You were born in England into a family with roots well anchored in Greece and forms part of a long tradition of goldsmiths and jewelers that goes as far back as four generations. I guess your family tradition has influenced you a lot in your career as a jeweler and sculptor. According to the information of your website, at twelve and created your first design in the workshop of your uncle.
– With all the family tradition I guess it was not difficult to learn the trade. But of course you have done so with your own art and original great design. How did you get started in erotic jewelry design for men?
Jewelry may be in my family for many years, however I believe that the advantage of this is mainly technical. I believe that the key to artistic creation and design is to know the past but not to get attached to it. Instead, one should observe the present to evolve.
-Why erotic jewelry?
Because regadles of gender, wearing jewelry has always been instinctive and ritualistic, as you pointed out, almost a base instinct. It is pure self expression and in this there is much eroticism. So I think that all jewelry appeals to our erotic side, either consciously or subconciously
The question of male jewelry in particular – this a very interesting challenge for me because it is a specific field that has been dormant for about 1500 years since the rise of Roman Catholicism over the Celts. Previously, men used to wear and express themselves with jewelry. But from this point in time and for many centuries, men wearing jewelry for the purpose of beauty was simply ‘forbidden’. Jewelry was restricted to religious symbols, wedding rings (a social symbolism) and later watches (functionalism). Even today in some places it continues to be considered a social and religious taboo for men to decorate themselves.
In western countries, this only began to change after the 1980’s with feminism, when women began to buy (and pay for) their own jewelry. As a result, one generation later, men too are in turn ‘released’ from seeing jewelry as social obligation to women, or to a theocratic society. Men are seeing jewelry as they did 1500 years ago, for what it is, expression… and this is a wonderful opportunity.
-What led you to create such original jewelry?
In a nutshell, one of my favorite Oscar Wilde quotes. “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”! Jewelry is ancient art-form and since most things have already been done in the past, the only thing one can do is to use the power of observation. I do not like to see jewelry as a fashion accessory that comes and goes with the fashion trends. My designs come from human nature and the patterns of nature, this is why I have not seen them age.
– You have a great catalog designed jewelry for men: pendants, bracelets, rings, bracelets and the famous Cock Rings. True works of art based on the entire culture of your beloved Greece. Men and women, since ancient times, have felt the need to adorn themselves with symbols of power, virility or femininity, of triumphs, of created an identity that differs from the rest. I guess some have changed in this respect: we love to adorn ourselves, have tattoos, to paint, wear jewelry, perfumes. The jewels of Nikias, are the result of this need?
Need is different to desire. Our needs are elementary, but we desire civilization, art, literature, to adorn ourselves and all the other things you mentioned. This is why the Greek spirit is important for me. It is important for all of us who are civilized… because our mission as humans is to overcome our primary needs and to respect our higher desires that feed not only our body but more importantly our soul, and our mind.
A balance of these higher goals is what set the ground for Greeks 3000 years ago to give birth to philosophy, geometry, comedy, tragedy, democracy, architecture, sculpture etc. In all of these fields we still find the highest beauty achievable by man and they are unchanged building blocks of our current civilization. Physical adornment and self-identity is just a small part of this philosophy. I am just a craftsman in an ancient art-form. I don’t think that much has changed in our desires as human nature is the same, only that man today lives less spiritually and often loses the connections.
– Is “Le Cock Ring” your greatest success in intimate design for men?
Commercially, yes for sure as the concept has been met with great success in almost 50 countries worldwide. It is a success because it is a radical proposition and a functional item, equipped with all the virtues of a work of fine jewelry. Many people thought the idea was too crazy, but I followed my instinct on this.