Journal

Creating Amulets

Designed by goldsmith and jewelry designer Lina Simons, the Kalevala Amulets are new interpretations of mysterious symbols that adorned ancient jewelry. In this article Lina tells about her design philosophy and how the Amulets came to be.

I got commissioned to make propositions for the Amulet series in November 2020, amidst the pandemic. The time was propitious for such powerful pieces, because people really needed jewelry symbolizing and calling forth protection, strength, courage and love. The Amulets were to be small, fresh and modern, and based on familiar symbols and elements of older Kalevala pieces.

The first three themes, St. John’s Arms, Sailor’s Knot and Teljä Maiden, were set. Made of silver and gold-plated bronze, the Amulet pendants were launched in the autumn of 2021. The fourth Amulet, the noble Sun Lion, is based on a jewelry series of the same name that celebrated Kalevala jewelry’s 60th anniversary. The Sun Lion Amulet was launched on the threshold of Kalevala Day in 2022, exactly 25 years after the original Sun Lion saw the light of day.

Amulet drafts

The fifth Amulet was to feature a bear, but I got to choose the “prototype” myself. I found four different bear motifs in Kalevala’s past collections and picked the one that inspired me most. The Amulet was named The Kalevala Bear. Designing the Kalevala Bear Amulet was particularly interesting. I discovered that I could make the line patterns symbolize coniferous forests and simultaneously form a star. According to Finnish mythology, the bear descended from the skies, off the shoulders of the Great Bear constellation. I found this thought very inspiring. I wanted the composition to tell a story about the bear’s habitat in the woods, surrounded by stars. And if you look closely, you’ll notice that the star is also a crown on the bear’s head. He was, after all, called the King of Forest.

Designing Amulets is a wonderful and creative task. They are full of symbolism and stories that I find essential to jewelry. Making all elements and details fit into the new miniature charms posed the biggest challenge. Forms and patterns had to be simplified without losing any of their appeal. In the end, the meager 12 millimeters of the miniature charms can take in surprisingly much. For example, I fretted over the Sun Lion and the rays that frame it, but eventually they turned out just fine. The Sun Lion, by the way, is my personal favorite. It sure emanates power!

The Sailor’s Knot Amulet was the most difficult to design, because the symbol itself is rather edgy and masculine, whereas the Amulets were to be soft and feminine. I softened the contours and added an ornamental frame, and was pleased with the result. As I was designing the complementary items to the Amulet series, the hoop earrings and the bracelet, I had to puzzle over technical solutions, too. I had to come up with mechanisms that enable the charms to be easily added, removed and combined to customize one’s very personal Amulet piece. That was an interesting project

Also Kalevala Pink Ribbon 2023 jewelry is based on the Sailor's Knot Amulet. It's more than a piece of jewelry. By wearing it you can show your support to all the people dealing with cancer and also to the Cancer Foundation and their valuable research work. Kalevala Jewelry donates 10 € for each Pink Ribbon necklace and earrings sold and 5 € for each Pink Ribbon charm sold to the Cancer Foundation.

I love designing jewelry. My design language is usually graphic, which I believe is well expressed in the graphic, symmetric patterns of the Amulets. In addition to making them beautiful I also aim to make my pieces interesting, in my own distinctive design language, evoking the desire to wear them. It always thrills me to see people wear my jewelry.

I hope I’ll get to design many more Amulets in the future. I am currently working on my sixth Amulet, but I’m not going to reveal its theme yet. You’ll find out soon enough!

Photo Nico Backström

Writer: Ville Jokela

Discover Amulets

Amulet Mini Charm Kalevala Fortune Bird bronze
Amulet Mini Charm Kalevala Fortune Bird bronze
New

Amulet Mini Charm Kalevala Fortune Bird bronze

Regular price ¥7,500
Regular price Sale price ¥7,500
Lina Simons
Amulet Mini Charm Kalevala Fortune Bird silver
Amulet Mini Charm Kalevala Fortune Bird silver
New

Amulet Mini Charm Kalevala Fortune Bird silver

Regular price ¥9,200
Regular price Sale price ¥9,200
Lina Simons
Amulet Pendant Kalevala Fortune Bird Silver
Amulet Pendant Kalevala Fortune Bird Silver
New

Amulet Pendant Kalevala Fortune Bird Silver

Regular price ¥27,500
Regular price Sale price ¥27,500
Lina Simons
Amulet Pendant Sun Lion Silver
Amulet Pendant Sun Lion Silver

Amulet Pendant Sun Lion Silver

Regular price ¥27,500
Regular price ¥27,500 Sale price ¥27,500
Lina Simons
Amulet Pendant St. John's Arms silver
Amulet Pendant St. John's Arms silver

Amulet Pendant St. John's Arms silver

Regular price ¥22,500
Regular price Sale price ¥22,500
Lina Simons
Amulet Pendant Sailor's Knot silver
Amulet Pendant Sailor's Knot silver

Amulet Pendant Sailor's Knot silver

Regular price ¥22,500
Regular price Sale price ¥22,500
Lina Simons