Ornamental Art—Alex Soldier

Alex Soldier Lava Snail

“I see artistry and craftsmanship as two parts of one whole; one cannot exist without the other.” This is how renowned jewelry designer, Alex Soldier, approaches his work. “Detail is an imperative part of my vision. Ever since I made my first sculpture at fourteen, detail has been embedded into my DNA.” This dedication to intricacy is palpably apparent to anyone who observes Soldier’s pieces. His groundbreaking jewelry designs have become an iconic presence among both the jewelry industry as well as the art world, effectively blurring the lines between what one wears and what one procures purely for the sake of viewing and enjoying.

With the ability to garner inspiration from life in its daily manifestation, Soldier’s creations are one-of-a-kind representations of organic elements of life. “I constantly work at my bench and the present moment in which the thought materializes through creative process never ceases to surprise me.” With an infinite and lofty source of creative stimulation, it’s evident why the Soldier collections seem to gracefully imitate nature and pure existence.

Soldier noticed that historically, jewelry had been a medium for relatively simple metal work. The intricacy and painstaking detail involved in his own work, however, requires a powerful magnifying glass and several hours time in order to properly take in all the detail teeming from the piece. Among his best-known designs is the iconic sea snail collection, consisting of more than twenty-five individual, jewel encrusted pieces. The snails exist as an allegory for slowing down and enjoying life, instantly becoming a classic and a signature heirloom. The same can be said for Soldier’s sunflower collection. Inspired by the sunflower-clad oil works of Van Gogh, this collection is warm, bright and happy, evoking the sensation of being enveloped in a late summer day.

Dancing Man

While couture jewelry continues to serve as the main product of the brand, Soldier also experiments with metals, inventing never-before-seen structures and textures for artwork and sculpture. “I wanted to take my craftsmanship and knowledge to the next level and grow as an artist. It’s very exciting to bring something completely new to this world, similar to birth of a child.”

The sculptural nature of Soldier’s work has been commissioned by a number of noteworthy organizations. Among his most impressive accomplishments is the Golden Elf Triumph Award, a statuette symbolizing the Russian Independent prize for achievements in art, music, film and literature. Another is the Princess Grace Award commissioned by the Princess Grace Foundation USA, which incorporates symbols representing all three disciplines that were close the Princess Grace’s heart: theater, dance and film.

Soldier recalls one of his first collection debuts in 1996 when buyers, who were mostly accustomed to seeing highly polished trinkets, were taken aback by his rare and unusual style. “I feel blessed and proud that I was able to change the way people think about jewelry—not just as another accessory, but as a work of art that offers endless possibilities to its wearer. I feel inspired when my clients tell me how their jewelry or sculptures that they own continue to fascinate them after years, as they keep discovering new details in them.”

By Jennifer Richardson-Moulaison