| Hong Kong Jewellery 香港珠寶
News & Highlight


  • Pilz AY, founder of Pilz Schmuck
  • Window Grille necklace
  • Electronic Component pendant earrings
  • Electronic Component earrings with DIP switch
  • Travel of Light brooch
  • Travel of Light necklace
  • Optical Fibre brooch
  • Frozen Memory necklace features an organic rock crystal

Wearable art that lasts

November 2021


Loupe designers-in-residence series Loupe


A silver ring embedded with a circuit board in vibrant colours has changed Pilz Ay’s perception of jewellery. The unorthodox accessory she found in a flea market in Milan has enlightened her to introduce contemporary jewellery to express herself and engage people with storytelling designs that inspire and last.

An eccentric option in traditional jewellery markets where lavish gem-set jewels prevail, contemporary jewellery liberates itself from the obduracy of precious gemstones and metals. It takes a flexible approach to the choice of materials, giving the designer more possibilities to conceptualise ideas and deliver the message.

Pilz Ay started her own brand Pilz Schmuck in 2005 with the first collection paying tribute to the amazing world of electronics. Her fondness for small electronic parts seems to be inborn. “When I was young, I used to pay frequent visits to stores selling hardware, electronic and machine parts. The bright colours and unusual shapes of the small objects were just fascinating. And then I started collecting them,” the Hong Kong designer said.

Jewellery inspired by her favourite collectables was a mere concept until she met the brother of a friend of hers. “He was a self-taught craftsman who worked as an illustrator at a jewellery firm. We soon became business partners and developed our own designs.” She went solo and established Pilz Schmuck later on.

To preserve the essence and beauty of the electronic parts, she keeps them in their original form as much as possible by setting them in sterling silver with minimal design to underline the uniqueness of the centrepiece. For the Electronic Component collection, the designer has turned e-waste into delightful jewellery that connects with people again with an upcycled role.

Some pieces from the collection feature a dual in-line package swich which enhances interaction with the wearers. “Listening to the monotoned clicking sound of the switch is healing. It provides the wearer with a temporary getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life,” Ay said.

Another line of silver jewellery with LEDs comes as a perfect example of the designer’s passion for geometric and architectural forms, and her experimental spirit. As for the Travel of Light necklace, a simple circular chord with a cube or disc with an LED element is all it takes to evince the quality of having less is more.

Always in search of more significance for her designs, Pilz AY has created the Window Grille collection, some with LEDs, inspired by the window grilles of old tenement buildings in Hong Kong. “Whenever there are people behind the window grilles, the light is always on,” the designer explains the relationship between the two elements. It reminds us of the good old days when people were packed in a tiny yet cosy and warm flat. It also advocates the co-existence of old and new buildings in the city.

Fine jewellery is more for celebration and meant for passing down from generation to generation. When it comes to contemporary jewellery, however, it allows us to express our emotions in a much relaxing and personal way.

“Contemporary jewellery is a mobile sculpture and wearable art connecting the designer with the wearers and the environment. It is worn casually, alone or stacked, regardless of outfits and emotion,” she said.

The organic rock crystal rough set in the Frozen Memory collection fully exemplifies the designer’s aesthetic in instinctive rawness.

Observation is key to keeping her creative vibe alive. “While walking or sitting, I am always on the look out for interesting things. I read and travel a lot. And I spend time with exhibitions and shows of different nature,” said she.

Her constant quest for new knowledge and inspirations had motivated her to enrol at Loupe’s design residency programme started July 2020 which brought her to a whole new world of craftsmanship and goldsmithing. Also memorable for her was the rewarding experience gained from hosting workshops for the public.

“Knowing is one thing; teaching is another. We were required to hold six jewellery-making workshops for the public. Teaching was a totally new area for me. Although it came as a huge challenge, I treasured the opportunity a lot. Besides ensuring the participants finished the task in four hours, I deliberately taught them a bit more about craftsmanship in a hope to lift their horizons towards a deeper understanding and appreciation of contemporary jewellery.”

A keen advocate of contemporary jewellery, Pilz AY is a regular of local and overseas jewellery and wearable art expositions and events, including a solo exhibition, and several touring shows in Hong Kong, Australia, Spain and Taiwan.

Completing the jewellery and metalwork course with Sheffield Hallam University tops her agenda. Looking ahead, she aspires to enhance the digital presence of Pilz Schmuck while securing more physical interaction opportunities with customers. (Photo courtesy: Pilz Schmuck)



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