Eirini Spanou Designs “Soulmade Jewelry”
Born in Corfu, Eirini Spanou, originally an engineer by profession, completely changed careers and now creates and produces handmade ‘soul’ jewelry.
As an engineer, design is a means of expression which you came into contact with during your studies at the School of Engineering. How has your education helped you along the path of your artistic creations in terms of creating jewelry?
Everything we do helps us and shapes us to become who we are. For me, the School of Engineering and the Technical University of Athens are places where you could say the “fermentation” took place, both at an academic and individual level which – in the long term – was to my benefit. In addition to the fact that my studies have greatly contributed to the formation of my personal perception and thinking, I continue to use basic tools of the engineer. I use engineering design programs to capture the designs. Also, before I complete a piece of jewelry I try to somehow group all the design parameters and apply an implementation algorithm.
You’re a woman who has managed to change career paths and turned towards another profession (from engineering to creating jewelry). What was the exact point in your life that inspired this change?
The reason for the change in my career was the birth of my two children. When you become a parent, children reflect our behaviors and issues which we’re often not willing to see for ourselves, let alone deal with them! Children help you uncover these “layers” you have lived under, which have been imposed on you, to be able to see yourself truly, because this is actually what they’re asking from you. Your purity and truth. So in order to be true your choices need to be true. With this in mind, I made the decision to change profession and follow what fulfills me and makes me happy.
The name Curiudo has its own story to tell. How did you choose the brand name you have created?
CURIUDO is a combination of the word Curio (a rare, unusual or interesting object) and the word Udo (peace in an African language) and refers to minimal and geometric jewelry, which I create by hand in my workshop in Corfu and reflects the mantra: “Be Yourself”.
Tell us about Corfu, the place where you were born and have chosen to live with your family, where you create and where your business is located. What is it that it offers you?
The close connection with nature and the sea is invaluable as it provides me with the necessary “reboot” that I need. It is a place with many colors, a place that changes constantly which automatically puts you in the process of experientially following all the seasons, the extroversion of spring and summer as well as the introversion of autumn and winter. This rotation or constant change forces you to evolve and redefine things and situations continuously.
Are there specific places/areas in Corfu that you love and would find difficult to say goodbye to?
Some of Corfu’s beaches have held a special place in my heart ever since I was a child, as well as the island’s old town; the magical ‘Kandounia’ of the city that unfold like a maze, just like our thoughts do.
Where do you find refuge in Corfu when you’re overwhelmed? Is there a specific destination you drive to in order to calm down?
The sea and its aura provide me with a refuge both in the winter and summer! The sea helps me see issues and problems in a clearer light. The route that climbs to the old fortress of Corfu and the view of the old town and the whole island always “centres” me.
What is the island’s relationship with art? Are there any remarkable activities taking place or places you visit?
Our island has long been involved in intense artistic activity and is inextricably linked to music. Remarkable art exhibitions and arts-based events in general, especially over the course of the last few years have been organised. There are great young artists, dancers and musicians who contribute significantly to making a difference, be it large or small, in the arts scene thereby reconnecting the island with art in its essence.
Tell us about your latest collection. What is it that makes it stand out?
The name of the last collection is “Meanings”. That is, what is intended to be or expressed … The key element is the simple lines that can and do stand either on their own or can be worn together. This element of simplicity and abstraction is what makes this collection stand out. How through something simple we can find our expression or destination and identity…