“I don’t know where this idea came from, but I’ve always felt that a woman should wear something red around her neck. I made my first red necklace for the spring show in the gallery’s previous space one Easter. And people seemed to develop a desire for them. When I sold one, then I made the next one and a certain system began to develop: I sold one red necklace every year around Christmas, I could be sure of that. At some point I grew tired of it and didn’t make them for years. This year, for some reason, I felt the time was right to make one again. I’ve read of the similarity in folk costume tradition, that women must have red around the collar, the bottom edge of their skirt and the cuffs of their sleeves. Perhaps it’s a kind of unwritten rule.” – Viktorija Lillemets at the A-gallery exhibition MEMORY CARDS (2019)
In the book “A-Gallery. Estonian art jewellery gallery for 20 years” (2014)
Viktorija Lillemets (b. 1967 in Lithuania)
1993 Tallinn Art University
I remember myself as a small girl in a jewellery store. I was there with my mother or granny, the counter with jewellery was higher than my eyes. I can recall their discussion, what was stylish and what was not. Later, when I already could reach the counter, the situation became much more exciting – it was a serious research. As a child, I could never dream of making jewellery myself.
At the end of high school I knew already well that I would come to Estonia, to study glasswork. However, the fate brought me to the department of jewellery decoration – I am very thankful for such chance –, where the supervisor of my diploma project was Leili Kuldkepp. After graduation I was a freelancer for many years, since 2007 I have been working as a pedagogue.
I still continue making jewellery. I use mostly silver. My jewellery must be in harmony with the wearer, to avoid any uncomfortable feelings. They must be good friends of the wearer in any situation. I like to combine silver with stones, amber, glass textile.