do you go about collecting your assortment of curiosities?
This is my favorite part of the jewelry making process and perhaps the most important part. I am adventurous by nature, so going places to find crystals, or little charms and curiosities is not a problem for me. I’ve done everything from ghost hunting to trekking through old forests. I’m drawn to things and places with a sense of history or mystery. When I was little, I got so much pleasure from going into a birch forest behind our house and mushroom-picking. I guess that magical hunt has carried on with me into adulthood. I’m still surprised and delighted when I find something really special.

Polished horns, sandy stones, chunky crystals, and metallic chains are just a few of the materials Regina draws inspiration from.

I love your work, because it can be worn by men and women. Is that by design, or just how things turn out?
I never plan on a certain piece being feminine or masculine things just kind of work out that way. Most of my customers seem to be women, but I’m always pleased and excited when a man purchases a piece.

What type of person do you imagine wearing your work?
Someone with an individual sense of style. I love to think of jewelry as a conversation starter. People always tell me that they get a lot of compliments when wearing my jewelry, and that makes me feel terrific.

A peek into Regina’s studio space. How adorable is that vintage mushroom poster?

Can you describe your own taste in fashion?
I don’t think I have ever been able to pinpoint my style. I’m more comfortable in dresses than other clothes. I tend to go for sweet or flowery vintage numbers. And I love wearing dark tights in the cold months. That’s the Russian schoolgirl in me.

Do you listen to music while you work? Are there any bands or songs that are currently inspiring you?
Yes, music is has always been a huge part of my creative process. Here are five songs I’m obsessed with now: “Fangela” by Here We Go Magic, “Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart, “Heartbeats” by José González, “Come with Me” by CEO, and “Knock Yourself Out” by Jon Brion.

What are your goals for Chain Chain Chained?
My goals are always the same: Keep making, keep focused, keep positive, and things will move in the right direction. There is no end goal to Chain Chain Chained. It all started on a whim and has been a great trip so far!

Thanks, Regina, for answering our questions! How about you, readers? Are you as spellbound by Chain Chain Chained accessories as I am?

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One Response to Some Enchanted Jewelry: An Interview with Chain Chain Chained

  1. nicole 09/03/2010 at 9:26 am #

    Gigi is an amazing artist (and person)!!! I am so excited to see a Detroit artist featured here.

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