4 Questions for Irina Blok
by sabine7 / February 21, 2008

Irina Blok is the creator behind the California-based I Love Blocks line of casual jewellery. While her necklaces and bracelets are light in weight and in spirit, the designs they bear are carefully thought out graphics that could only come from a pro. Sometimes they make statements usually seen on t-shirts; at others they replace the most precious of gems. Irina has always kept us up to date on her new ideas, so when we recently heard from her, we knew it was time for a few questions.

Your jewellery is designed to be casual and impart simple, often playful, messages. As a graphic designer, how do you determine which designs are best suited for the I Love Blocks jewellery?
I Love Blocks is like an idea lab, where I test different concepts to see what resonates with people. In a way it's like a blog, but I use jewellery instead of words.

I create pieces that I would want to wear myself but can't find anywhere else.

My graphics are inspired by juxtaposition of nature and nurture (and my 2nd grade teacher) as I find beauty in both of them. I create them using Adobe Illustrator on my Mac computer then bake them in my oven.


There is a real trend toward re-interpreting computer imagery into jewellery and accessories, and certainly you have done so with some of your pieces, like Broken Link and In Progress. How do you explain our endless fascination with this?
Sometime we all just need to geek out… BTW did I tell you that my day job is graphic designer at Google ;)

AHA! Now I get it!

Computer imagery is a part of our everyday life. I confess that I spend the bigger part of my day staring boggle-eyed at my screen… Perhaps a bit too much.
Taking these familiar symbols and placing them in unfamiliar context creates fun irreverent statements. There are also infinite unexplored possibilities, like Blue Screen of Death bracelet, or Error 403 Forbidden necklace.


The bracelets and necklaces in the collection are made of plastic: shrinky-dinks, to be precise. How on earth did you discover this was to be the medium for your message?
I've discovered shrinky dinks when i was shopping at a craft store with my daughter. It's never to late to start playing with it. With this humorous good 'ole Shrinky Dinks line I want to challenge conventional jewellery concept, and introduce a fun alternative. I wanted to create a cheerful collection that will bring out the inner kid in everyone.


Your journey has taken you from Russia to California – what are some of the design differences between the two places?
When I was growing up in the Soviet Union, graphic design was heavily influenced by Soviet propaganda and the Bauhaus movement. Today modern design has become pretty homogeneous around the world. We really live in a global village, and simple human messages resonate with people of all backgrounds.


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