The artist and jewellery designer Carolina Amigo lives in her family’s 17th century house on a hill near Andratx, overlooking the sea. Drive up a small private road through a wild garden and you arrive at the heart of Carolina’s world. We had a chat with her about living and working in one place and how her work is actually her style of living and creating new things in this perfect house for the summer.
IRMA: What is the most important thing about your house?
CAROLINA AMIGO: I think the most important thing is the history that it preserves and that is breathed in the environment. It is a house full of energy that gives me peace and inspiration. Here I can isolate myself from the world and create.
IRMA: Your house is a family home and at the same time your studio, your atelier and your workspace, how do you combine all these things?
CAROLINA AMIGO: That is a good question, because at first I thought it would be impossible to separate the work from the responsibilities at home. I have achieved this by having highly differentiated workspaces, and all the members of my family know that when I am in the workshop or in the studio it is as if I were away from home, so they do not come to interrupt me. I’m also lucky to have the workshop at home, because it allows me to work whenever I want.
IRMA: How do you create an atmosphere that is conducive to relaxation and rest when you are not at work and are at home? Do you have a certain ritual?
CAROLINA AMIGO: The truth is that you know that people who work creatively never rest. An artist does not stop being an artist on Sunday, not in the morning, not at night, not even on holiday. The mind continues to process information and create. It is true, however, that a very simple habit suits me very well to disconnect.
IRMA: Is it because of a ritual?
CAROLINA AMIGO: When I put on my work clothes, I’m in the work mode, at the end of the day I change my clothes for another one and I’m already in another mode, so you can see that the clothes I always wear would be my ritual to act in one way or another. And if I can’t disconnect, I have to do extra meditation. This is already something that is necessary in my daily life.
IRMA: You started out as a painter and now you are concentrating on jewellery design. What led you to jewellery?
CAROLINA AMIGO: I have always been passionate about jewellery, especially high jewellery. I have been following Sotheby’s or Phillips auctions for more than 15 years. It was after seeing the Joel Arthur Rosenthal exhibition at the MET in New York that I decided I wanted to make my own creations, so I studied jewellery at the Balearic Islands School of Design and started working. Coming from the world of painting and sculpture, I am mainly interested in volume and colour, so my jewels are like little sculptures to be worn.
IRMA: Tell me about your time in England?
CAROLINA AMIGO: During my time in London, I was able to continue my studies in sculpture and painting at the Mary Ward Centre of Arts, as well as attend special courses at the National Gallery and the Tate Modern, among others.
IRMA: Tell me five things that are special for you about living in Mallorca:
-Some of the most special things about living in Mallorca are:
-The light; hours of sunshine and good weather bring optimism and vitality. Every day is a new beginning full of possibilities. Light is important to me.
-The power to switch off in the middle of the sea. I love sailing and it is wonderful to lose yourself for a few days or even weeks in the waters off Mallorca. You disconnect from everything and it’s really inspiring. I personally come back with a million ideas.
-The tranquillity of the island. It is true that there are very crowded places, but we also have our areas of harmony, which are an oasis on the island.
-Good gastronomy. Since distances are very short here, it is very easy to meet your friends or family and enjoy a good wine and a good meal, because we have a good gastronomic level in spectacular places.
-The traditions. I love the family traditions, the details of the local crafts, going to the small local markets where the products you buy are grown on the surrounding farms, talking to the old people. And I love that this can be known all over the world.
IRMA: Your house came with a lot of heritage. How did you manage to keep the old and combine it with the new?
CAROLINA AMIGO: Since it is a 17th century house, the construction alone has a lot of old parts and is full of tradition. It is a house with a lot of personality that does not allow changes, depending on what kind of changes, so we have introduced small, very natural elements, always trying to preserve the original essence of the house.
IRMA: Tell me, what is the most important thing for you in a workplace? And in your kitchen?
CAROLINA AMIGO: In a workspace, silence to inspire you, light to appreciate the colours and space without obstacles to move around.
The kitchen in my house is the centre of activity, of discussions and decisions made around the table. So the most important thing in the kitchen is to have a large and clear space to cook while sharing the moment with your loved ones.